Psssst… there’s a secret giveaway to my readers who make it all the way to the end! …or you can just scroll down. Whatever. Also, this is a sponsored post which means I’m being paid to write about my experience. All opinions are mine (obviously) and I couldn’t have asked for a better and more genuine collaboration as this one 🙂 Read on, my loves!
Ah, blast – the cold winter is here to stay, you guys! No time like the present to reminisce on those hot, summer days in August, amiright? Remember when I went to BC 5 million times this past summer? Well, one of those trips was to Salmon Arm for the Roots and Blues Festival.
It was our last vacation of the summer and we honestly couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the season. Right in the heart of the Shuswap in British Columbia, and a beautiful 5-ish hour drive west from Calgary through the Rocky Mountains, this three-day event was the perfect little getaway for our family.
For 27 years and counting, Salmon Arm has been home to this growing music festival which began as standalone folk shows in community halls and has since flourished into a major western Canadian outdoor event. Friggen love stories like this! The Roots and Blues Festival is a popular summer destination spot for lovers of Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cuban, Americana, Afro-beat, and more.
This last festival featured six performances each day (four during the day, including shows for the kids, and two in the evening), a global food village with so many amazing food trucks and cuisines to choose from, an artisan market with handcrafted Canadian creations, bevvy gardens, and a Family Fun Zone.
This kinda goes without saying, but there’s no way I would attend a music festival if it weren’t a family-friendly event. Roots and Blues is welcoming for all ages, and kids under 12 get in free! This really was such a fun experience for the entire family, but I was especially excited to see how much the kids enjoyed it. Their love of music was evident in Henry’s hippy-dippy dance moves and Posie’s head boppin’. There were loads of things for kids to do too, including daily daytime performances from a circus troop and a kid’s entertainer.
Then there was the Family Fun Zone, and once the kiddos found it, they were in THA ZONE. It was hard to leave it was SO awesome. There were bouncy castles, a climbing wall, face painting, crafts, and sand pits (aka massive sandboxes). Henry and Posie loved playing in the sand so much that the day after we got back home from Salmon Arm, my husband built them a sandbox of their very own in our backyard. The Family Fun Zone was located right near the main stages, so we didn’t have to choose between building sandcastles or catching a performance. #winning
Everything was so thoughtfully planned out with fun for the whole family in mind. They offered on-site daycare if you wanted to catch a break (2 hours per child over the age of 3 per day), but there was also a Canada Dry Barn Beverage Garden that us parents could just bring our kids along to. Your kids too, may refer to it as “Mommy’s Juice Tent”.
My favourite thing to do, no matter where I’m traveling, is to shop little local markets. They’re my jam – I know I’m supporting the artist directly and I always find the coolest things. Here’s a wee glimpse into some of the vendors at the Roots and Blues festival this past summer. Hopefully, there will be some repeat vendors… esp the hat lady.
The artist lineup was super impressive. There were more than 40 artists to tune into throughout the festival – that’s a whole lotta music! There’s really no way to listen to all of the performers because a lot play at the same time. So we had to research and pick and choose who we wanted to see first, second, etc. which was a fun little discovery process for us. There were also some great artists that were scheduled to perform after the kiddos went to bed or during their nap time. Oftentimes though, these artists would be performing around town in the days leading up to and during the festival at places like Shuswap Pie Company and some other cafes so we were actually able to see more than we had expected.
What I love most about music festivals is getting the first glimpse into up and coming artists before you start hearing them all over the radio. I loved being able to check out so many in just a few days. You can find the full lineup from 2019 here and a sneak-peek into the 2020 lineup here!
Some more highlights of this festival:
The focus the non-profit organization who produces this event has on sustainability and lowering Salmon Arm’s environmental footprint
The performances by The Unfaithful Servants + Early Spirit
The amazingly delicious plant-based + gluten-free food from a Thai food truck and a Taco stand
Breathtaking views of the mountains and Shuswap Lake
The recharging lounge that had device charging stations, a WiFi hotspot, and comfy sofas in the shade
I’m so looking forward to next year’s event. Here’s another sneak peek into the 2020 performers! Organizers are currently securing some more incredible talent, planning even more family-focused activities, and collaborating with the region to ensure visitors experience the Shuswap as a whole. If you’ve never been, Salmon Arm is home to some of the cutest cafes, so many unique restaurants (highly recommend the quinoa bowls at Shuswap Pie Company) a ton of activities for young families, and lakes galore for a ton of fun in the sun.
There we go, that’s what you’ve been scrolling for 😉 I’m giving away a family pack of tickets for the 2020 Roots and Blues Festival! Here’s how you can enter to win:
Step 1: head to my post here to drop a comment. There you go – that’s your ballot.
Step 2: follow @rootsandbluesfetival on Instagram
Step 3: for an EXTRA entry, sign up to receive their e-newsletter (you can find this at the bottom of their website). You can stay up to date on performers, activities, places to stay, etc. And you’ll probably win.
I seriously can’t recommend this festival enough. Tickets for the 28th annual festival next August are now available right here on the ROOTSandBLUES website. From now until January 31st, holiday pricing will be in full effect, giving you the CHEAPEST pricing you will find anywhere.
Love, peace & a family jam