Vancouver’s brief and beautiful summers are filled with long days, blue skies and lots of music. Here’s a quick guide to three free concert series in and around the city.
Know about more free music? Tell us about it in the comments section.
1. The 2011 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 24-July 3: BC’s biggest music festival features more than 1800 artists, 400 concerts and 40 different venues around the city. From noon until well past midnight, you can hear jazz, blues, funk, Latin, fusion, electronica and world music at venues big and small, indoor and outdoor.
Now, to see the big name acts – which this year include Wynton Marsalis, Madeleine Peyroux, Paco de Lucia, Steve Earle and others – you’ll have to pay for tickets. But the good new is that there are approximately 150 free concerts including Gastown Jazz on opening weekend (June 25-26), Canada Day on Granville Island and the Jazz at the Roundhouse & David Lam Park free concert extravaganza on closing weekend (July 2-3). For a complete list of free concerts, check out this link.
2. Summer Live in Stanley Park, July 8-10: In honour of Vancouver’s 125th birthday, the city is holding a free, three-day celebration at the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park featuring plenty of great live music. Performances will take place on multiple stages and include local rock legends Spirit of the West, emerging talents like Said the Whale and Hey Ocean, salsa, jazz and even appearances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and First Nations drummers. Here’s the full list of artists.
3. Summer Sunday Concerts in Port Moody, Sundays from July 10-Aug. 28: Here’s the perfect excuse to get out of the city and explore one of Vancouver’s most beautiful ‘burbs, situated along the eastern shores of the Burrard Inlet. The free jazz, rhythm and blues and rock concerts start at 2 p.m. every Sunday at Rocky Point Park, right near the waterfront. Acts this year include Aurora Jane (the “female Hendrix”), Mostly Marley (a great local reggae band) and Brickhouse (another set of local funk legends). For a complete lineup, check out this link.
4. Cates Park Concert Series in Deep Cove, Saturdays beginning July 17: Another of Vancouver’s prettiest suburbs, Deep Cove is just a 30-minute drive from downtown but offers a little glimpse of B.C.’s raw and rugged interior, with tall mountains tumbling down to the cold waters of Indian Arm, a 20-kilometer glacial fjord. Cates Park is right on the water and makes a great concert setting. The emphasis is on on local, original music, and 24 acts will perform throughout the summer. This is also a very pet friendly event. The music lineup has yet to be released.
Know about more free music? Please leave a comment below.