After years of anticipation and planning, the Squamish Constellation Festival is just days away.
The festival, held at Hendrickson Field, runs from Friday, Jul. 22, to Sunday, Jul. 24.
Behind the scenes, organizers are putting the finishing touches to plans and pinching themselves that the event is finally almost here and going ahead. After a successful inaugural festival in 2019, the event had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
But this year, it is full steam ahead, with a few tweaks.
“Due to circumstances out of our control, we regretfully announce that Black Pumas will no longer be performing at Constellation Fest on Saturday, July 23," event organizers said in a news release on July 19.
“We understand that a lot of fans will be incredibly disappointed by this news, as are we. However, we know that the weekend lineup is incredibly diverse and exciting and we’re pleased to announce that brilliant musical collective, The New Pornographers, have stepped up to fill in Saturday’s headline spot,” the release stated.
Black Pumas management shared this statement: “We are devastated to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances, we are no longer able to perform at Squamish Constellation Festival. We hope to be able to return to B.C. soon and we apologize to all our fans for the inconvenience.”
Festival co-founder Kirsten Andrews told The Squamish Chief that The New Pornographers are a band organizers had always hoped would be part of the festival. When it fell into place that they could replace the Black Pumas, it was a happy bit of synchronicity.
"They're a Vancouver supergroup, really," Andrews said. "We're really happy."
Vancouver musician Dan Bejar, the frontman of Destroyer, is also going to join the band as well, Andrews said.
Camping was originally offered, removed from the festival options, and brought back.
Andrews said that for a time, there weren't enough folks booking the camping option to make it financially viable, but once it was removed, folks came out of the woodwork to say they wanted to camp, but just hadn't got around to booking yet.
Thus the camping option was permanently brought back as part of the festival. Onsite camping is at the municipal grounds, a short walk from the festival stages.
Onsite camping for the length of the festival is available for $400 (not including festival ticket) in the District of Squamish campground.
The price includes parking for one vehicle and up to four people per site. Multiple tents are permitted.
Showers are available for campers at Brennan Park Recreation Centre next door.
Andrews said the camping fee is the same as what is charged for other groups that use the municipal site.
Sea to Sky shuttle company, the Squamish Connector, has trips available from Vancouver to the festival.
Tickets are still available for the two-stage music festival, which features, in addition to musical acts, an artisan marketplace, craft beverages, local eateries and a 'weed garden.'
Asked what she is most looking forward to, Andrews said it is the magic moments that can't be planned for.
"[There are] so many amazing costumes that people come up with and create — we had astronauts in 2019," she said. "There are just so many unexpected, joyful elements that people bring to the festival that are like Christmas for us. Surprises that we haven't had any part in planning or making happen," she said.
"And also just seeing the community come together again, after so long. We've been through so much. And the whole concept behind Constellation is the community of stars that make a constellation.... Each person is a star on their own. And together, we come to make a constellation."
Of course, she is also looking forward to seeing all the musical acts.
Friday: July Talk, Dear Rouge, Lights, Yukon Blonde, Moontricks, PiqSiq, Jessia, Blonde Diamond, Mauvey, and Fake Shark
Saturday: The New Pornographers, Andy Shauf, Black Pistol Fire, Whitehorse, William Prince, Haley Blais, Hotel Mira, Ashleigh Ball, Lowdown Brass Band, Hyaenas, and Coastal Wolf Pack
Sunday: Sarah McLachlan, Jarvis Church, Ocie Elliott, Terra Lightfoot, Teddy Thompson, iskwē, Old Soul Rebel, Pharis & Jason Romero, Miesha and The Spanks, Skye Wallace, and Out East
When: Friday, Jul. 22, to Sunday, Jul. 24.
Where: Hendrickson Field at 39025 Loggers Lane, Squamish.
Tickets: Prices vary. Check constellation.frontgatetickets.com for all the details.
(Prices below include taxes and fees.)
General Admission Weekend Pass — $315
GA Weekend Pass Kids 6 to 12— $85
Day of Show: GA Weekend Pass — $355
General Admission Single Day Pass — $160