Okay, music festival friends! Do you know about these offbeat festival gems with some AMAZING acts? From coast to coast, Canada boasts an impressive selection of summer music festivals. From small town venues to big city blowouts, there’s something out there for every music lover. Be in the know with this guide to some notable music celebrations happening from coast to coast this summer.
SLED ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL | Calgary, Alberta | June 21 - 25 |
Photo courtesy of Sled Island Music Festival
A one-of-a kind experience where bands, comedians, filmmakers and visual artists from around the world exhibit and perform for 5 days, transforming Calgary’s downtown core with over 35 venues. Special all-age passes are available for the under 18 crowd. Guest curator Flying Lotus has handpicked this year’s lineup featuring Converge, Silver Apples, Cloud Nothings, Low, Mono and many others.
Montebello Rock Fest | Montebello, Quebec | June 22-25 |
Photo courtesy of Montebello Rock Fest
A collection of predominantly hard rock acts, Rockfest is known as the largest rock festival in Canada. It’s a big party at the VIP and RV camping grounds with Ping-Pong tables, volleyball court and “chilling” tent. Featuring well-known bands such as Rammstein, Queens Of The Stone Age, Iggy Pop, The Offspring, Megadeth, Wu-Tang Clan, Meshuggah and more.
Dauphin’s Countryfest | Dauphin, Manitoba | June 29 – July 2 |
Photo courtesy of Dauphin’s Countryfest
The big-name headliners this year are Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Doc Walker and Johnny Reid at Canada’s longest running country music festival since 1990. This not-for-profit event provides grants to community projects and has a unique 12,000-seat outdoor amphitheater nestled among the trees and the Vermillion River .
Winnipeg Folk Festival | Winnipeg, Manitoba | July 6 - 9 |
Photo courtesy of Winnipeg Folk Festival
More than just folk, the Winnipeg festival offers numerous Canadian acts highlighted by Dallas Green’s City and Colour, The Shins, Feist, Barenaked Ladies, Bruce Cockburn, Daniel Lanois and Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary. The Chickadee Big Top is home to live children’s music and daytime workshops feature spontaneous jam sessions for one-of-a-kind artistic collaborations.
Cavendish Beach Music Festival | Cavendish, Prince Edward Island | July 7 - 9 |
Photo courtesy of Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-day outdoor music festival offers some of the biggest names in country music. This year’s lineup includes Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Brandy Clark, Kip Moore and many others.
Rock The Park | London, Ontario | July 12 - 15 |
Photo courtesy of Rock The Park
The 90’s are alive again with TONS of amazing acts from yesteryear including The Offspring, Salt N Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Naughty by Nature, CC Music Factory, joined by current chart toppers Lady Antebellum and Wiz Khalifa. Located in Harris Park beside the Thames River, it’s a short walk to downtown bars and restaurants.
Craven Country Jamboree | Regina, Saskatchewan | July 13-16 |
Photo courtesy of Country Thunder
This one is all about country music and is headlined by arguably the three biggest acts in the business today: Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and Keith Urban. Main Street in Craven is an old-west style thoroughfare with a “country fair” atmosphere complete with beer gardens and bull riding demos.
Pemberton Music Festival | Pemberton, British Columbia. | July 13 - 16 |
Photo courtesy of Huka Entertainment
Big name artists Chance The Rapper, Muse, A Tribe Called Quest and Major Lazer highlight this year’s festival located under the backdrop of magnificent Mt. Currie. Local shuttle buses run through the village of Pemberton and continuously from Whistler to the festival site so fans never miss a beat
Folk On The Rocks | Yellowknife, Northwest Territories | July 14-16 |
Photo courtesy of Folk On The Rock
Northern Canada’s biggest outdoor party along the beach of Long Lake has five stages jammed this year with a diverse lineup of artists. Featuring City and Color, Shad, Jason Collet and Elephant Stone to name a few. On-site attractions include local art installations and artisan crafters.
Hillside Festival | Guelph, Ontario | July 14-16 |
Photo courtesy of Hillside Festival
A festival for the entire family and a place to discover new music located along the shore of Guelph Lake Island. This eco-friendly festival has a Rainbow Stage with shows for kids featuring this year’s Youth Circus Project and a Sun Stage for spoken word artists. This is community spirit in all its glory.
Calgary Folk Fest | Calgary, Alberta | July 27-30 |
Photo courtesy of Calgary Folk Festival
Merritt Rockin’ River Musicfest | Merritt, British Columbia | August 3-6 |
Photo courtesy of Rockinriverfest
The Robson Valley Music Festival | Dunster, British Columbia | August 11-13 |
Photo courtesy of rvmf.tickit.ca
An intimate, grassroots multi-genre gathering of diverse musicians, this hidden gem in the scenic Rocky Mountains has something for everyone. Featuring folk artists Pharis and Jason Romero and Sweet Alibi, Fin de Fiesto Flamenco, Hip Hop duo Mob Bounce, indigenous Australian artists Oka and the “swamp opera” band The Honey Tongues, to name a few.
- Îlesoniq | Montreal, Quebec | August 11-12 |
Photo courtesy of Îlesoniq
Dance your socks off at Parc Jean-Drapeau and take in the Water Park, food trucks, games and artistic installations. Reserve a suite on a multi-level platform for a premium view of the main stages featuring musical headliners Porter Robinson, Alan Walker, Tiesto, Afrojack, Migos and others.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival | Edmonton, Alberta | August 10-14 |
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Folk Festival
Gallagher Park in downtown Edmonton hosts one of the leading folk festivals in the world. This year’s performers include City and Colour, Martyn Joseph, Tift Merritt, Valerie June and many others.
Riverfest Elora | Elora, Ontario | August 18 - 20 |
Photo courtesy of Riverfest Elora
Held along the banks of the Grand River in beautiful Bissell Park, the festival has a jam-packed program with performances by MGMT, Gogo Bordello, Sloan, Monster Truck, Mother Mother, Holleradd, K. Flay and many others.
Big Feastival | Oro-Medonte, Ontario | August 18-20 |
Photo courtesy of The Big Feastival
Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival | Fredericton, NB | September 12-17 |
Photo courtesy of Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival
Atlantic Canadian talent is well represented along with plenty of blues musicians who will perform during the 27th edition of the festival. This year’s diverse lineup features the return of local favourite Matt Andersen along with Colin James, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Martha Wainwright, Bruce Cockburn, The Revivalists, 13-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon "Taz" Niederauer, Matt Minglewood, Sloan and others.
Check out this website for a complete music festival calendar:
Exclaim! Magazine’s comprehensive list includes the name, date, location and headline acts for EVERY music festival taking place across Canada this summer: