What does Wapiti mean?
It means Elk. The music festival is held in the Elk Valley. Hence the name.
When is the festival?
Festival dates for 2023 are Friday, August 11th and Saturday, August 12th.
Gates open at 6 pm on Friday and noon on Saturday.
Music starts at 7 pm on Friday and 12:45 pm on Saturday.
The event closes at 11 pm on both nights.
What kind of music will I hear?
All kinds. It’s all Canadian Indie, but that’s a broad category. We try to pick bands that cover a spectrum. If you like CBC Radio 3, you’ll love Wapiti.
Where is Fernie?
We’re in south-eastern British Columbia near the Alberta and Montana borders. Fernie is 3 hours from Calgary, 2 hours from Whitefish, and 1 hour from Cranbrook.
Where is the festival site?
In James White Park. When you drive into Fernie, turn east at 4th street off the highway. East is towards the mountains and away from the arena. Then turn right when you cross the railroad tracks and follow the signs.
Where can I buy tickets?
How does my age affect my pass price?
Wapiti has deeply discounted pricing for children aged 12 and younger and for seniors aged 65 and older.
There is also discounted pricing for teens which are defined as anyone between the ages 13 and 18.
All ages are defined as at the time of entrance into the festival.
Do seniors and children need a ticket?
Yes. Everyone must have a pass to enter. Buy them online. Buy them in advance. We will not sell any passes at the gate after we are sold out.
Where can I stay?
Check out the accommodator’s page.
Any camping in town?
There’s camping in the Mt Fernie Provincial Park. Fernie Alpine Resort allows free overnight stays for RVs, but no tenting. Check out Fernie’s newest camping option: Fernie RV Resort for RV and tenting options.
Are pets allowed at Wapiti?
No pets are allowed on site. Service animals are permitted.
Where can we eat?
There are food vendors at the festival. Fernie is a veritable groaning board for foodies. Check out the Tourism Fernie Dining page for some great food options around town.
Can I bring my ______?
Kids – yes. Dogs – no. Chairs – yes. Alcohol – no. Camera – yes. Glass containers – no. Dancin’ shoes – you bet.
You may not bring any non-factory-sealed beverages, glass bottles, or alcohol of any kind into the festival. This is enforced with bag checks at the gate. We have very good, free, municipal water on site, so you may bring empty water bottles and fill them here.
Can I bring my own chair, blanket, etc.?
We divide the field up like this: stage | dancing | blankets | festival chairs | regular chairs | anything goes.
We do ask that if you need to bring a sunshade you set it up along the outside of the festival grounds so as to not block the view.
Is there a beer garden?
Filled with our awesome local Fernie Beer and wine sourced from BC wine producers.
What’s the weather like?
Well, it’s the middle of August in the Rockies, so it could be +30C or it could snow. Seriously though it’ll probably be warm in the day and cool at night. Bring suntan lotion and a sweater.
What about parking?
We have some, but we hope you won’t use it. There’s a free bike check and the festival site is a pleasant 5-minute walk from almost anywhere in town. Please respect the resident’s lawns and driveways if you decide to park on the street.
What about after the festival?
Fernie has some great bars and pubs and almost all of them have live bands playing after the festival.
Anything else going on it town?
Of course. Visit Tourism Fernie for info on golfing, fishing, biking, hiking, art demos, and the mountain market.
Is the ski hill open?
Of course! There’s mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, alpine hiking, an aerial park, a zip line, an interpretive centre, and guided hikes. Check out SkiFernie.com.