Last week, the lineup for the annual Squamish Valley Music Festival was finally released and the organizers aren’t pulling any punches. With big names like Eminem, Arcade Fire, Bruno Mars, Arctic Monkeys, The Roots, Foster the People and Thievery Corporation, the organizers are definitely trying to cover a wide range of musical styles. Last year, the festival had approximately 17,000 in attendance and this year they are hoping for close to 35,000 so it’s going to be quite a weekend. The full lineup and ticketing information can be found here, but what I wanted to do was go over a few acts that I think will be ones not to miss and will hopefully get you primed for the festival.
Austra is an electronic act from Toronto that has been one of my favourites for the last couple of years. The music sounds like something akin to a darker Florence and the Machine dance party that focuses on the classically trained voice of singer Katie Stelmanis. All of their songs are incredibly catchy and this will be a dance set to watch out for.
Lost It by Austra
The Head and the Heart
While The Head and the Heart may hail from Seattle some may not be familiar with this indie-folk act, though they have been on the rise for the last couple of years. Combining majestic harmonies and some pop sensibilities alongside traditional folk tunes, this group has been winning people over from coast to coast. I have heard about their fantastic live show so this will be another to keep an eye on at the festival.
Lost in my Mind by The Head and the Heart
Black Joe Lewis
Perhaps one of the most intriguing acts in the lineup at this years festival is Austin, TX artist Black Joe Lewis. An artist that steeped in various influences ranging from soul, funk, blues and old-school rock, Joe Lewis has taken all of these sounds and moulded them into something all his own. When you listen to him you will definitely be taken back in time, but it’s a journey well worth taking, trust me.
Come to my Party by Black Joe Lewis
We Are The City
Some of you may be familiar with this trio, formerly from Kelowna and now residing in our fair city. They were one of the first winners of local radio station The Peak’s Peak Performance Project and used their winnings to fund new recordings and plenty of touring. A fantastic live show and catchy rock tracks make We Are The City an act to keep your eye on at the festival.
Happy New Year by We Are the City
I am not one who is in the know when it comes to EDM but I will definitely check out a good set if the music speaks to me. Well at this years festival it’s looking like that will be the set by Vancouver native, Felix Cartal. A friend sent me some tracks a while back, and I have been digging his beats and was excited to see his name on the festival release. The dance area last year was generally a good time and I am sure this year will be no exception.
New Scene by Felix Cartal
Sam Roberts Band
This is my final pick, and while many of you are familiar with Sam Roberts and his band, I wanted to include him because this will be the set I probably won’t miss. I have seen Sam and Co. countless times over the years but they always put on the best live show, hands down. A staple of the Canadian rock scene, the best thing about Sam Roberts is that he sounds like Sam Roberts and no one else. Prepare yourselves now, a Sam Roberts set is always a good time.
Them Kids by Sam Roberts Band
There you have it, those are some of my picks for this years Squamish Valley Music Festival and hopefully you check them out both beforehand and at the festival. That being said, who is everyone else excited to see? Who is going? I volunteered last year and had a blast and will likely do it again. That being said if you have time to spare and want to get an inside look at how a festival works, and want to see these acts for free, I highly recommend signing up to volunteer. See you this summer!
Featured image belongs to author.