A new festival is aiming to fill the void left by the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
The three-day Constellation Festival is set to take place at the Hendrickson Field in Squamish from July 26 to 28.
According to Kirsten Andrews, artistic director of the fledgling Aquila Constellation Festival Productions company, tickets will go on sale March 5 when the lineup is announced. For those interested in volunteering and pre-sale opportunities, the website will go live with a splash page “any day now.”
“I can tell you there will be a $99 pre-sale for locals in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor that they will be able to access the first day,” Andrews said.
Andrews wasn’t able to hint at any of the bands, but she did say their talent budget is between $400,000 and $500,000 and is being adjusted as needed.
Generally, she said, featured genres at the two-stage event will range from alt-pop and folk to indie and alt-rock, to funk, soul, big brass bands and family acts.
The current website further promises strong representation of female, indigenous and LGBTQ+ artists.
With sustainability in mind, the event will run during the day only. It will not include camping, but those wanting to sleep under the stars will be directed to festival partners providing opportunities to do so.
“We’re looking at 7,500 people a day this year, and over four years we will be growing it to 15,000 to 17,000,” said Andrews, adding they’ll cap it at that.
This is in an effort to ensure the festival runs “for many, many, many years.”
“The previous festival was an amazing contribution and did a lot for the community,” Andrews said. “It brought a lot of amazing experiences and talent to the corridor. However, the town was growing and they needed to have security and parking and all of those things, and that wasn’t attainable in the long run.”
Attendance at the last Squamish Valley Music Festival was much higher, she added, at around 45,000 people.
In 2016, organizers announced they were cancelling the Squamish Valley festival that year, without providing a reason, much to the disappointment of music fans and local residents. In past years, it had hosted headliners such as Drake, Eminem, Sam Smith and Queens of the Stone Age.
Other highlights at the Constellation event will include free entry to children ages 12 and under, local craft beverages, a marketplace, and “exquisite culinary delights,” to put the minds of those haunted by the infamous Fyre Festival cheese sandwich at ease.