Photo courtesy of Kootenay Rockies Tourism
The West Kootenay region is known for adventurous tourist attractions in BC. You can hike or bike in the area’s spectacular mountain ranges, take a refreshing dip in glacier-fed lakes, or even grab a zip line 300-feet above the forest floor with views that go on for miles.
But did you also know that the Koots, as the locals lovingly call the region, is also known for its music festivals? The area plays host to a number of well-known festivals, three of which are family friendly and one that is decidedly for the EDM crowd (that’s electronic dance music, in case you were wondering).
Go zip lining, then add these 4 music festivals to your roster of things to do in BC:
1. Kokanee Mountain Zipline, Kokanee Glacier Road, Nelson, BC: Open all summer
Of all the places to go zip lining in BC, Kokanee Mountain Zipline is a must-try experience that is situated smack dab in the middle of where all the festival action is. With six lines, starting with the 80-ft long, 25-ft high line, connected in the middle by a 10-minute nature walk through the lush forest to the 2,400-ft, 300-plus foot high zip across Kokanee Creek Canyon, this a great way to kick off things to do in BC. The zip line is open to all ages, however, all participants must be between 50 and 265 pounds.
2. Unity Music Festival, Slocan City Beach, Slocan, BC: July 14-16
Located in the heart of BC, north of Highway 3A and just off Highway 6 in Slocan City, is this sweet little, family-friendly festival. The Unity Music Festival includes two stages on the beach, featuring a mix of musical acts playing everything from world to hip hop. Adding to the kid-friendly mix is a kids’ zone, swimming beach, and room to picnic and camp with the family. Children 12 and under get in free.
3. Starbelly Jam, Crawford Bay, BC: July 21-23
Known for its artists and artisans, Crawford Bay, located on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, which is accessible by car from Nelson or Kaslo on the free Kootenay Lake Ferry at Balfour, welcomes hundreds of visitors and locals every summer for the Starbelly Jam Music Festival. One of the top things to do in BC, Starbelly opens its stage to artists from around the world, and features numerous activities for children, dance performances, workshops, and much more. Children 12 and under get in free.
4. Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival: Kaslo, BC: Aug. 4-6
The town of Kaslo comes alive on the BC Day long weekend for the recently renamed Kaslo Jazz Ect. Festival to represent its diverse lineup of music. Artists taking the floating stage parked on beautiful Kaslo Bay include 2017 headliners Los Lobos, A Tribe Called Red, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, BadBadNotGood, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and The Sheepdogs. Tickets to the festival sold out last year, so make sure you get yours early. Children 12 and under are free with ID and a parental guardian.
5. Shambhala Music Festival, Salmo River Ranch, BC, Aug. 11-14
Already sold-out for 2017, though some tickets may become available for those searching online, Shambhala takes place on a 500-acre cattle ranch south of Nelson and is an experience that cannot be simply described, but must be experienced. With EDM artists, DJs, producers and experimental music from all over the world, expect little sleep, with things that glow and thump deep into the night. The festival is not open to minors.
There’s more to explore, read our blog: 6 Can’t-Miss Kootenay Attractions.
Kokanee Mountain Zipline is located east of Nelson, BC, 2.2 kilometres up Kokanee Glacier Park Road from Highway 3A at Kokanee Provincial Park. We are now open Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays) through June. Please visit our booking system to see our available times or call us at 1-844-764-4484.