It’s an area that’s best known for rock climbing and logger sports – but this weekend in Squamish, B.C., there will be a decidedly different kind of rocking and rolling going on.
Now in its fourth year, the Squamish Valley Music Festival is expected to triple the small mountain town’s population with big-name draws, including rockers Queens of the Stone Age, genre-bending pop stars Vampire Weekend, rap superstar Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, hip-hop veterans Jurassic 5, New York gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello and dozens more.
Also on the bill are a bevvy of Canadian indie favourites, among them the synth-heavy Diamond Rings, the fast-rising A Tribe Called Red and Vancouver darling Dan Mangan.
“Today’s music fan is unbelievably diverse. You don’t just walk into a record store and go straight to the hard rock section any more,” says Erik Hoffman, the Live Nation vice-president who booked the fest. “So our model has more of a European vibe in that we hope to challenge people across genres.”
But unlike other out-of-town summer fests that involve serious roughing it, the Squamish fest comes with everything from high-tech wristbands that you can use to buy food and drinks to a backstage VIP camping area that includes parking, a private entrance to the festival and – be still campers’ hearts – flush toilets and showers. And then, of course, there’s the view.
“I have been to most of the big festivals in the world, and there are a lot of festivals in big parks, but you’re not surrounded by mountains in an unbelievable setting,” says Mr. Hoffman, who adds the festival, on the picturesque Hendrickson Fields and Logger Sports Grounds, will expand significantly in 2014. “I will say it’s pretty amazing.”
The Squamish Valley Music Festival happens Thursday through Saturday ( squamishfestival.com ).