What happens when you poorly attempt to hold a massive event, place it in the searing heat, then hire slap-dash security who go around dumping out people’s water while they wait in line and accompany said security with slap-dash medics? Well, a few people die and over 80 get sent to the hospital.
This was the scene at last year’s Boonstock Music Festival so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the festival won’t be returning for an 11th installment in 2015. Most “Boonstockers” can pinpoint when money became Boonstock’s top priority, which resulted poor planning, overcrowding, an increasingly incompetent staff and the slippery slope which resulted in the death of the festival, the promoter’s reputation and, worst of all, people’s lives. So Boonstock is no more, what can ya do?
Oh yeah, go to any number of the other awesome festivals out there. Western Canada alone is home to a variety of insane festivals to show former “Boonstockers” what a quality festival is like. You have Tail Creek, Pemberton, Squamish, Astral Harvest and my personal favourite, Shambhala just to name a few and, the way things are looking, no matter where you end up, it’s going to be an unreal festival season.
Let’s talk about Squamish first. This festival has always brought us amazing artists. In past years, Eminem, Bruno Mars, Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age and The Tragically Hip appeared, just to name a few. Well this year, they’ve spared no expense for a star-studded lineup. This year, Squamish has Drake, Sam Smith, Mumford & Sons, ScHoolboy Q, Slightly Stoopid, Porter Robinson, The Kills and the list goes on. If you want to not only have a great time but also shed a man tear or two, hit up Squamish. I’d be there myself if it didn’t fall on the very same weekend as my home away from home.
If you’re into electronic music, then Shambhala is pretty much as good as it gets.This festival features six different stages, each with its own unique vibe. Shambhala released the headliners for 2015 a couple weeks ago and ho-lee shit! This year, Sham brings us legendary hip-hop DJs DJ Jazzy Jeff (who produced the Fresh Prince theme song) and Mix Master Mike (resident DJ for the Beastie Boys) along with dubstep heavyweights Skrillex, Excision and Datsik. More into house music? Fine, they’ve got Kygo, Justin Martin, Worthy. Say funkie beats are more your jam, well I guess you could go see GRiZ, Stickybuds, The Funk Hunters … you get the idea. This festival’s got something for everyone so if you’re into letting your freak flag fly, I highly recommend going.
Pemberton released its lineup and it covers everything pretty well. In rock, we’ve got The Black Keys, Weezer, Sam Roberts Band, Hozier and Billy Talent. Rap has Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Missy Elliot and electronic has Tiësto, Bassnectar, RL Grime and then there’s Pemberton’s comedy tent, which this year features Cheech and Chong! Of course this is only a sliver of Pemby’s massive lineup, ensuring that no matter what you’re into, you’ll have fun.
Tail Creek also gave us a taste of what they’ve got and while I’m not crazy about the rock lineup, you might be. This year, we’ve got Billy Talent, Art of Dying, Sublime with Rome, Pop Evil, Gob and Bad Religion. I’m super crazy about the electronic lineup, though. This year features Zeds Dead, GRiZ, Pretty Lights, Koan Sound and more. There’s also two country artists, Brantley Gilbert and Tim Hicks as well as motor sports. Should be fun!
There you go folks, four top notch events to replace the hole in your heart left by the grease pit that was Boonstock.