The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival is a music event that takes place in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. The picturesque town, located right by the Shuswap Lake, welcomes music lovers from all over the country and the world every year.
It was started as a small indoor music event in 1992 and has grown steadily in subsequent years. The Salmon Arm Fair Grounds serves as the venue for the festival. Several stages are set up all over the 18-acre area, which offers beautiful views of nearby Mount Ida. Many different genres of music are featured at the event, including blues, folk, alternative, world, electronica, and roots.
The festival showcases music from well-known international musicians as well as emerging local and national talent. Buddy Guy, Angélique Kidjo, Colin James, Broken Social Scene, Lee Harvey Osmond, The Shuffle Demons, Trombone Shorty, Neville Brothers, Mick Taylor, Great Big Sea, Hazmat Modine, and Blue Rodeo are some of the artists who have performed at The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival in the past.
In addition to world-class live music, festival attendees can enjoy all the other activities on offer like workshops, an artisan market, delicious food, beer gardens, and camping. In years past, limited childcare options have allowed parents to participate in festival activities kid-free for a short time.
You can purchase your tickets online or at the Festival Box Office. Single-day, three-day, and four-day tickets go on sale a few months before the event. They range in price from 55 USD (single-day advance pass) to over 200 USD (four-day adult pass). Ticket prices get higher closer to the festival dates.
Children under the age of 12 can enter for free as long as a ticket-holding adult accompanies them. Check out the festival website for updated information on tickets and pricing. Camping passes can also be purchased on the site.
Salmon Arm is about midway between the cities of Vancouver and Calgary. The drive may take you about five hours from Vancouver or about six hours from Calgary through Banff National Park of Canada and Glacier National Park of Canada. You can get there via the Trans Canada Highway, also seen as BC-1. The venue is right in the middle of the city, about two blocks away from the highway.
Affordable paid parking is available close to the venue. The parking area is opposite the festival grounds. ADA parking spots will be available for patrons with disabilities. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make sure you get there early to nab a good one if you need to park for the day. Festival staff will be available to guide you.
You can travel to the venue using the local bus system. There are a couple of routes that will get you close to the site, and buses are pretty frequent. Your hotel or campsite may also offer a shuttle service on the days of the event. Another option is to take a taxi or use a ride-hailing app.
There are a number of onsite camping options at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. Once you make your purchase, you’ll be assigned a site and campground number. Water, electrical, or sewage hookups are not available. Portable toilets and washstands can be found in the campground areas. All generators must be switched off after a designated time each day.
There are several other campsites and RV parks located nearby for festival attendees looking for conveniences like full-hookups, pool access, hot-water showers, cable TV, laundry services and WiFi. These are situated in the lap of nature, making them ideal for campers seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Sicamous KOA offers guest plenty of options within a 40-minute drive along BC-1.
You can ride your bike to the venue, but you’ll need to park it before heading to the staging areas. Bike lock-up facilities are available. Other personal vehicles like skates, skateboards, golf carts, and ATVs are not allowed. The venue is accessible, and patrons with disabilities can get around using wheelchairs or scooters.
The weather can be unpredictable in British Columbia, so your best bet is to dress in layers this far north. Wear clothing that is casual and comfortable. The nights can get pretty chilly, so make sure you pack a warm jacket and socks. Closed, covered shoes are a must since you’re likely to be on your feet all day long.
Be sure to take sunscreen, sunglasses, earplugs, a hat, binoculars, and a portable charger. A low-backed chair, tarp or blanket can come in handy, if you feel like sitting down to take in the sights and music. Coolers are allowed, so you can take your own water and drinks. Alcoholic beverages cannot be carried into the festival.
Stay hydrated by bringing your own refillable bottle and filling it up at one of the water stations. In an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the event, water in plastic bottles or food in single-use plastic containers will not be sold at the festival, but other options are in place. Stay close to your group and use the buddy system to stay safe.
Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival takes during the fall when outdoor fires are typically banned in the area. Campfires, tiki torches, and outdoor grills will not be allowed in the camping areas. Patrons are asked to practice caution even when putting out cigarettes. Take advantage of your RV kitchen and prepare your crew's favorites.
There is no shortage of excellent food options in the City of Salmon Arm. You’ll find everything from American classics like burgers, hot dogs, and steak to Sushi, wantons, and Tikka Masala. Be sure to check out some of the great bakeries in the area for a slice of pie or cake.
Salmon Arm will have an international food court on site where you can indulge in a wide range of foods and drinks. Beverage gardens selling craft brews, wines, cocktails, and other alcoholic beverages will be located throughout the grounds. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options will be on sale as well. An Artisan Market welcomes attendees to pick a favorite souvenir or shop for gifts for friends and family.
Security personnel will be posted at the entrances and in other designated parts of the venue. The camping areas will have around the clock security. Patrons are requested to store any valuables securely in their vehicles. Anyone not observing the festival policies and camping regulations will be escorted out of the grounds.
It’s recommended that you go prepared for all kinds of weather. Ensure that your camping gear is waterproof and carry a rain poncho. A little rain isn’t likely to affect the proceedings. However, if the weather changes suddenly or becomes severe, evacuation measures are in place, and guests will be asked to move to designated safe areas.
A first-aid center will be located on site, where trained EMTs will be on hand to provide medical assistance. Medically necessary food and items will be allowed in after they are inspected. Contact the festival organizers in advance for any queries related to the facilities available or the accessibility of the venue. Hospital and drug store options are just few miles across the community of Salmon Arm.