Festival of All Things Arts

First Timers’ Guide

What You Need To Know | First Timers’ Guide

Welcome to ArtsWells Festival 2019! 

We’re grateful to be gathering on the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene. It’s going to be another amazing weekend of friends, fun, and of course, all things art. Here’s everything you need to know to have the BEST ARTSWELLS EVER!

Here’s some information so you’ll have the most wonderful weekend in Wells EVER!

On your way to Wells…

From Vancouver – it is about an 8 hour drive, via the trans Canada Hwy and BC 97

You can find all the latest info about Road Closures here at Drive BC

You can check the latest info on the fires at the BC Wildfire Service here.

Rideshare Page – Reduce your carbon footprint and offer/get a ride to and from Wells here. LISTEN to our Spotify Playlist


Box Office

Have your tickets either saved to your smartphone or printed. We don’t have cell service, so please do this in advance and have your photo ID ready. There are wifi hotspots around town thanks to ABC Communications.

Front Gate Opening Hours

Thursday August 1:  6:00pm-9:00pm | Friday August 2: 10:00am-5:00pm | Saturday August 3: 10:00am-5:00pm

Main Box Office Hours (located at Island Mountain Arts Gallery – 2323 Pooley Street) 

Thursday August 1: 6:00pm-9:30pm | Friday August 2: 10:00am-midnight | Saturday August 3: 10:00am-midnight | Sunday August 4: 10:00am-10:00pm

All accessibility-related questions for ArtsWells can be sent to Oryanna at accessibility@imarts.com


What to Bring

Water: Our tiny town is on strict water restrictions, so we are asking our ticket holders to please bring their own drinking water and reusable water bottle until the restriction has been lifted. We will have our usual water filling stations, and Wells tap water is fine to drink.

Clothing: We’re a mountain town, so it gets cold at night! Make sure to bring warm clothes, rain gear, and your favourite scarf. Solid footwear is a must. Definitely also bring bug spray as it is still particularly buggy right now.

Bring ID & No Public Drinking: You need to provide 2 pieces of ID if you wish to be served at any of our licensed venues. It is illegal to drink alcohol in public. Drinks can be consumed in designated, licensed areas ONLY.

Cash: Going to indulge in delicious eats & treats? We recommend you bring cash to our tiny town, as many of our vendors are cash only. There are ATM’s at the Wells Hotel, Jack O’ Clubs, and in Barkerville. These machines have the potential to run out of money, so grab some cash beforehand! The businesses in Wells take debit/credit card.

Pet Policy: For the safety of our festival-goers and natural wildlife, no pets are permitted within the ArtsWells Festival grounds or camping areas. This decision was made with the utmost concern for the health and well being of both dogs and participants. As fellow participants and animal lovers, we thank you for understanding and cooperating with us on this policy. Please read more about our pet policy here.

Bikes: Wells is a small town, and bikes are a great way to get around between stages. The Barkerville stages are a 7 km ride away from the town of Wells. Barkerville has bike racks, so bring your locks!

Ear Plugs: Listening to loud music for extended periods of time can cause permanent hearing damage. Protect your tiny eardrums! Consider buying some high-quality earplugs to protect your hearing at all our music events.


Whilst in Wells…

Cell Service & WiFi: There is no cell service in Wells! None. If an emergency call needs to be made, Island Mountain Arts can make it from their landline. Thanks to ABC Communications, we have Wifi Hot Spots situated throughout Wells, free for all to use. Please check the festival map for the locations of these hot spots. There is also high-speed internet provided in Barkerville.

Recycling: We have an excellent recycling centre on Pooley Street across from the IMA Gallery/Box Office. Please recycle or Pack Out what you Pack In. 

Camping: You can only camp in designated camping areas (see map). Any rogue camping in non-designated areas is NOT allowed. High-quality flashlights are recommended for finding your way around, as well as garbage bags to help keep our sites clean (Pack it in – pack it out!). Please don’t leave trash or food out as there is plenty of wildlife in the area.

Willow River: Bring your floaties and enjoy the refreshing water of the willow river! The “Y” is the popular local spot by the water in the meadow with plenty of room to swim, soak, and float.

Smoking: PLEASE only smoke in designated smoking areas that are allocated around Wells. 

Toilets: Please use the toilets located around the festival site, if there are issues (other than the obvious) please notify festival crew. 

Fire Ban: In addition to the Category 2 Fire Ban put in place for the Cariboo Fire Centre, all fires are banned from Festival campsites other than the fire pit that has been built at each Camp Ground.  In addition to Category 2 open burns, the following activities will also be prohibited:

* the use of sky lanterns;

* the use of fireworks, including firecrackers;

* the use of tiki torches and similar kinds of torches;


Safety Info

First Aid: Attendants are available in front of the Wells Community Hall. The St. John’s Ambulance First Aid tent is located right beside the Community Hall. There are also several small first aid kits around town: School, Main Hall, IMA Office, Jack O’ Clubs, and the Merch Booth.

Safe Space: ArtsWells Festival is committed to being a safe space for people of all races, genders, & sexualities. If you or anyone you know is feeling unsafe or are being accosted by any festival-goers, please notify security, the team at the Harm Reduction Tent (opposite community hall), or ArtsWells Festival Staff at the Box Office. 


At the Festival…

ArtsWells Rainbow Pride Parade – We want to welcome everyone under the rainbow this year with a Rainbow Parade of epic pride proportions. RSVP here!

Free Entry to Barkerville Historic Park – We are excited to announce our partnership with Barkerville, in which you’ll receive free entry to their Historic Park all weekend! 

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RSVP to our ArtsWells Festival Event

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Listen to our Spotify Playlist


2019 Line-Up

Pre-Fest Workshops

Come early to Wells and take part in a singing or songwriting workshop! More information on the Pre-Fest Workshops page here.

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