Every summer, Vancouver hosts some of the world's best music festivals, including the renowned Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the family-friendly Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Use this Guide to Summer Music Festivals in Vancouver to plan your summer music schedule and find free summer music concerts, too.
For more free music this summer, see also: Free Summer Events & Activities
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Vancouver International Jazz Festival (late-June - early-July)
The biggest music festival in Vancouver is the annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival (VIJF), named the “best jazz festival in the world” by The Seattle Times. One of the signature summer events in Vancouver, the VIJF attracts 400,000+ visitors and features 1800 musicians and 400 concerts (including 150+ free concerts) at 40+ venues throughout Vancouver. Headliners for the VIJF are always major jazz super stars; past headliners have included Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock.
The VIJF usually runs about 10 days, starting in late-June and ending after Canada Day (July 1). VIJF concerts play a big role in the Canada Day festivities on Granville Island.
Learn more: Vancouver International Jazz Festival
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Vancouver Folk Music Festival (July)
Named one of the ten best outdoor concerts in North America by USA Today, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is both one of the biggest music festivals in Vancouver and one of the biggest summer events in the city. Taking place over three days (Friday night, Saturday and Sunday) at scenic Jericho Beach, the Folk Music Festival is an eclectic blend of genres and people (it's both hippie and family-friendly), featuring a much greater range of music than "folk" may imply: the festival includes everything from world music to hip hop to blues and gospel.
Learn more: Vancouver Folk Music Festival
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Music & Fireworks: SHOREfest (late-July - early-August)
First held in 2009, SHOREfest (presented by Vancouver's SHORE 104 radio station) is a series of concerts held on English Bay Beach and Sunset Beach before the annual Celebration of Light fireworks displays. Taking place on the same three nights as the fireworks, these free concerts draw big names in Canadian music; past performers include the Great Lake Swimmers and The Trews. Come for the music, then enjoy the incredible fireworks display afterwards! (Note: these locations draw huge crowds on fireworks nights, so be prepared.)
Learn more: SHOREfest official site