Six acts to catch at this year’s Westward Music Festival (starts today!)

Harlequin Gold, a new local band, plays the Rickshaw Theatre Sept. 14 as part of Westward Music Festival. Photo: Spencer Watson.

For the third year in a row, Vancouver has its own multi-band, multi-venue music festival. Westward Music Festival returns Sept. 12-15. Some of the acts include Black Mountain, Owen Pallett, Joseph, and Titus Andronicus.

Concentrated mostly in downtown Vancouver, Westward takes place at various venues. This year, promoter MRG Concerts has partnered with the Yaletown Business Improvement Association expand the event into the Yaletown district. Westward Yaletown will be a FREE outdoor concert series running Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.

For more info, and some suggestions, see below.

The three new outdoor stages include a Music BC showcase stage at Nelson and Hamilton and two additional live music stages featuring bands, singer/songwriters and DJs. There will also be a beer garden, food, and local vendors.

Other festival venues include the Biltmore Cabaret, the Fox Cabaret, the Imperial, and the Vogue Theatre.

Without further ado, here are six acts to see at the 2019 Westward Music Festival.

Joseph—Portland’s preeminent folk-pop sister trio act (Natalie Schepman and her sisters Allison and Meegan Closner) is back with an excellent new album, Good Luck Kid. The album follows 2016’s praised I’m Alone, No You’re Not. This show promises to be a highlight of the festival. (Sept. 12, Imperial)

Junglepussy—The New York rapper debuted online in 2014 with her single “Cream Team” and built a cult following for the quick-witted, tongue-in-cheek lyricism of her debut album Satisfaction Guaranteed. Her track, “Bling Bling” has been streamed over 1.5 million times. Her latest is Jp3, a 10-track albumreleased in 2018 and clocking it at a lean 30 minutes. (Sept. 13, Imperial)

Rapper Junglepussy brings her raunchy rap to Vancouver as part of this year’s Westward Music Festival.

Owen Pallett—A singer/violinist/producer/arranger, the Toronto-based Pallett has collaborated with a multitude of indie artists and released a number of his own albums, until 2009 under the name Final Fantasy. His 2006 album He Poos Clouds won Canada’s top artistic album prize, the Polaris. (Sept. 14, Imperial)

Harlequin Gold—Vancouver sisters Elle and Avery O’Brien, aka Harlequin Gold, will release their debut EP Baby Blue later this month. The sisters harmonize folkily and will perform with their band. The duo has released some singles in the past year, including “Take Me Home” and “Want You More.” (Sept. 14, Rickshaw Theatre)

Black Mountain—Vancouver’s premiere stoner-rock band continues to ply its psyche-rock trade on its latest, Destroyer. The 15-year-old band has a semi-new lineup, with only two of its original members intact, but continues its heavy groove on the new album. (Sept. 14, Vogue Theatre)

Mt. Joy—LA-based indie-rock band formed in 2016 and have toured with The Shins, The Head and The Heart, The Lone Bellow, and Whitney, among others. NPR Music selected the band as one of their Slingshot Artists for 2018. Their 2018 self-titled album “tackles everything from the vicious cycles of addiction to political calls to action in a post-Trump world,” according to a media release. The band is scheduled to open for the Lumineers on that successful folk-rock act’s 2020 tour. (Sept. 15, Vogue Theatre)

Mt. Joy play the Vogue the last night of the Westward Music Festival.

For more info, including tickets and a full lineup, visit

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