Cariboo Rocks the North (CRTN), Northern BC’s premier classic rock music festival returned to Prince George, BC with resounding success after a 3-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The festival, which first began in its current format in 2018, saw an increase in the attendance of patrons from across Northern BC, Western Canada, and of course locally in the brewery’s hometown of Prince George!
History of Cariboo Rocks the North
The early beginnings of CRTN began in 2016 when Pacific Western Brewing (PWB) first hosted a classic rock concert event in the brewery parking lot, and continued with an expansion in 2017, before outgrowing the site due to overwhelming demand in 2018. Pacific Western Brewing partnered with the local arena, CN Centre, to host a spin-off-style event in the arena’s parking lot over a 3-day period. Since moving locations and forming the partnership, the event has seen a steady increase in attendance year after year.
Achievements and Rockstars of Cariboo Rocks the North
This year, Cariboo Rocks the North hosted 11 bands over 3 days, including Tom Cochrane, Nazareth, 54-40, Sweet, Trooper, Harlequin, Helix, Prism, Headpins, Toronto, and Kick Axe.
Attendance records were shattered on Friday evening, with approximately 3500 patrons in attendance—the largest single-day attendance in the festival’s history! The festival also featured a new record number of food vendors, with options ranging from snack and dessert-type options, to a variety of full meal services.
On top of that, CRTN partnered with Tourism Prince George and Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide safe rides home via the charity’s shuttle buses. The shuttles were very popular and ensured that folks who enjoyed a variety of PWB products onsite could get home safely after the event concluded.
What the Future Looks Like for Cariboo Rocks the North
Festival organizers announced mid-Saturday afternoon that the festival would return in 2023 for another year of classic rock music in the north! Fans greeted the announcement with great enthusiasm and initial ticket sales are already trending ahead of the previous year’s early-bird sales. Pacific Western Brewing intends to continue its participation in the festival along with the CN Centre and other event partners.
The lineup for 2023 will not be announced until late fall, but patrons are encouraged to purchase their tickets now to secure the early-bird pricing that is in effect until September 25th at which point prices will return to regular pricing. Fans have a money-back guarantee on the festival lineup, however, which means once the lineup is announced, fans are offered a chance to return their tickets if they are not satisfied with the lineup.
Cariboo Rocks the North was a tremendous success, which would not have been realized if it weren’t for the tireless work of the festival organizers, volunteers, staff, crew, contractors, service providers, and of course our fans of the festival itself! Our festival fans are certainly the backbone of the event, and after a 3-year hiatus, we were thrilled to see them return with so much excitement for great local beer, fantastic classic rock music, and making memories with friends, family, and strangers! PWB would like to thank the CN Centre and the other operating partners for their continued partnership in hosting Northern BC’s premier classic rock event!