First Timers’ Guide

What You Need To Know | First Timers’ Guide


Welcome to the 15th Annual ArtsWells Festival! 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 some information so you’ll have the most wonderful weekend in Wells EVER!

Getting Here

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.

ArtsWells 2018 ride share facebook page here.

Ultimate road trip playlist available HERE: ArtsWells 2018 Playlist


When Arriving

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


What to Bring:


We’re a mountain town, so it gets cold at night, but can also be very warm during the day. Make sure to bring warm clothes, rain gear and your favourite scarf. Solid footwear is a must.


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 in public. Drinks can only be consumed in designated, licensed areas.



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



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.

No Dogs

Please do not bring your dog to ArtsWells. They are not allowed in any venue, including the Outdoor Stage, Artisan Vendor Village, or the tent campsite. There are no kenneling facilities in Wells, but there is one location in Quesnel (one hour from Wells). If you MUST bring your dog, please obey the no dogs in venue rule, and pick up after your dog. They must also be on a leash, and you have to be holding to the other end.


On Site Services


Cell Service

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. Please access the internet (see below) for any other communication needs.



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.



Pick up a reusable bottle or mug at the AW Merch Booth and fill up on Wells water at any tap around town.



Thanks to Shane Spencer, and Mary Forbes and her team from the Potato House in Williams Lake, we have an excellent recycling centre on Pooley Street across from the IMA Gallery/Box Office. Please recycle and come meet Igor!


Barkerville Shuttle

We do have a shuttle from lower Wells to Barkerville, pick up is in the BGM Parking, across from the Bear’s Paw Cafe. Leaving on the hour from Wells: Friday 1 – 3pm; Saturday & Sunday 11am – 4pm; Monday 11am – 3pm. Last shuttle from Barkerville at 4:30pm on Friday; 5:30pm on Saturday & Sunday; 3:30pm on Monday. Sponsored by Barkerville Gold Mines



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!).


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.


Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency, designated emergency personnel will provide you with instruction. Have your vehicle ready to leave at any time in case of an evacuation alert. Always let people know where you are going / what you are doing. Area maps and evacuation routes are available at the IMA office or the District of Wells office.


Safe Space

ArtsWells 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 a member of the Island Mountain Arts staff team (pictured in the program) and they will help you.


Fire Ban Status

From the BC Wildfire Service: “Effective at noon on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, campfires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The campfire prohibition will remain in effect until Sept. 29, 2018, or until the public is otherwise notified.”

It is a lawful offence to burn garbage, set off fireworks or to throw your cigarette butts on the ground. If found doing these activities you will be asked to leave and will be charged a fine. Please help us prevent forest fires! Generally Wells receives more rain than other towns but if there is a nearby forest fire our Island Mountain Arts team is trained for emergency procedures and we are in contact with emergency services often. If we were ever to face an evacuation there are a few routes out of Wells, so we’re not limited to the highway to Quesnel. We’re super excited to tell you that our air quality is clear and country fresh right now!

During the Festival


Opening Parade

ArtsWells Festival 2018 Opening Parade, the annual epic celebration of diversity and music that everyone is invited too! Make sure you bring your squeaky red nose and your best clown costume! Join us on Friday after the welcome ceremony (6:30 – 7:45pm) in the Community Hall for the Artswells parade. We will meet at the sunset theatre around 7:45 for the start of the parade. Bring a colourful and fun costume!

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.


Social Media

We would love to see your weekend in Wells, share your experience on social media

by using #ArtsWellsfestival  #LetsGetWeirdInWells and #CCClives


50/50 Draw

On Sunday in the Community Hall, ArtsWells is hosting a 50/50 draw! Island Mountain Arts board members will be roving the festival throughout the weekend, selling tickets for 2 dollars each (or 3 for 5 dollars). The draw itself will take place at Midnight on Sunday in the community hall.


Merch Vouchers

Use your Merch Voucher! You will find our ArtsWells Merchandise Booth located at

4270 Sanders Street, opposite the Community Hall! Vouchers can be used on artist and festival merchandise.



Take special note if you want to see an artist in Barkerville – it is approximately a 10 minute drive to get there. We do have a Shuttle bus pick up is in the BGM Parking lot in lower Wells, across from the Bear’s Paw Cafe. See above for the complete shuttle schedule.



Buy Tickets

Countdown to ArtsWells 2018


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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