“The most amazing summer festival experience. We felt so much love and heard such sweet music under the midnight sun! Incredible beautiful people!”
The Dawson City Music Festival (DCMF) is a much-loved cultural event in the Yukon since 1979. Over the years, it’s grown into a world-class showcase of North American artists of varying genres, and a howling good party to boot. The festival is legendary among performers and music lovers in-the-know across Canada.
Avec ses façades historiques, son histoire de ruée vers l’or, ses vastes étendues sauvages, les cabanes de Robert Service et de Jack London, la ville de Dawson est un rêve pour tous les amoureux de culture. Et il n’y a pas meilleure façon de mélanger le vieux au moderne qu’en allant au Dawson City Music Festival.
Vous y ferez l’expérience de la culture nordique tout en assistant à des concerts d’artistes locaux et internationaux.
“The Dawson City Music Festival has become a world-class showcase of North American talent. Come by to enjoy the music, people and the party in Dawson.”
“Arriving in Dawson City by canoe, we were following in the footsteps of hundreds of gold prospectors more than a hundred years before. Dozens of abandoned canoes lay around us; they would be the first of many arriving for the Dawson Music Festival starting the next day.
We didn’t have tickets; we hadn’t even known there was a festival until fellow canoeists told us the week before. Against all my apprehensions (I hate crowds), we ended up staying in Dawson City for the next two weeks. It’s just that kind of place.”
Don’t miss the “Songs I Wish I Wrote” workshop, usually held on Saturday afternoon. Bands play their favourite covers—often the most playful and moving part of the festival.
“You’re not going to find a Canadian music festival further north than Yukon’s Dawson City Music Festival. […] The approximately six- to seven-hour drive from Whitehorse to Dawson winds through untouched wilderness and some of the tallest mountains in Canada.”
“Immerse yourself in an unpretentious, three-day music festival that takes over the entire Yukon town of Dawson City. Stroll the wooden boardwalks of this National Historic Site, following the rhythms of an Inuit throat singer improvising with a rapper.
Hear the beat of folk and country bands drifting from a church or 19th century wild-west theatre. Drop into a saloon for a local brew and find yourself in the middle of a foot-stomping Celtic kitchen party. Finish the night mingling with musicians and dancing under July’s midnight sun.”
“Each year during the festival, Dawson goes back to its glory days: jammed full, everybody’s mind on one thing.
In the old days, sure, it was gold, but even before that was the voice of the river. Now the whole town is singing.”
“Dawson City is a mere eight hours drive from the Arctic Circle, making the Dawson City Music Festival one of the most remote on the continent.
It’s just far enough from a big city to attract only the most adventurous artists and festival-goers, yet on arrival I felt I somehow landed at the center of the universe.”
“That happy glow will certainly last in the hearts of those who danced and partied ― first-timers and locals alike ― in the land of the midnight sun.”
“Without doubt, DCMF is a unique event in the Festival calendar. Traveling there is part of the adventure- be it the six hour drive through the mountains from Whitehorse, the twin prop plane ride (which at this time of year almost certainly means you will be flying alongside some of the artists performing at the festival, in our case Owen Pallett and Shotgun Jimmie), or you could join a handful of hardy individuals who make the trip by kayak each year, departing a mere 5 days before the festival starts for what must be one of the longest, but certainly one of the most memorable journeys to a festival.”
“Parents will be pleased to hear that children are welcome at this family-friendly event, although they are prohibited from the beer gardens.
Saturday will feature KidFEST, with face painting, craft projects, children’s entertainers and more, designed specifically to make the little ones a part of the festival. Daytime and evening events make it possible to fit naptime around the can’t-miss shows.”
The remote Yukon town doubles in size for the festival each year, as visitors fly in on prop planes, drive down the Top of the World Highway, or canoe for ten days up the majestic, northward-flowing Yukon River. Impromptu jam sessions spring up on all corners, lasting well past the festival’s 2 AM curfew; neither the world-class musicians nor the spirited audience members want to stop playing.
What draws and inspires people is Dawson City’s peculiar Northern spirit: a self-reliant egalitarianism and modest openness bred of a powerful place—grizzlies outnumber people by nearly 3-to-1 in the Yukon—and relative isolation.
“For one weekend every July for the past 26 years, Dawson, a tiny Yukon outpost 280 kilometres shy of the Arctic Circle, has thrown an extraordinary town party.
The stars are an impressive repertoire of Canadian musicians who vie for the chance to head to Klondike country to take part in the Dawson City Music Festival, a uniquely Northern event that blends small-town charm with break-out talent.”