Some think of the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival as the annual launch of summer in Vancouver. This weekend (June 24 and 25), it kicks into high gear with championship races on False Creek and plenty of free live entertainment.
One of the biggest draws are the free concerts on the main stage. The festival prioritizes people of colour, LGBTQ+ , and female voices. Today’s performances begin with Eagle Song Dancers at 11:30 a.m., followed by Hayley Wallis and the Bright Futures (1 p.m.), Ludic (2 p.m.), Mikey Jose (3 p.m.), Coastal Wolf Pack (4 p.m.), Kimmortal (5 p.m.), Dear Rouge (6 p.m.), and Sabai (7:30 p.m.).
Sabai, a Thailand-born and Vancouver-based producer and DJ, has reached many millions of listeners through YouTube and Spotify.
Watch the music video for “Landslide” by Sabai and Runn.
On Sunday, the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble will be first on the main stage at noon. They’ll be followed by Van Lefan (1 p.m.), Sarah McLachlan School of Music presenting Muévete (2 p.m.), DJ Paisley Eva (3 p.m.), Fionn (4 p.m.), and Missy D (5 p.m.).
Ricecake will put on the free all-ages outdoor dance party to close the festival. It starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday in Concord Pacific Park.
In addition, the public art program features nine artists. Their designs appear on different dragon boats and will also be available on land. The Bagua Artist Association, Carmen Chan, Chairman Ting, Chepximiya Siyam/Chief Janice George and Skwetsimeltxw Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph, Debra Sparrow, Derek Tam, Joslynn Reid, Kari Kristensen, and Ocean Hyland created these works.
From 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Concord Pacific is offering a free slice of cake at the Medal Podium. In fact, everything at the dragon boat festival is free, including the Chinatown and Indigenous cultural pavilions.