Audience Information

VI MusicFest has been bringing great music to the Island since 1995. Produced by the Comox Valley Folk Society, we are a not-for-profit, largely volunteer driven event.

Here’s a reminder about MusicFest policies that were stated on the registration forms you completed and a few new ones to help ensure we all have a great time with minimum risk.

If you cook with propane stoves you are required to have a suitable fire extinguisher. Please bring a bucket that you can fill with water to keep beside your stove as well.

Do not place your stove on the ground. We require that it is up on a table in case the wind blows the flame sideways.

Do not put propane lanterns on the ground, better yet use battery powered flashlights and lanterns.

If you smoke in your campsite please bring a sand filled container for your butts. If you forget we will have containers with the camping hosts in both the public campground and the volunteer campground.


MusicFest will have on hand a supply of hose in a central location that we can get to in a hurry if need be.

MusicFest will be providing fire buckets at the 3 water stations in public camping and as well as buckets at the 2 water stations in the volunteer campground. These are clearly marked and will be full. DO NOT REMOVE THESE BUCKETS unless there is a fire.

In case of an emergency evacuation from the MusicFest site please remain calm and make your way to the track below the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Vanier Drive.

We will set up a check in using our registration systems and ask that you check in so we can ensure you are accounted for and safe and that all members of your family are with you.

Now let’s all get ready to have great weekend. Please bring your water bottles, sunscreen, hats and dancing shoes.

Over the years, we have grown in attendance but remain true to our original vision; a rural, family friendly, sustainable and successful music event that puts the Comox Valley on the cultural map and involves thousands in a rich celebration of music and community.

We offer over 200 musical performers on 6 fully programmed stages as well as instructional workshops, yoga sessions, an interactive kidzzone, art displays, a beer and cider tent, top-notch food and craft vendors, on-site camping and a magical riverside venue at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

2015 Festival Site Map

Your “Festival Hosts”

Our friendly festival host volunteers rove the audience areas and they have the full scoop on audience etiquette, festival seating policies & how to get where. These folks work with you, the audience to ensure everyone has a good time this weekend. Please respect them as they work hard as our front line volunteers! It goes without saying (but we are going to say it anyway,) any abusive treatment of our volunteers will not be tolerated at MusicFest!

Gate Times

Gates open

Fri. – July 8th 2016 3:00 pm
Sat. – July 9th, 2016 9:00 am
Sun. – July 10th, 2016 9:00 am

Smoking Rules

Smoking (anything, even Salmon!) is not permitted in any audience seating area. If you need to smoke, please go to the sand buckets located at the perimeters of our seating areas. Remember, when in doubt, put it out.
If you are sitting within ANY of our audience areas you are in a no-smoking section. Please move away from the crowds and to areas where you find these receptacles.
Please remember we are a family event and help us make our audience seating areas comfortable for everyone. To quote Aretha Franklin, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T!”

Daytime Seating in Front of the Concert Bowl Stage

Transitional Seating Zone
Traditionally at Canadian Folk Festivals, the gates open and people rush in and ‘claim their turf’ for the evening mainstage performances. This doesn’t work at our Festival because we have daytime programming on our main (Concert Bowl) stage. Years ago, we allowed this but our daytime performers found themselves playing to a sea of empty tarps and audience who wanted to enjoy these shows were forced to sit way back, almost in Comox!
This was a bummer for everyone, performers and audience members.
To improve this situation, we have created an area in front of the Concert Bowl Stage where you are not allowed to leave anything, unless you are with it. This area will be available for the current audience to sit and enjoy the show.

2015 Seating Map

Please be advised, if you leave blankets/tarps or chairs unattended in this transitional zone, they will be folded up and set aside in order to fairly make room for the current audience members who want to watch the show.
Please see our Concert Bowl map for the location of this area and look for markers on the field.

Boogie Zone and Evening Concert Bowl Dance Times

Dancing is encouraged at our Festival but we also want to keep a clear view for our seated audience members. We want to make sure our tribes of seated people are kept happy along with the dancers. With this in mind, a larger “Boogie Zone” has been created on either side of the Concert Bowl Stage. Markers have been installed on both sides to assist in defining this area.
Dancing directly in front of the stage is not permitted for most of the show until we hit the late part of the evening when we clearly have dance-oriented bands on stage. This comes at the request of both audience and bands, we have even had performers in the past refuse to perform if their audience isn’t allowed to get up and boogie!
Each night, the markers will come down and the front of our concert bowl stage area will become a dance floor at specific times which will be listed once our lineup is complete.

Dancers and sitters, please respect each other and these guidelines as we try to make our Festival work for everyone. If you have saved yourself a seat in front of the stage at these times and you don’t want to dance, then please simply move back into the areas where people are still sitting. The kids have got to dance!

Lawn chairs, umbrellas and other structures

There is a pathway behind the sound booth at the Concert Bowl Stage ; this is the boundary between low chairs and high chairs. All umbrellas and high chairs should stay behind this path and not impede the view of other festival goers.
Please see our concert bowl map for clarification on seating areas.

Low Riders, Blankets and Tarps

Low rider lawn chairs are allowed in the main audience area. Low rider chairs are typically within 6” to 8” off the ground, not your regular lawn chair.
Many of you like to reserve space in front of the Concert Bowl Stage for the evening performances. However, many of our daytime performers find themselves playing to a sea of empty blankets and those who want to enjoy the show cannot get close to the stage. To improve this situation, we have established our Transitional Seating Area where we respectfully request no blankets or tarps be left unattended at all.
In the one hour low riders, blankets and tarps only area (see the enclosed concert bowl map or talk to a Festival Host if you are confused) you are allowed to leave things for one hour. If left longer, your tarps and blankets will be folded up in order to make room for other audience members.
Also, please be thoughtful in regards to how much space you are taking up in the Concert Bowl field. We don’t want to have to create rules on how many square feet is allowed per audience member based upon their size and needs – that would be nuts! That being said, if you are taking up an unreasonable amount of space you may be asked to reduce your space. Tarps and blankets should only be as large as needed for you to sit comfortably. Please put away your buffets and leave your home furniture where it belongs so we have room for everyone who wants to enjoy our Festival!

Ear Protection

Remember while seated at the Concert Bowl, you may be sitting in the direct path of one of our Sub-Speakers. Although we attempt to make our volume levels effective for everyone, folks with sensitive hearing may not be comfortable. We have ear protection available at the HUB if you need it. Also, parents, please try to keep your babies out of the direct range of our sound systems at all our stages. We highly recommend babies wear hearing protection at MusicFest or any other Festivals.

Dogs, Cats, Parrots, Alligators (Pets)

We love Pets but we cannot have them on site at MusicFest. Our own pets are on a holiday being well taken care of by friends and we miss them dearly, but they are safe. Please leave your pets at home or make arrangements for them. Any pets left in vehicles around the Festival may be rescued and taken to the S.P.C.A. It gets unbearably hot in our parking lots, folks.

Disabled access stage viewing areas

This year we are delighted to announce improved access & space for our guests with diverse abilities. There are clearly marked, designated areas at ALL stages, plus, we are extending the current accessible platform to allow for more seating .Additionally, we have improved the traffic flow and patterns, as well as the quality of the trails, to better accommodate chairs, walkers, strollers, etc.
Disabled folks care attendants or family may sit in these designated areas if space allows. Please be respectful however and move aside if someone else with a disability arrives and the space is full.

Please see our Festival Access Project for details, and at any time while on-site, if you need help seek a Festival Host.