Canada’s Biggest Summer Music Festivals
With so many festivals to choose from across the US and Canada, it’s hard to choose just one. Especially when you’re planning on heading to the land of Maple Syrup and Drake, where do you begin with the sickly sweet tune goodness?
And because everyone’s music festival check lists are different, it can be a labyrinth trying to navigate the vibes of each festival, figuring out which one is perfect for you and your mates come Summer (North American summer that is). Well look no further than the biggest music festivals in Canada, because if you’re looking for a legendary festy, each of the ones below are sure to make your Canada Summer of 2019 one hell of a banger.
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1.Shambhala Music Festival, Salmo
August 22-25, 2019
Music festivals don’t come much more frothy than this, Shambhala is touted as Canada’s premiere Electronic Music Festival and not only that but it’s a family run operation set in the lush surrounds of the Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre working farm year round. The festival accepts absolutely no corporate funding so you won’t see a single ad or corporate logo throughout the whole festival.
This apparently is in order for the festival to stay true to the original EDM spirit, unlike most-advertising-centric festivals of today. This Canadian festival is a staple event for the West Coast underground electronic music scene and attracts world renowned DJs and artists. Put it to the top of your list.
2.Festival d'été de Québec (or Quebec City Summer Festival), Quebec
July 4-14, 2019
Over 300 shows, a whopping 10 venues and 11 jam packed days of music are what make the Festival De Quebec one of Canada’s most straight fire music festivals. Over a million punters turn up each year for this festival, held in the city’s incredible historic district. Past acts to have played at this festival include the Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, Selena Gomez and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
3.Osheaga Festival, Montreal
August 2-4, 2019
Spread out over 3-days with a massive line-up, Osheaga is a unique and eclectic music and arts festival staged in the breathtaking landscape of Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau. Bonus points go to this festival for the ferry ride you have to take to get there which makes it feel like you’re being transported to a magical festival land. Plus, bonus points for being in Montreal where the locals are native French speakers, meaning you’ll be greeted with a friendly ‘Bonjour’ everywhere you go.
4. Edmonton Folk Festival, Edmonton, Alberta
August 8-11, 2019
This classic bucket list Canadian music festival has grown to be one of the world's premier folk festivals. Held each August, the festival's line-up is always outstanding and tickets won’t cost half of your holiday savings. The four day festival also sits just two hours away from the low key epic natural attractions of Jasper and the Canadian Rockies.
5. Ottawa Bluesfest, Ottawa
July 4-14, 2019
Now this gem of a festival wins when it comes to the ‘festy that sounds least like its name’. Ottawa Bluesfest actually nails just about every genre, with some blues of course, which is why it’s the perfect festival if you’ve got a big group of friends each with different musical tastes but all travelling together. Bluesfest started as a mini festival over twenty years ago and has grown rapidly to become a ten-day multi-stage event that sits towards the end of the Canadian Summer. Perfect if you need a little extra time to plan your getaway and get the group chat to finally agree on said music festival plans.
6.North By North East Festival (NXNE), Toronto
June 7-16 2019
If you’ve already been to the biggest music industry event in the US, South By South West (SXSW), in Austin,Tx, think of this as it’s cooler more intimate Canadian sister. The annual 10-day summer festival and conference features music, gaming, comedy, interactive and more events for both music industry insiders and punters alike. The festival takes over the whole of Toronto city spread across different bars and clubs in addition to the NXNE’s Port Lands festival site. It’s a festival unlike any other you’ve probably ever been to and a must-not-miss event for anyone in the industry.
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