With my first article of the summer of 2012, I bring you my guide to the music festivals around Canada that I feel fit for the Western community. Grab your friends, pack your bags, and get your Canada Via Rail passes ready because we’re going on a cross-country adventure to the cities that are bringing us MAJOR music festivals.
I’m completely amazed with the attention that Toronto is getting this summer, in regards to music festivals. It was like all of my prayers were answered when they announced Digital Dreams, but then Identity Fest was also announced and I could barely keep up. It didn’t stop there, this week, it was announced that Diplo and Skrillex would be tooting their horns on a train that will stop off in Toronto and make my summer officially amazing (my love for Diplo goes beyond words). There are also some smaller music festivals hitting Toronto over the summer, such as Space Ibiza, which includes the likes of Pleasurekraft, UMEK, and Adam K. For those who aren’t such big fans of electronic music, Toronto is also offering NXNE, a great week-long festival that includes the likes of The Flaming Lips, Matthew Good, and Purity Ring. It gets better for you alternative rock fans, as Edgefest will also make its annual way to Toronto on July 14th, featuring Billy Talent, Death from Above 1979, The Sheepdogs, and more! (p.s. CLICK on the festival titles for links to full lineups and ticket information!)
June 9th – The Sound Academy:
June 11th-17th – Various venues across Toronto:
June 30th- July 1st – Ontario Place:
July 14th – Downsview Park:
July 13th – Fort York:
July 21st – Echo Beach, Molson Canadian Amphitheatre:
August 4th-5th – Downsview Park:
August 17th - 19th – Algonquin Park: (ok, it’s not technically Toronto, but it’s in Madawaska, ON…)
After a good run in Toronto, you can start exploring the music in other Canadian cities. Next on the docket, If you’re in the Montreal area there are some great music festivals to attend while you’re there. Osheaga and POP Montreal are probably the two biggest festivals happening this summer. Osheaga will feature everyone from The Weeknd, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, and A$AP Rocky to Knife Party, Aloe Blacc, and The Airborne Toxic Event – Osheaga is probably one of the best music festivals happening this summer (in my opinion), so if you get the chance…go! POP Montreal is a music festival that features rock, indie-rock, alternative, hip hop, and folk artists – that this year, will include my main chick Azealia Banks!
August 3rd - 5th – Parc Jean-Drapeau:
September 19th – 23rd – Various venues:
After Montreal, why not stop off in Possibly catch some DJs there? Beyond the DJs, Ottawa is also holding their annual Bluesfest, which will include Snoop D-O-double-G, Young the Giant, Our Lady Peace, Young Empires, Beirut, A-Trak, Chromeo, Deltron 3030, Dirty Projectors, Pretty Lights, The Wooden Sky, and CARLY RAE JEPSEN. You can also hit up Escapade when you’re in Ottawa, which is more of an electronic festival, but just as great (Afrojack, Eric Prydz, and Avicii will be headlining there!).
June 30th - July 1st – Canada Aviation & Space Museum:
July 4th - 15th – Canadian War Museum:
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with our Canadian Politics, why not head to beautiful for Shambhala? It’s on my bucket list to visit British Columbia, as it should be on yours too. Amaze yourself with the scenic landscapes that British Columbia has to offer, while enjoying one of Canada’s top electronic music festivals! Shambhala is HUGE and has an amazing lineup (from Torro Torro, Dillon Francis, and Porter Robinson to Dub Fx, Terravita, Datsik, and Pretty Lights).
August 8th - 13th – Salmo River Ranch:
If you’re not as broke as me after this summer I will congratulate you personally. My wallet is aching after summer having started a month ago, let alone what’s to come in the next few months. My advice? Choose wisely. See where you will be spending the most time this summer (hopefully where you already have accommodations so that you’re spending less money there and thus will have more to spend on other festivals…muahaha!). Hopefully my guide has given your “summer music festival schedule” some organization (this isn’t even including the non-festival events that are happening!) and I intend to follow suit and enjoy as many music festivals that my VISA allows this summer! CHEERS!