Indie artists Walk Off the Earth and electronic music trio Keys N Krates are headlining the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF).
Other bands and performers coming to Whistler as part of the festival’s Outdoor Concerts Series’s free shows are Grammy winners Ozomatli, Busty and the Bass, Busta Rhymes, Chris Buck Band, Virginia and Vegas, and Juno Award winners Swollen Members and Grandson.
Sea to Sky bands Dakota Pearl, Northern Ignition, Funky Snow Monkeys, Brother Twang and Red Chair are also confirmed.
The festival runs from April 7 to 17.
“We’re so pleased with the line-up from beginning to end, we are so stoked,” says WSSF organizer Sue Eckersley.
“We’ve got some big names, but we don’t want to forget the local talent here in the corridor and particularly in Whistler. Having the opportunity to let these guys play is important to us.”
The WSSF main stage — located in Skier’s Plaza — opens on Friday, April 7, with singer-songwriter Virginia and Vegas.
Walk Off the Earth performs on Saturday, April 8, while Keys N Krates perform on Friday, April 14.
“We’ve talked about having Keys N Krates multiple times; for it to finally work this year is awesome. We’re really excited,” Eckersley says.
American rapper and MC Busta Rhymes performs on Saturday, April 15.
And jazz and hip hop artists Ozomatli closes the festival on Sunday, April 16.
“They play everything from latin jazz to hip hop, they’re just amazing. Particularly, for Easter Sunday and for the South American contingent, they’ll be drooling over Ozomatli,” Eckersley says.
She is also happy that long-time WSSF performers Swollen Members are reforming to perform on Thursday, April 13.
“It’s going to be amazing. They actually haven’t played together in a couple of years, so they’re coming back together for me and will play on the main stage. I’m really excited to have them back,” she says.
“They were always a festival band and played here from when they were small to when they were huge. And Kyprios is back opening up for them.”
The music offerings at WSSF is just part of its ongoing commitment to arts and cultural events, including State of the ART, Intersection, The Pro Photo Showdown and the 72-Hour Filmmaker Showdown.
“This is my 17th WSSF and it began with only skiing and then snowboarding. There was a heavy emphasis on what was going on on the mountain,” Eckersley says.
“It went from sports to lifestyle… it’s about the culture. The other day someone told that WSSF is the event in town that most reflects who we are in Whistler.”
FIDO returns as the WSSF Outdoor Concerts Series main stage sponsor.
“Beyond well-known, home-grown artists like Walk Off the Earth and Keys N Krates, we’re also thrilled to be showcasing awesome up-and-coming Canadian talent via the Fido Outdoor Concert Series,” said Florent Bayle-Laboure, VP of Fido Brand, in a release.
For more information on the free concert series, including dates and times, and other arts and sports events, visit www.wssf.com.