At most times of the year, Laketown Ranch in Lake Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada, is a pristine, natural environment and home to elk and other beautiful flora and fauna. Once July rolls around, country music fans from across Canada and the United States arrive and turn it into one giant festival with fun, music, and entertainment over four days in the heart of summer.
The Sunfest Country Music Festival has been a highly anticipated event on country music lovers’ calendars since 2010, and there are no surprises why. It has played host to Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Keith Urban, and Chase Bryant, to name a few.
Music fans crowd around the main stage in the festival bowl with no shortage of VIP areas, reserved seating areas, quiet areas for families, and places where you can place your own seat. There are also activities when music fans need a break from the music and plenty of vendors offering merchandise and delicious food.
The beauty of such a festival, too, is that it’s RV-friendly. Stay for the duration of the event in one of the many onsite camping areas, and enjoy an authentic primitive camping experience like no other.
If you’ve already seen all the United States has to offer, then why not check out Canada? The beautiful British Columbia province of Canada, with hiking and biking trails and dramatic mountain ranges, is ready and waiting to welcome you.
While you’re in organization mode, preparing for an RV road trip to Canada, it’s worth buying Sunfest Country Music Festival tickets well in advance. The earlier you purchase them, the more likely you are to get your preferred choice. There are dozens of ticketing options to suit all manner of travelers and country music fans.
Full event passes, VIP tickets, general admission, and reserved access are all likely to appeal. Pricing ranges from free for children under 12, to 600 USD for a VIP weekend pass. For RV-goers who plan to camp overnight, there is an option to add a camping pass to the festival ticket, with sizing limitations for each area.
Alongside organizing a list of fun things to do in Canada, then purchasing Sunfest Country Music Festival tickets, RV-goers should start thinking about the border crossing to get from the United States to Canada and the subsequent ferry crossings.
The first ferry trip will take less than two hours, and arrives at the Salt Spring Island Ferry Terminal. There is also another ferry crossing from Vesuvius, which takes visitors on the final leg of their journey to Lake Cowichan, and on to the Laketown Ranch at 8811 Youbou Road.
Alongside booking ferry crossings, Sunfest Country Music Festival attendees should also ensure they have all their ducks in a row for crossing the Canadian border, including being aware of food and beverages they can carry, the correct type of ID, and having proper vehicle documentation.
The day rate for parking at the Sunfest Country Music Festival has often been around 15 USD for tow vehicles but has also been free for anyone arriving with five or more festival attendees. Passenger vans and busses have usually been free. RV-goers who have purchased camping passes may make their way to the campsite as outlined on their ticketing information.
Even though the Sunfest Country Music Festival location is a little off the beaten track, that doesn’t mean that officials haven’t thought of everything. They offer regular shuttle services from Thursday to Sunday of the event, with departure times varying for each day. Accommodation providers in the area also provide private shuttles, and taxi services are in operation, too.
Camping is a significant part of the Sunfest Country Music Festival, so don’t delay in booking a camping pass at the same time as general admission or VIP passes. Camping rules and motorhome size restrictions depend on the area reserved, and there are a handful of different options to suit all.
Campers can enjoy a primitive RV camping experience, with showers available for a fee, but no service connections. Generators are allowed, but no wood fire pits or charcoal cooking devices, and no pets.
RV-goers who are starting to feel slightly peckish can use cookstoves, propane fire pits, and barbeques, as long as they are under 12 inches and off the ground.
While shops and townships may be few and far between around Lake Cowichan, there is no shortage of RV camping options like Lakeview Park Campsite. From primitive RV camping at Cowichan River Provincial Park to luxury and service hookups at sites within a 20-mile drive of Lake Cowichan, visitors are spoiled for choice. Therefore, even if United States visitors are unable to secure onsite camping spaces, they can surely expand their reach to ensure they can camp nearby.
Sunfest Country Music Festival officials are hard at work in the lead-up to the event, making sure that everything is easily accessible for guests. Part of this involves creating pathways that lead guests from the concert area to the camping spaces, vendors, and facilities. Everything at the festival is within walking distance, so there will be no need for dirt bikes, golf carts, ATVs, or even scooters.
The Sunfest Country Music Festival is a summertime event, which means that t-shirts, shorts, and other light, breathable layers will be must-haves in a traveler’s suitcase. Don’t forget to pack a few warmer layers for lower nighttime temperatures.
Anyone who plans to go exploring in neighboring Duncan or the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve may like to pack a few outdoors-appropriate layers for comfort and safety.
Taking an RV road trip to Canada is going to see your motorhome filled to the brim! From camping and cooking equipment necessary for primitive RV camping to festival gear like chairs and a personal-sized cooler, there’s a lot to think about when planning your trip.
While no outside liquids are allowed in the concert area, campers can bring in beverages to their campsite. Empty bottles are also permitted for refilling at the onsite water filling station.
There are ATMs located throughout the festival grounds, too, but vendors only accept cash. Consider withdrawing enough money for the event before arriving to make your visit a bit more convenient.
Being outside for a country music festival can take its toll, particularly during summer. Don’t forget to wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and comfortable footwear. Remaining hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also of the utmost importance. A refilling station from the natural aquifer under Laketown Ranch is available.
Any avid explorers who plan to go hiking at Cowichan River Provincial Park, or swimming at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park, may also see the value in packing bug spray and a first-aid kit.
If four days of country music performers aren’t enough to get you excited, then being able to flex your culinary muscles with camp-style cooking surely will. Pick up a few supplies from the grocery store in Duncan within a half an hour drive from Laketown Ranch, and use your RV kitchen or an above-ground grill or barbeque to treat everyone in your traveling party. While wood and charcoal cooking is not allowed, the use of propane is permitted.
Take a break from the festival atmosphere and drive into Duncan for a bite to eat with your loved ones. Travelers will love the opportunity to try some traditional Canadian fare, and Duncan delivers. Alongside Canadian cuisine, visitors can also enjoy café treats, takeout, and bar food that will hit the spot. There are also plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic, such as Art Mann Park and Keating Park.
Food vendors and bar areas are dotted around the entire Laketown Ranch venue, with something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can bring credit and debit cards to withdraw cash onsite, but vendors may only accept cash.
Anyone planning on quenching their thirst with an alcoholic beverage will need to produce two forms of ID. Look under 30? You’ll also need to wear a 19+ wristband to consume alcohol.
Any festival-goer will be pleased to know that security officials are onsite to lend a helping hand day and night during the festival. Allow extra time to enter the concert bowl from other parts of the venue, for bag, purse, and cooler checks will take place.
If you’re leaving your motorhome or campsite unattended, remember to lock it and store valuables out of sight. Anyone that requires assistance outside of the festival can find the Royal Canadian Mounted Police within a half-hour drive of Laketown Ranch.
During July and August, temperatures in Lake Cowichan can fluctuate between 52 degrees-Fahrenheit to 80 degrees. As the Sunfest Country Music Festival is an outside event, visitors may like to pay attention to a weather app before they attend. Being prepared for all eventualities is crucial, particularly for any explorers who want to check out neighboring towns and cities like Victoria and Mount Arrowsmith Massif Regional Park.
While first-aid tents are standard at most music festivals, the Sunfest Country Music Festival takes it one step further. This event has a 24-hour field hospital, with both medical facilities and harm reduction services available for all visitors.
Trained staff can assess and manage soft tissue damage and fractures, administer medication and refill some prescriptions, and provide cardiac and glucose monitoring. Allergy and asthma medication is also available. In the event of an emergency, the medical team can arrange ambulance calls on a visitor’s behalf.