A Musical Guide to the West 4th Khatsahlano Street Party

Check out the best of the fest at this year's West 4th Ave Khatsahlano Street Party

Vancouver knows how to host a street party – and Kitsilano’s annual block party, Khatsahlano, promises to be one of the highlights of the summer

On July 12, the fourth annual West 4th Khatsahlano Street Party will be continuing its tradition of celebrating Vancouver’s art and music scene – and it’s completely free. The festival features a lineup of over 50 Vancouver artists, from the little known to the legendary. Spanning 10 blocks and eight stages, you’ll want to make sure you catch all your favourite bands and discover some new ones as well.

Credit: Khatsahlano Music Festival 

The Poppy Family Experience

The Poppy Family Experience is a super group of some of B.C.’s most well known musicians, both past and present. In the ’60s and ’70s, The Poppy Family had a number of hits before separating in ’72. Now, over 40 years later, three quarters of the original band will be reuniting at Khatsahlano (the notable absence will be Terry Jacks, guitarist and ex-husband of singer Susan Jacks). Members of The New Pornographers, Destroyer and Black Mountain will join them in a historic collaboration.

Catch them at the TD Stage from 8-9 p.m.

Credit: The Evaporators

The Evaporators

Watching The Evaporators is nothing short of an all-encompassing experience. Fronted by the dynamic Nardwuar the Human Serviette, catching an Evaporators’ performance promises humour, zany tricks and an infinite amount of entertainment. Beyond the theatrics, the band makes honest punk rock that reveals genuine talent, even if they’ve dubbed their own genre “teenage zit rawk angst.” It’s comedy, costumes, crowd surfing and the kind of absurd energy that you can’t find anywhere else. 

Catch The Evaporators at the TD Stage from 5:30-6:10 p.m.

Aidan Knight

With his 2010 debut album, Versicolour, Aidan Knight proved himself as a singer-songwriter to watch. But with his second album, Small Reveal, he demonstrated the ability to achieve much more. Small Reveal was created with increased input from his band, The Friendly Friends, and is full of dreamy orchestral soundscapes. Knight’s live performances create a sense of tension as his earnest passion captivates audiences. From the crowd-pleasing acoustic anthem, Jasper, to the quiet heartbreak of Margaret Downe, Aidan Knight is not to be missed. 

Catch Aidan and his band at the CTV Stage from 5-5:40 p.m.

Credit: Khatsahlano

Mesa Luna

Mesa Luna is the name of Alex Cooper and Justice McLellan’s lo-fi electro-pop duo. Since releasing their debut seven-inch with independent Vancouver label Kingfisher Bluez in February, they’ve been applauded by critics and fans alike. The two-song release establishes a brooding atmosphere with its opening song, Shutting Down, and is balanced out by the buoyancy of the second song, Get Going.

Catch Mesa Luna at the Exclaim! Stage from 2-2:40 p.m.

Credit: Khatsahlano


Mu is the ethereal synth-pop brainchild of Francesca Belcourt and Brittney Rand. The duo established themselves as a very new addition to the music scene with the release of their debut self-titled EP this past February. Mu’s aesthetic tends towards the fantastical, and their shows have been known to include outlandish costumes to complement their dreamy sounds. You can pick up the EP on a pay-what-you-can basis on their Bandcamp site.

Catch Mu at the Desjardins Financial Stage from 7-7:40 p.m.

Credit: Khatsahlano


It’s been a year since fans of indie rockers Apollo Ghosts packed into the Rickshaw Theatre for their farewell show, but now former members Adrian Teacher and Amanda Pezzutto have moved on to their new project, Cool. They’ve teamed up with prolific drummer Shawn Mrazek (The Evaporators, Doers, Shawn Mrazek Lives!) and released their diverse, grooving debut, Paint. Each song takes its name from a different colour in a tribute to their recording studio’s past as a paint factory. If their former life under the Apollo Ghosts moniker is any indication, Cool is a band that’ll live up to its name.

Catch them at the Zulu Records Stage from 4-4:40 p.m.

Credit: Khatsahlano

Young Liars

Some have dubbed Young Liars’ danceable synth-pop style “summertime synth,” which makes it well-suited to Khatsahlano’s sunny street party vibes. The band first caught the attention of fans and critics with their 2012 EP, Homesick Future and its catchy single, Colours. With their 2014 releases of their Night Window EP and full-length debut, Tidal Wave, Young Liars are set to explode onto the scene. 

Catch Young Liars at the TD Stage from 3:40-4:10 p.m. 

The Peak Performance Project Top 12

Since 2009, The Peak Performance Project has been providing opportunities to emerging bands from around B.C. As part of their orientation, the latest batch of Top 12 artists will be taking the stage. This year’s group includes some of the best up-and-coming bands from around the province, from Fernie “stoke-folk” band Shred Kelly to Vancouver’s alt-rock Altered By Mom and ten more

Catch the Top 12 at the Peak Performance Project Stage from 12:15-9 p.m.

Additional highlights

With artisans, street performers and plenty of food and drinks, there will be lots to see and do beyond the music. Artist and musician Jim Cummins AKA I, Braineater will have a retrospective look at his 40-year career in Vancouver. A returning event from last year will be the long boarding competition (you can watch a video of it here). While the parents hit up the beer garden, kids can keep busy in the family zone at the large kids’ play area.