In Focus: SKOOKUM Festival

With names like Metric, St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Father John Misty, The War on Drugs and The Killers (not to mention Arkells, Blue Rodeo, Mother Mother, Chromeo, Cold War Kids, Whitehorse, Matt Mays, Bahamas and more), the SKOOKUM Festival’s inaugural lineup was a music lover’s dream. From Sept. 7-9, that dream became our reality.


Held in Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park, the first-ever SKOOKUM Festival also featured live art, sculpture, multimedia installations and — of course — food. And despite a ton of rain and some logistical hiccups, the atmosphere was electric.

Our highlight of the weekend, though, was the sheer amount of Indigenous talent.

In addition to an unforgettable set from living legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, SKOOKUM showcased Northern rockers Midnight Shine, country sensations Crystal Shawanda and Kelly Derrickson, Juno winner William PrincePolaris-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids, hip-hop duo Mob Bounce and up-and-comer Ta’Kaiya Blaney.

Needless to say, the experience was one we won’t soon forget. Here’s a look back in photos.


Originating from the historical Chinook Jargon of the Pacific Northwest, Skookum translates to strong, brave and impressive. It also means celebration. Connect with that spirit this September and experience the uniquely unconventional Skookum. The Skookum Festival team are honoured to be working with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in staging this inaugural event, and are grateful for their support in welcoming the festival onto their shared territories.


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