The hits just keep coming.
After last year’s jam-packed lineup, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has announced the acts set to take the Olympic Plaza stage for the popular 2023 Whistler Summer Concert Series.
Prior to the concert series officially getting underway on Canada Day will be Whistler regulars, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), on June 29.
Then, kicking off the free music series on July 1 will be Canadian icons Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, who will be joined by Daniel Lanois and Terra Lightfoot “to meld roots and rock in what is sure to be an unforgettable collaboration between some of this country’s most celebrated musical artists,” the RMOW said in a release.
“We are so excited to welcome the VSO back to Whistler Olympic Plaza to launch another summer of music in our community. The power of a full orchestra playing iconic musical scores in this majestic outdoor setting will be an unforgettable experience,” said Mayor Jack Crompton in the release. “On top of that, Whistler’s Summer Concerts Series features an outstanding line-up of musical performances through July and August with even more concerts than last year.”
There are now 14 nights of free music planned for the concert series, compared to a dozen last summer, thanks to the addition of Thursday and Friday nights for most of July and the entire month of August.
Each evening’s festivities will start at 6:30 p.m. with an opening DJ set, before the headliner takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.
Slated for Thursday, July 6 is Lazy Syrup Orchestra with Ashleigh Ball, the magnetic frontwoman for Canadian Juno-nominated indie pop band (and another Whistler favourite) Hey Ocean!.
The following night, July 7, will see Dear Rouge hit the Olympic Plaza stage with their “finely crafted alternative tunes that will inspire listeners to be bold and brave; to foster, to create, to encourage, and to celebrate themselves and others,” the RMOW said.
Electric-folk duo Moontricks are the headliner on Thursday, July 13, when they will play their distinct blend of organic folk, roots, rock, and blues with electronic production.
On Friday, July 14, Canadian reggae and world beat mainstays Bedouin Soundclash will play the hits after coming back from a nine-year hiatus.
Then, on Thursday, Aug. 3, Juno-winning contemporary roots artist William Prince will showcase his “exceptional body of work that has graced some of the most iconic stages in the world, including the Grand Ole Opry” earlier this year.
The following night, Aug. 4., NOLA jam band Dumpstaphunk brings their funky stylings to Whistler, proving their reputation as “the most well-regarded, next-generation New Orleans live powerhouses,” the release went on.
On Thursday, Aug. 10, Whistler will welcome Canadian jazz and folk-rock royalty, singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn, 13-time Juno winner, Canadian Music Hall of Famer and undeniable guitar legend.
On Friday, Aug. 11, it’s the enigmatic Montreal indie rockers, Half Moon Run, known for their cerebral arrangements and multi-part harmonies.
Grammy-nominated musician, poet, singer-songwriter and activist Allison Russell is slated for the Thursday, Aug. 17. “She is a pivotal voice in two hands: Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters and will take the stage in Whistler to tell her own story,” the RMOW said.
Friday, Aug. 18 brings Steph Strings, Australian guitarist, singer-songwriter and storyteller to Whistler, whose style “entails bursts of percussion, alongside Celtic, blues, coastal folk and indie rock,” the release said.
Whistler’s own party rockers, SkiiTour, grace the stage on Thursday, Aug. 24. This beloved DJ-production duo are known for their upbeat house music that has made innumerable local après sessions all the more groovy over the years.
On Friday, Aug. 25, it’s time for Drag in the Mountains with The Bratpack, Canada’s Drag Race babes Kendall Gender, Gia Metric and Synthia Kiss. The opening show will be hosted by Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar winner Genesis, and will feature performances by Batty B Banks, Bibi Souphresh, Continental Breakfast, King Fisher, and more.
The Whistler Summer Concert Series goes out in a blaze on Thursday, Aug. 31 with The Original Wailers, featuring famed guitarist and original member Al Anderson. Known primarily as Bob Marley’s backing band, The Wailers will be playing a selection of the reggae icon’s best-known songs.
There will be complimentary secure bike parking for those who choose to pedal along the Valley Trail to the events.
Learn more at whistler.ca/events.