Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We have answers.

Except how to play a Bbdim7 chord. 

Where are you located?

The festival takes place at Laketown Ranch Music Park, 30 km west of Duncan, BC on Vancouver Island. From Duncan, take Highway 18 west to Lake Cowichan. Laketown Ranch is 5 km west of the turnoff to Lake Cowichan.

Beware of elk! There are a herd of Roosevelt Elk in the area. Be especially careful driving at night. Mature bulls can weigh from 700 to 1200 lbs.

Is there seating?

Seating is festival style. Bring your favourite portable camp chair or blanket.

What if it rains?

We have 5,800 square feet of covered performance area including our festival big top tent and a canopy area in front of the stage, allowing ample protection from rain and hot sun. There are also non-covered areas for those wanting to enjoy the sunshine.

What is your performance schedule?

A detailed performance schedule can be found here. Schedules may be subject to some minor changes

Can I reserve a campsite?

Campsites are first come, first serve.  To get your choice of spots, weekend pass holders can purchase Thursday camping which allows early access with gates opening at noon Thursday. There is also a host jam band on site that evening. 

Do you have serviced campsites?

The site is dry camping only. No hook-ups are currently available. There are no RV water refill stations on site. Fill before arrival. There are free showers and flush toilet facilities available. The site has minimal shade, except along the west side of the camping area in late afternoon.

How many people can I have at my campsite?

You are allowed one vehicle or tent per site accommodating up to 4 adults. More than 4 adults is $15 per camper. Campers 17 and under pay no extra fee if with an adult. We encourage families; a second tent for kids is fine.

We have a group who want to be together. Can we save adjacent campsites?

Yes! You can gather with your tribe. Please be reasonable when saving adjacent campsites for friends. Remember – one vehicle or tent per site for up to four adults. Extra kids tents are OK, but site sharing for more than one vehicle or more than one adult tent is not allowed.  If you have a large group, our parking volunteers will be happy to assist. 

Can I have a campfire?

No wood fire pits, charcoal cooking devices, or tiki torches are allowed. Cook stoves, propane fire pits and BBQ’s MUST be 12 inches off the ground at all times. You must have a fire extinguisher at your campsite if you are using a cook stove, propane BBQ or propane fire pit.

Are there places to stay off-site?

Local hotels and motels in Lake Cowichan fill up fast.  There are more hotel options in Duncan, which is a 25-minute drive, plus other accommodations such as AirBnB’s and more. Check the Tourism Cowichan website for more details. 

Is there food on site?

You won’t go hungry at this year’s festival. 

We have a variety of vendors  including our own festival kitchen, The Silver Dollar Cafe, with a rotating menu of options. Breakfasts include fresh fruit with granola and yogurt, French toast, tofu scramble wraps, frittatas, breakfast sandwiches, bagels and, of course, bacon! Lunches and dinners include beef or vegetarian burgers, sandwiches, salads, chili, wraps, Thai coconut curries and  burritos. And who doesn’t like nachos?

Other food vendors you will want to check out include: 
– The Yellow Sub Machine (Gourmet Subs) 
– The Dragon Bowl (Fresh Salad Bowls) 
– Trio’s Extreme Mac & Cheese (Mac & Cheese) 
– Moonchild Vegan Eatery  (Vegetarian Items)
– Cool Dudes (Pie & Ice Cream) 
– Earth Club Factory  (Coffee & Baked Goods) 

What else can I do in the area?

We are so glad you asked! The Cowichan Valley has been described as “Canada’s Provence” with wineries and farm markets tucked into its rolling countryside. Visit the Kinsol Trestle, the Malahat Skywalk,  check out food options and more.  Visit the Tourism Cowichan website for details. 

Can I bring my quad or dirt bike??

Sorry. No ATV’s are allowed on site. And absolutely No Weapons of any kind are allowed.  

How late can I jam?

Jamming is an integral part of bluegrass festivals. Be respectful of your neighbours late at night.  Jamming is not allowed on stages, but you are welcome to jam in any of our covered workshop tents that are not in use. Please no amplified instruments, drums, or music not in keeping with the festival theme of acoustic bluegrass and old-time music. Late night disturbances that result in complaints are not cool.  

Is there a beer garden?

We are an all-ages family friendly festival with those 17 and under admitted free with an adult. There is no beverage garden, and no alcohol is permitted in the performance area.

What about smoking?

The site is often dry and fire may be a risk. Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. Please dispose of cigarette butts in the containers provided. Laketown Ranch is a pristine, natural environment that is home to a herd of elk, among many other animals and plants. Do not put cigarettes on the ground. Cigarette butts can be ingested by wildlife and harm them.

How do I play guitar like Tony Rice?

Practice.

COVID policy

As of April 8th, 2022 proof of  COVID-19 vaccinations is no longer required. As a result, vaccine passports are not required.

Our policies and safety plans are informed by the latest information from health authorities. Any changes about the health and safety requirements will be provided and communicated to you via the email address you used to purchase or receive your event tickets.

Because we often gather in small groups to sing, and have a square dance, we encourage everyone to be respectful of decisions made by those who choose to protect themselves.

Please stay home if you are not feeling well.

Leave no trace

Laketown Ranch is a pristine, natural environment that is home to herds of elk and other wildlife. Please use the proper waste and recycling bins throughout the festival site. Help us reduce plastics and avoid single-use plastic containers. Keep a clean campsite and leave no trace when you leave. For safety reasons, no glass containers, please. Enjoy your beverages in hard, re-usable plastic or travel containers. 

Vendors

There are a variety of food and merchandise vendors on site, including our own festival kitchen, The Silver Dollar Cafe, with a rotating menu of regular and healthy options. 

Off site accommodation

There is a nearby campsite  operated by the Town of Lake Cowichan with a beach and some hookups. If camping isn’t for you, there are several hotels and numerous BnB options in Lake Cowichan, which is only 4 km from the festival site. Hotels are also available 25 minutes away in Duncan. See Tourism Cowichan for more info.

Day parking

Day parking is free. Gate staff will direct you.

Hard times come again no more!