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Festival Alumni

The Dawson City Music Festival has presented an incredible range of performers over the last four decades. We look forward to many more moons of quality musical programming in Dawson City.

Alumni

2019

Afrikana Soul Sister, Alexandria Maillot, Aquakultre, Beverly Glenn Copeland w/ Indigo Rising, Cryptozoologists, Gigi French, Greyson Gritt, Hän Singers, Joey O’Neil, Lido Pimienta, Major Funk and the Employment, nêhiyawak, Orkestar Kriminal, PIQSIQ, Quantum Tangle, Ryan McNally & The Messarounders, The Jerry Cans, The Lucky Ones, The Sweeties, Wintersleep
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Tim Baker w/ Evrytt Willow & the Whip-Poor-Wills

2018

Blue Moon Marquee, Chippy Nonstop, Claire Ness, Dena Zagi, Driftwood Holly, Elliott Brood, Goodnight Sunrise, Hän Singers, Les Deuxluxes, Old Man Luedecke, Skye Wallace, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Snowblink, Wares,  Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Madame Gandhi w/ Dakhká Khwáan Dancers & DASH. 

2017

Calla Kinglit, Chouk Bwa Libète, Dione Taylor, Duchess Says, Hän Singers, Helena Deland, Kaia Kater, Louise Burns, Michael Brooks, Nive and the Deer Children, Quinton Blair, Shred Kelly, Surf Dads, The Courtneys, The Dead Wild, This Way North, Ukes of Hazard, Zachary Lucky
Thursday Kickoff Concert: N/A

2016

Def3, Ginalina, HIGHS, Hot Panda, Jenn Grant, Jenny Berkel, Jim Bryson, Joey O’Neil, Kristi Lane Sinclair, Leonard Sumner, Major Funk & The Employment, Matt Monoogian, Merganzer, Miss Quincy & The Showdown, Mozart’s Sister, Old Cabin, Pierre Kwenders, Rob Dickson, Sarah Hamilton, Sarah Jane Scouten, Terra Lightfoot, The 24th Street Wailers, The Provincial Archive, The Wet Secrets, Twin Bandit
Thursday Kickoff Concert: N/A

2015

Alpha Yaya Diallo, Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Cud Eastbound, Declan O’Donovan, Elisapie, James Hill, Lisa LeBlanc, The Pack A.D, Pat LePoidevin, PS I Love You, Ralph Shaw, The Renaldo Domino Experience, Ryan McNally, Sandro Perri, S. Ayton, Sarah MacDougall, The Slocan Ramblers, Soda Pony, Wendy McNeill, Wesley Hardisty
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Colin Stetson w/ Sandro Perri

2014

Alex Cuba, Andy Shauf, By Divine Right, Baby Eagle, Canyon Mountain, DIANA, Diyet, Driftwood Holly, Cousins, Cris Derksen, Evening Hymns, The Midnight Sons, Marine Dreams, Monkeyjunk, Feeding Frenzy, Jaffa Road, Jaron Freeman-Fox, Les Soeurs Boulay, Nick Ferrio & His Feelings, Noosa, The Naysayers, Pharis and Jason Romero, The Rural Alberta Advantage
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Como Mamas

2013

Al Simmons, Art Johns & Nola, The Beauties, Bill Stevens, Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Dawn McCarthy, The Brass Knuckle Society, Cadence Weapon, Fanny Bloom, Hannah Epperson, The Jerry Cans, The Klondike Sons, The Naysayers, Old Cabin, Owen Steel, Rachel Sermanni, Samantha Marten & The Haggard, The Sojourners, Susu Robin, Vision Quest, Working Dogs, Zeus
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Wanda Jackson w/ The Trilliums

2012

Andre Williams & The Goldstars, Blue Hibou, Born Ruffians, Brandon Isaak, Bruce Peninsula, The Bryant Crooks, Canailles, Cris Derksen, The Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, The Deep Dark Woods, Doug Paisley, Drea Naesager, George McConkey & Annie Avery, Gordie Tentrees & Hill Country News, Hooded Fang, Jennifer Castle, Kunda African Culture, Larry & His Flask, Molly Sweeney, Old Time Machine, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, Tomas Kubinek, The Weather Station, Zipline
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Ron Sexsmith

2011

Amelia Curran, Brenda Lee Quartet, Carlyle Watt & The Sugar Strings, Chic Gamine, Coole & Downes, David Essig, Dennis Allen & The Hellhounds, Done Gone Trio, Etran Finatawa, Fish & Bird, Grey Kingdom, Jeremy Strachan, Kaska Drummers, Major Conrad Flapps, Mamma Yamma, Minotaurs, Mr. Something Something, Rich Aucoin, Ryan McNally, Sarah MacDougall, Shotgun Jimmie, Shout Out Out Out, The Stampeders, Steve Gates, Tanya Tagaq w/ Zubot & Martin, The River Bends, Tim Hus, Whitey Houston, Willie Gordon Trio, Yukon Blonde
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Owen Pallett w/ Jean Martin, Jeremy Strachan

2010

A Young Linthead, Bette & Wallet, Boyd Benjamin, Broken Deer, The Burning Hell, The Constantines, Coolooloosh, D Rangers, Dan Mangan, Diyet, Dolly Varden & The Daredevils, Elliott Brood, Elfin Saddle, Fred Penner, Good Lovelies, Hamilton Old-Time Duo, Harbourcoats, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Kevin Barr, Matana Roberts, The Mountain Avens, Pat LePoidevin, Puppets of Destruction, Sasquatch Prom Date, Shakura S’Aida, Steve Slade, tUnE-yArDs, Ukrainia
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Buffy Sainte Marie

2009

The Acorn, Alma De Espana, Bend Sinister, Chad Van Gaalen, Coeur de Pirate, Crash The Car, Luke Doucet & The White Falcon, Eekwol, Elena Yound, Gadji Gadjo, The Handsome Family, Headwater, Iskwew, Johnny & The Moon, Lana Rae, Melissa McClelland, George McConkey, Katie Moore, Mother Mother, The Persuasions, SoCalled, Sunset Rubdown, Three Chords & The Truth, Triple Forte
Thursday Kickoff Concert: The Persuasions

2008

Bell Orchestre, Black Mountain, Basia Bulat, Calm Down It’s Monday, Julie Doiron, Done Gone String Band, Nicole Edwards, James Gordon & Sons, The Good Brothers, Gold Diggers, Hayden, Immaculate Machine, Wayne LaVallee, The Magic, Out of the Blue, Plaid, Justin Rutledge, The Sadies, Mike Stevens & Raymond McLain, Soir de Semaine, Snailhouse, Threat From Outer Space, Torngat, Ken Whiteley
Thursday Kickoff Concert: Hayden

2007

Jill Barber, Kim Barlow, Kim Beggs, Beolach, Jim Byrnes, Chirgilchin, Steve Dawson, Didier Delahaye, Digging Roots, e.s.l., Fleur de Swing, Great Lake Swimmers, Jon-Rae and the River, Ladyhawk, Annie Lou, Amy Millan, Old Man Luedecke, Ndidi Onukwulu, Indio Saravanja, Kelvin Smoler & the Groundwork Sessions Crew, Zubot & Dawson

2006

Art Turner, Les Batinses, Christine Fellows ft. Shary Boyle, Cuff the Duke, Death in Venice, Done Gone String Band, Donné Roberts Band, Edith Tankus, Final Fantasy, Fishead Stew, Gramma Susie & Cash Creek Charlie, Jowi Taylor & the Six String Nation Guitar, Hank & Lily, Hungry Hill, The Hylozoists, Klondike Funk Association, Tomás Kubínek, Mihirangi, Pit Blues Band, Wyckham Porteous, Raw Element, John K. Samson, Scotch, Boone Webb

2005

The Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Blood Meridian, Creaking Tree String Quartet, Leela Gilday, Marieke Hiensch, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Greg MacPherson, Carolyn Mark, Eivør Pálsdóttir & Bill Bourne, The Sadies, Rick Scott, Shotgun & Jaybird, Rae Spoon, Swingin’ Fish Nuggets, Buddy Tabor, Tanya Tagaq, Tons of Fun University (TOFU), Whammer Jammer Blues Band

2002

The Corn Sisters, Guy Davis, Mad Bomber Society, Rembetika Hip-sters, The Weakerthans & more.

2001

Bodra Aliyah Band, Be Good Tanyas, Bearfoot Bluegrass, Chuck Brodsky w/ Doug Cox, Robert David, Dixie Dreamers, Downing Turcotte Zubot Dawson, Nicole Edwards, Fishead Stew, Anne Louise Genest, Glamour Puss, Jazzberry Ram, Juan-Tid, Paul Lucas Trio, Harry Manx, The Mighty Popo, The Moir Brothers, National Dust, Pointer Brothers, Rheostatics, Saskia & Larry, Something Else, Undertakin’ Daddies, Simon Wilcox

2000

Kim Barlow, Mike Battie, David Berger, Donkeysmell, Fred Eaglesmith, Ali Eisner, David Gogo, Manfred Jansen, Joe & Kendall, KILT, Eileen Laverty, Carolyn Mark & Her Room Mates, Matapat: Music, Song and Dance of Quebec, Painting Daisies, Paulo Ramos Group, Route Jazz Ensemble, Peters Drury Trio, Pocket Dwellers, SwingSoniq, Valle Son, Washboard Hank

1998

Bruce Cockburn and more.

1995

Ad Vielle Que Pourra, Beautiful Losers, Buddha Style, Burma Road, The Diviners, Lennie Gallant, Vida Hille & Band, Daniel Janke & Paul Lucas, Mike Jenkins, Sonja Anderson Loeks & Rosalyn Young, Danielle Martineau, George McConkey & Kevin Barr, Rockabayou, She Stole My Beer, Soulstice, Jayne West, Nancy White

1994

Cabin Fever, Clyde Roulette Band, Patti Dahlquist, Dobb & Dumela, Fat Man Waving, Norman Foote, Kim Rogers Band, Laura Love Band, Matthew Lien, Rawlings Cross, The Return, Ian Tamblyn

1993

Annie Avery & Friends, Crawfish Fiesta, Kent Greentrio, Willie Gordon & DIKDHU, Gregory Hoskins & the Stick People, Matthew Lien, Lynn Miles, Mother Tongue, Al Simmons, Skydiggers, John Steins, Sundog

1992

Art Napoleon, Barenaked Ladies, Paul Gould & Ike Eidness, Hard Rock Miners, Harmonica George, The Main Street Buskers, Nouveau Station Wagon, Rusty Mae, Tamarack, The Wolf, and more.

1990

Trish Barclay & Annie Avery, Bruce & Debbie Bergman, The Checkerboard Guy, Daisy DeBolt, Dizzy Grizzly, Marie Gogo & Herbie Bowman, King Frog, Gerald LaRoche, Dave Haddock, Jacques Lucier, Melwood Cutlery and the Fashion Plates, New Wine, Nyetz, Lucy Blue Tremblay, and more.

1985

Heather Bishop, Bottom Dollar Band, Compass, Kathi Cross, Ferron, The Jane Siberry Band, Daniel Janke, Manfred Janssen, Alyx Jones, Tracey Riley, John Steins & Scott Sheerin, and more.

1983

Sue Ellenton, Jacques Girouard, Goin’ South, Daniel Janke, Manfred Janssen, Alan LaMontagne, Sharon Lois & Bram, George McConkey, Scott Merritt, The Original Balkan Jam, Jim Page, Colleen Peterson, Steve Slade, Scott Sheerin, John Steins, The Vacationers, Karen White

Alumni Love

[2018] Elliott Brood

By far one of the best [festivals] in the country. If you have the means and a sense of adventure, you should get yourself up there.

Elliott Brood/Facebook, 2019.

[2017] Louise Burns

I loved playing Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon. It is one of the most beautiful places in Canada, filled with amazing people and true music lovers.

The AU Review, 2017.

[2016] Mozart’s Sister

“I love how very extraordinary lives are lived so casually here”

Weird Canada, 2016.

[2013] Hannah Epperson

I played up in Dawson City at the Dawson City Music Festival. It was the first time I’d gone to play at a festival without any connections. I didn’t know anyone there and Dawson City is far from home.

It’s pretty alien up there and I think I had the most intensely visceral performance of my life in the Palace Grand. It’s this incredible old building, old theatre, in Dawson City. It’s probably the coolest venue I’ve ever played in.

I had an insane physical and emotional experience playing that show. I felt like everything that’s informed my music, for the first time in my life I felt like I was attached to my music and that I wasn’t just a vessel, this passing through point, which is often how I feel. After that show I went backstage and just started sobbing. I felt like I was puking. I have no idea why. It was crazy. It was a really, really incredible experience.

Rags Music, 2013.

[2011] Shotgun Jimmie

The Dawson City Music Festival has all the small festival perks. There is usually a welcome BBQ for performers featuring freshly-caught salmon from the Yukon river. So many businesses and groups in town are involved making that happen. It feels as if the festival is put on by the entire community.

A Side, 2019.

[2010] Dan Mangan

Dawson City holds a special place in the Vancouverite’s heart. He said “the festival is unique because you know a lot of people travelled a great distance just to be there. It’s funny how every festival has its charm but it’s a special thing when you can go to a tiny place. You get a sense that you’ve been somewhere a bit wild, outside of the urban framework and you experience something special.
Before leaving the area he remembers being taken to a scenic spot overlooking a vast expanse of land, and being truly impressed by the view.
“That’s when you get smacked with a dose of humility, of just how small you are in the scope of all things.”

Yukon News, 2014.

[2010] Good Lovelies

It was like going to camp. All the performers were on this small plane, including Fred Penner and the fellows from Elliott Brood. We flew up to Dawson, and it was so much fun. And, of course, the midnight sun was unreal. It was so beautiful.

Apt 613, 2016

[2009] The Acorn

Which would you say is your favorite Canadian festival?

Well, for pure novelty and a very, very surreal experience, I would definitely say the Dawson City Music Festival e, close to the Arctic Circle. It’s quite a trek, and there’s only about 1,000 people in the city there to attend and help the festival, but the lineup is always phenomenal, and they treat you like a million bucks.

It’s really amazing because you really get immersed in the town. You’re in the Yukon, in “gold rush” country. The city looks relatively unchanged since the 1860s; it’s absolutely incredible. We were there last summer. You’re so far up north in late July, you’re basically looking at 24 hours of daylight. You could literally just see shows and have bonfires all day.

Prefix Mag, 2016

[2009] Bend Sinister

You’ve played at the Dawson City Music Festival in Dawson City, Yukon before, how was that for you guys?

That was awesome. We did that with Mother Mother and Chad VanGaalen. Yeah, it was a great line-up. It was kind of funny because most of the bands played two sets. They kept us for the very end, I think we were the last band to play for the whole festival, and we just did one longer set.

It was awesome to hang out in Dawson for the five days. The really nice thing about that festival is that, usually during festivals you’re kind of in and out — you roll in, you do your set, and you’re done — but with this festival you get to meet everybody on the set. They fly everybody in on the same plane from Whitehorse and you’re all there. Those weird stereotypes between bands just break down and by the end everybody is just hanging out together.

The Scene Magazine, 2014

[2008] Basia Bulat

I had always wanted to go there and when I finally did it, I have to say it was incredibly therapeutic. The Yukon was very necessary after all the time on the road. The silence could be very intoxicating. At the same time, I still played like five shows while I was there, so it wasn’t all quiet times.

Yukon News, 2010.

[2005] Joel Plaskett

I’m not the type to camp out at festival. Sleeping in a tent kind of freaks me out. Having said that, I do like festivals that feature what my wife calls magic dancers. They’re the hippyish gals with hands in the air letting loose and swaying to the tunes. A great festival for this was the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon, a territory in the north of Canada. It was the summertime and the sun would just dip below the horizon for a few hours between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.

I was there with my band The Emergency and we were up pretty much for four days straight. The whole experience was incredible. We rocked an epic show on the Saturday night to packed tent and the magic dancers went nuts. When we were flying home, we stopped to change planes in Whitehorse and picked up a copy of the local paper. There was a huge picture on the front of us playing the show, with a giant unrelated headline above the photo that read, “GUNMEN ROB LOCAL STORE”. It was a classic.

Five Dials, Issue 13. Summer 2010.

[2005] Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir

What have been some of your most memorable moments as a band?

Playing the Dawson City Music Festival definitely comes to mind. It’s in Yukon, Canada. Look for it on a map. It’s so far north that it is daylight for a good twenty-one hours when the festival runs in July. It’s a small festival, but it has one of the best, warmest, yet wild atmospheres anywhere. 

Not only did we get to hang out for a week in a former gold rush metropolis, play music, and have a great time, we were asked to close the festival. This was a bit intimidating for us because The Sadies were there, too. We hold them in high regard. The closing set went off like lightning, though. It was a confidence builder and a monumental cultural experience.

Other than Ethiopia, where are you going to find a festival that cooks its musicians and volunteers an Ethiopian meal? In the Yukon? Get outta town. Yet it happened. It was no dream. That’s not even half of it.  

Bob Keelaghan/No Depression Mag, 2011

[2005/2010] The Contstantines

The Dawson City music festival was amazing last year (2005). Dawson City is up in the Yukon Territory, and it was probably the best week as a band we’ve ever had. All these people come from all over the territory, and from B.C. and Alaska, it’s sort of this one cultural event that happens in that area.

Dawson city was just a small, beautiful little town by the Yukon and the Klondike rivers, it’s just…immaculate. It’s all dirt roads, everybody has a dog, there are no franchises, and it’s all old storefronts. Everyone knows everyone in the city, and everyone’s friendly and has a silly sense of humor. It was incredible.

Bryan Webb/Pitchfork, 2005

[2002] Neko Case/Corn Sisters

I’d never been to the Yukon before. It’s like a beautiful nature preserve. There’s only 30,000 people in the entire territory, which means that everybody in the town can go to Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and watch a hockey game.

Everybody there is totally amazing: most people have three different jobs and a PhD. We met this amazing lady named Glenda early in the day; she was in her park-ranger outfit. Later, we saw her dressed like a turn-of-the-century madam, leading a tour. And then later on, she was selling merch at the music festival booth, just because she’s such an enthusiast.

Everybody there is like that. They’re amazing people. I was there for two days; I’m going back there as soon as I possibly can.

During the time I was there the sun never went down because it’s so far north—it just sort of ping-pongs back and forth across the horizon. There’s no timber industry there, either, because the trees are too short. So there’s hundreds of miles of virgin timber, and it looks f*&ing incredible.

Dawson City is right where the Yukon River and the Klondike River come together, and the Klondike is clear and the Yukon is milky, so when you see them come together there’s these ribbons of milky and clear water. It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen.

Neko Case/Perfect Sound Forever Magazine, 2002