Five Must-See Acts at Westward Music Festival 2024

Returning June 22 and 23 for the first time since 2019, the Vancouver event will see performances from Cherry Glazerr, Haley Blais and more

Photo: Chris Gee

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 26, 2024

Vancouver's Westward Music Festival has spent the last few years on COVID-19 pandemic-induced hiatus. Back in Mount Pleasant this June 22 to 23 for the first time since 2019, it's about to fill a gaping hole in music-loving hearts with a stellar lineup of Canadian and international talent.

With tickets on sale now, here are our five must-see acts at this year's edition of Westward Music Festival.

Haley Blais
Another local (and certified coolest fucking bitch in town), the singer-songwriter leads with dry wit to match the searingly crisp soundscapes in which she houses her vulnerable admissions. It's a deadpan, it's a steely stare — but, as the title of her most recent album Wisecrack suggests, there's bound to be a breach. 

Cartel Madras
Releasing a steady stream of surefire singles over the past couple of years since their acclaimed 2021 EP The Serpent & the Tiger, the sister act are ready to bring their brash, experimental hip-hop stylings — with splashes of trap, house, breakbeat and beyond — to the stage with equal parts sweat and blood.

Cherry Glazerr
Despite the dreamy gleam of last year's I Don't Want You Anymore, the Los Angeles indie outfit's garage rock roots were showing. Through a thick smear of distortion, Cherry Glazerr are ripe with the inherent sweetness of their melodies and the hard centre of barred teeth, and they've never been more in-season.

DIY hero Jeff Cancade wears several hats, making ambient-leaning synth noise as the Golden Age of Wrestling and the shiny crown of intergalactic bombast as Devours. An expert in making the personal political, the musician brings his steadfast advocacy for his communities into everything he does; it's hard to imagine that anyone could have the crowd more on their side.

Tess Roby
The Toronto-born, Montreal-based polymath released her mesmeric sophomore solo album, Ideas of Space, back in 2022, and its cascading reverberations continue to be felt. Having just been named the National Music Centre's inaugural Artist in Residence, this is a rare last chance to catch those songs live before Roby records her third LP with their vast synth collection in Calgary this fall.

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