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The Squamish Valley Music Festival Survival Guide

July 29, 2015

The Squamish Valley Music Festival takes place every summer in August and for me and my friends, it’s the most magical time of year. There’s just something about the stunning sea-to-sky highway that gets you there, the looming chief mountain that greets you, the consistently killer line ups that seduce you and the new and old friends that surround you, that make it one of the best events of the summer.

Here are a few of my helpful hints on how to survive Squamish:

the Way: getting to Squamish from Vancouver is super easy and I’m sure that most of you will know exactly where you’re going. But if this is your first time or if you missed it last year, you should keep in mind that the festival is much bigger than before and parking is now at Britannia Beach, rendering you pretty much prisoner of the camp ground once you’re there. A yellow school bus and a never ending line stand between you and your vehicle now, and getting to Britannia with plenty of time to make the trek will help you avoid the disappointment of where you end up camping and how long it really takes to get your campground all set up.

the Weather: every year around this time the sun shines relentlessly in the Squamish Valley and considering the summer that BC’s been having, I think it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a scorcher. Last year, there was very little shade to be found on both the festival grounds and in our stifling sand box of a campground, so I really suggest bringing all of the sun safe equipment (hats, h20 spray bottle, sunscreen, water bottle, tarps or tents for shade) that you can.

the Food:
there are always great food trucks to be found on the festival grounds but last year we really suffered when barbecues were banned from the camp ground at the last minute. When you go grocery shopping for the weekend, be sure to choose from most of the food groups and buy both food that needs to be cooked and is easy-to-eat. I know that it sounds silly but by the third day of last year’s festival my friends and I were eating sweaty cheese, warm hummus and granola bars because we were desperate for vitamins and couldn’t cook our meat.

the Music:
this year’s festival line up is insane!! and maybe it’s because my taste in music is getting better or because my iTunes library is getting larger, but most of the acts that I’m most excited for can be spotted in the last few lines on the poster. Newcomers Elle King and Alessia Cara are both soul singing sirens that will be belting out big notes on the small stage. Justin Nozuka, George Ezra, James Bay and Vance Joy – the list goes on and on of serious singer/song writers that will be bringing their hottest hits to the valley this year.

Not to be outdone, the rap game is also looking pretty real and you can look forward to being seduced by local legend Sonreal and loosing your mind to international Super Stars A$ap Rocky, Chance the Rapper and of course, Degrassi’s very own Drake Easssy.

Last but not least, I have to make note of  some of the festivals biggest headliners and memorable performers; bands that I’ve been lucky enough to see before. I can’t wait to watch the Alabama Shakes and the Arkells own the stage as well as festival favourites Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Joel Plaskett and the Adventure Club who’ll be playing plenty of songs that you can recklessly sing-a-long to.

The full line up can be found here at http://squamishfestival.com/lineup/artists

the Messy Details:
last year we wound up staying in a small sandstorm of a campsite, there was no grass and no space and no shade and, it was pretty rough. I’m quite sure though that the festival convenors will have sorted out grass this year and fixed many of their little growing pains, so pack your things, pitch a tent, party safe and I’ll see you at the festival !! #SVMF

life saving items to put in your (survival) pack:

1. dry shampoo
2. all-in-one makeup removing face wipes
3. sarong – it doubles as a towel for the river and a blanket for the festival
4. bathing suit – to escape the heat and float in the river
5. h2o spray bottle – how to make friends and stay cool
6. fully charged speaker – because it’s all about the music
7. ear plugs – because the party never ends
8. trusty back pack – because you’ll be packing it for the whole day once
9. insta-vitamins (like emergen-c) – to add to plain water
10. glowsticks – how to make friends and stay cool

Comments are encouraged, please feel free to add anything that I forgot. 🙂

Photo credit: John Bollwitt / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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  • Reply Nick July 29, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Reads smoother than a fresh jar of skippy:)
    And I’d add #11: make sure you have some good peeps to have your back and share the smiles!

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