The 4/20 protest and farmers market in Vancouver is legendary. The event started in 1995 with around 200 attendees, but with international recognition crowds have swelled in recent years to over 10,000 people.
What started as a local community celebration set the blueprint for the global appreciation of cannabis, and now cities all over the world host their own version of the event.
This year, with legalization nimbly crawling over every hurdle naysayers seem to lay down, the festivities will be busting at the seams with advocacy, excitement, and, of course, lots and lots of weed.
Despite the event’s fundamentally inclusive nature, sometimes being consumed in swaths of peace-loving potheads (myself included) can be overwhelming. Whether you’re with a friend who doesn’t partake, or you’d just like to avoid the cumulous clouds overtaking the downtown core, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking for an alternative way to celebrate cannabis, there are plenty of events taking place on this historic day that could be complimented by a little consumption.
The best part? Most of these shows take place in the evening, so if you’re inclined to brave the crowds, you won’t miss the communal toke at Sunset Beach Park at 4:20 p.m. (Note that none of these events are listed as cannabis-friendly, so thoroughly enjoy at your own risk!)
LSD. Need I say more? A lineup comprised of new wave electronic, synth-pop, and techno promises to deliver an audiovisual trip, with or without the aid of psychedelics.
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Rickshaw Theatre, 254 E. Hastings, Vancouver
This Vancouver-based, eight-man band dubs their music a mix of gypsy-rock, afro-funk, latin, ska, and punk. Get ready to move.
When: Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and show starts at 9:00 p.m.
Where: Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville, Vancouver
Price: $25 (plus service charges and fees)
In just a few short years, this married couple and their ‘gaggle of quirky misfits’ developed a strong west coast following. You’re in for an uplifting dance-fest and the sounds of snappy folk-pop with hints of bluegrass.
When: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Bez Arts Hub, #102 20230 64th Ave, Langley
Price: $18.50 in advance, or $22 at the door
If blues is your thing, this concert is where you need to be. A three-time Juno Award winner and nominee and Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Famer, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne, is internationally recognized as an icon and known for his energetic live performances.
When: Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Blue Frog Studios, 1328 Johnston Rd., White Rock
Shot in East Vancouver and comprised of a young local cast, this film highlights the struggles of life as a disillusioned twenty-something while calling out for the love of Canadian cinema.
Where: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour, Vancouver
The Dirty Betty Show!
If you’re in need of a good side-splitter, look no further. The Dirty Betties and their guests will have you giggling with a ‘silly, sassy, sexy’ combination of improv, sketch comedy, and drag.
When: 8:30 p.m.
Where: Café Deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial, Vancouver
Once the kiddos have cleared the building, marine-biology-curious adults can grab a glass of wine and gather near the visually stimulating aquariums to play ‘Fish or False’.
When: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Price: $27 to $35
The James Black Gallery presents an innovative art show illuminating the abnormal location of an atom in a crystal structure through pottery and new media installation.
When: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: The James Black Gallery, 144 E 6th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Mount Pleasant
Price: Not listed
Vancouver is currently host to an influx of immensely talented local and international photographers. Either hit up one of the many receptions or artist talks, or exhibit-hop your way through them all.
When: Festival runs April 3-30
Where: Multiple locations
Price: Depends on location