Lineup announced for Vancouver Arts & Music Festival

May 21, 2024

The Vancouver Arts & Music Festival returns to Esther Short Park (W. 8th and Columbia streets) and downtown Vancouver August 2-4. Free and open to all ages, Vancouver Arts & Music Festival features award-winning musicians, visual artists and performers from Vancouver, the region and around the world.

The three-day event hosts three stages, juried art shows, pop-up galleries, dance performances, family activities, food vendors and three concerts by our own Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA (VSO). Hands-on educational activities invite all ages and abilities to learn, explore and experience the joy of connecting with the arts.

There are daily activities for festivalgoers of all ages including vendor booths, art demonstrations and an interactive art piece from muralist Sarah Hunter that will be painted live by the community during the festival. Children will love the caricature artists, doodle walls, roaming entertainers, face painting, balloon art and lawn games set up throughout the festival grounds. Find a masterpiece to take home at the juried art shows on display in the Artists Alley next to City Hall and at the Vancouver Hilton.

Learn more and view the full lineup at or follow the festival on Instagram at @vancouverartsmusicfest.

Friday, Aug. 2

Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle opens the festival at noon on the Esther Short Park Community Stage, followed by an exciting Lion Dance performance from the Vietnamese Community of Clark County. Fort Vancouver Pipe Band, Cottage Dance Company, Columbia Dance and Yeates Academy of Irish Dance will highlight diverse dance traditions in Esther Short Park from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Phil Arnold Way Community Stage features an eclectic lineup of local musicians playing music from around the world from noon to 7 p.m. Scheduled performers include Carpathian-Pacific Express, fiddle looper Seth Moran, the Bylines, Bossa PDX and Darling Radio. Local favorites The Juleps will take the stage from 6 to 7 p.m.

Explore local galleries and businesses with Vancouver’s Downtown Association First Friday Art Walk starting at 4 p.m.

At 7 p.m. GRAMMY® Award-winning cello virtuoso Zuill Bailey will perform one of the world’s greatest cello compositions, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33, under the baton of VSO Music Director and Conductor Maestro Salvador Brotons. The performance ends with a bang as the VSO presents Tchaikovsky’s iconic 1812 Overture.

Immediately following the concert, Esther Short Park will be transformed into a theater under the stars for a special screening of the 1961 classic, “West Side Story.”

Saturday, Aug. 3 

The excitement starts at 10 a.m. in Esther Short Park with dance performances from Tahiti, India, Mexico and beyond until 5 p.m. Stop by the Vancouver Farmers Market just outside the park and explore over 250 local art and food vendors.

The fun continues on the Phil Arnold Way Community Stage (Esther Street and Phil Arnold Way)from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with performances from lively folk band Skamokawa Swamp Opera, family favorite AntsAntsAnts, Bon Bon Vivant, Festival Brass, Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra and the Departures.

Skyview High School alumnus Michael Siess comes home to Vancouver with multimedia musical group Astral Mixtape at 6 p.m. in Esther Short Park, fusing classical, pop, jazz and immersive staging for a unique concert experience.

The day ends at 7 p.m. as GRAMMY® and Emmy Award-winning Maestro Gerard Schwarz and the VSO partner with one of the greatest artists of our time, pianist Olga Kern, winner of the historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the only woman in the last 50 years to do so. Mrs. Kern will perform Beethoven’s grandiose Piano Concerto No. 5, commonly known as the “Emperor Concerto.” After the intermission, Maestro Schwarz will lead the VSO in a performance of one of the most beloved and famous musical compositions, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Sunday, Aug. 4

The last day of the festival begins at 10 a.m. with performances in Esther Short Park by Shaun Keylock and Conduit Dance, choreographed by Jessica Hightower. Then catch award-winning Native American flute performer Dr. Sherrie Davis and her band Global Fusion, followed by Portland’s Opera on Tap.

Grab your dancing shoes and head over to the Phil Arnold Way Community Stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a performance by local country-classic rock crossover band, River Divide.

The final matinee features Maestro Gerard Schwarz conducting the VSO with a tribute to the legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein on the Esther Short Park main stage. Inspired by the recently released biopic “Maestro,” Gerard Schwarz and the VSO will perform Bernstein’s iconic masterworks, including Suite from West Side Story and more.  

The Vancouver Arts & Music Festival is presented by the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA and M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, with support from United Grain and OPB. Columbia Arts Network is administering the juried art shows and fine art vendors on behalf of the festival.

About the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO)

The VSO, now in its 46th season, has been a cornerstone of Southwest Washington’s arts community, providing symphony music of the highest caliber in live performances and through music education in schools, concert halls, and throughout the community. For more information, please visit

Media contacts:

Melody Burton, Senior Communications Specialist City of Vancouver;, 360-869-8746

Sydney Haseleu, Marketing Coordinator, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA;, 360-735-7278