Ontario Summers are for Music Festivals
Ontario’s summer culture has become undoubtedly, and perhaps forever, linked with its abundance of music festivals. With more than a couple dozen of them happening across Ontario over the next three months, we know it’s a lot to keep track of. That’s why we created this short guide, showing you all the upcoming music festivals across the province. Check out below for where and when these festivals are taking place, some of the performing artists, and what you can expect from each experience.
Ever After Music Festival | June 2nd – 4th
Where: Kitchener (425 Bingemans Centre Drive)
Headliners: Bassnectar, Excision, French Montana, Zed’s Dead
About: Kitchener’s infamous three-day EDM music festivals has become an established venue for some of the biggest performers from Toronto and beyond. A must attend for any adventurous bass lovers.
Field Trip: Toronto’s Downtown Music and Arts Festival | June 3rd & 4th
Where: Toronto (Historic Fort York and Garrison Common)
Headliners: Broken Social Scene, Phoenix, A Tribe Called Red, Feist
About: Runner for it’s fifth year, Field Trip has become a celebration for Toronto’s culture, art, music and diversity. Discovery and community are at the heart of this inclusive festival.
Sound of Music Festival | June 10th – 18th
Where: Burlington’s (Spencer Smith Park)
Headliners: The Offspring, Moist, The Trews, Illscarlett, USS, Marianas Trench, Finger Eleven, Smash Mouth and Many More
About: Having started in 1980 as a marching band, Sound of Music Festival has evolved tremendously since. Hosting a myriad of both emerging and legendary artists, each June they grow encompassing new attractions and performances. The largest festival in their area, the Sound of Music Festival last a full week just to contain all the amazing shows they are preparing.
Toronto Jazz Festival | June 23rd – July 2nd
Where: Toronto (Various Different Locations Across the City)
Headliners: Way too many to list, see the full calendar here.
About: Known as North America’s premiere jazz festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival has been running since 1987 and is expected to host over 1,500 musician across the city through its 10 day run. With over 85% Canadian artists, this festival helps support all things Jazz and Canada.
North by North East | June 23rd – 25th
Where: Toronto (51 Commissioners St.)
Headliners: Post Malone, Tyler The Creator, Passion Pit
About: North by North East is a 10 day music festival that delivers more than just music. Gaming, comedy, interactive activities and much more. The three music days run from the 23rd to the 25th, but be sure to check out the many other activities that the 23rd annual NXNE festival has to offer.
Trackside Music Festival | July 1st & 2nd
Where: London (900 King Street)
Headliners: Thomas Rhett, Kip Moore, Dallas Smith, Brothers Osborne
About: This 2-day country music experience will be in London this Canada Day weekend. Drawing people from all across Southwestern Ontario, the festival is hosting some of the biggest names in Country music.
CMT Music Fest | July – Dates Unconfirmed
Headliners: To be announced
About: This two day country music festival launched only last year, but still drew amazing shows from artists like Zac Brown Band and Eric Church. The success of the festival brings it back in 2017, with more detail to be announced soon!
Ottawa Bluesfest | July 6th – 16th
Headliners: Sam Roberts Band, 50 Cent, P!NK, LCD Soundsystem, Muse, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
About: Beginning in 1994, Ottawa’s Bluesfest has evolved from mainly focusing on blues music to encompassing a multitude of artists from a number of genres including rock, country, hip-hop, and rap. Taking place over a full week, each day is filled with several performers and features a headlining artist at the end of the day.
Dreams Music Festival | July 7th – 8th
Where: Toronto (Echo Beach)
Headliners: Above and Beyond, Dillstradamus, DVBBS, Steve Angello
About: Originally known as Digital Dreams, Dreams Music Festival is one of Toronto’s most popular electronic/EDM music festivals. Their current re-brand into a more mature and exclusive event may come with a few changes, but the possessive music and hypnotic light shows are sure to stick around.
Elora Festival | July – 14th-30th
Where: Elora (136 Metcalfe St.)
Headliners: Gordon Lightfoot
About: An annual celebration of Canadian culture and music, the Elora Festival is one of the oldest festivals in Ontario. Be sure to check out all the special features the festival will be bringing in to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
Mariposa Folk Festival | July 7th – 9th
Where: Orillia (Tudhope Park)
Headliners: Barenaked Ladies, The New Pornographers, Bruce Cockburn
About: More than a just a music festival, Mariposa hosts over 100 plus musicians, dancers, spoken word artists, amazing food vendors, and a variety of inclusive programs that expose the attendees to all things folk culture. Be sure to visit The Artisans’ Village where folk artisans will be selling a variety of handcrafted works.
Music Africa Afrofest | July – 8th & 9th
Where: Toronto (Woodbine Park)
Headliners: To be announced!
About: Growing to be one of the largest free African festival in North America, Afrofest was created to share the value of African culture with Toronto. Filled with diverse exhibits, performers, artists, and vendors, the festival invites people to celebrate African culture and diversity in Toronto. Help to keep it a free event by donating to this festival!
Rock the Park Music Festival | July 12th – 16th
Where: London (Harris Park)
Headliners: Lady Antebellum, Wiz Khalifa, The Offspring, Sublime with Rome, Alessia Cara
About: Spending its first 10 years catering to the Classic Rock demographic, London’s Rock the Park Music Festival has grown to include a variety of genres. This year the festival is hosting a different music genre each day. These include Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, I Love the 90’s (featuring artists such as Salt n’ Pepa, Vanilla Ice and Color Me Badd), Alternative Rock and Pop Rock. Get your tickets fast, the I Love the 90s night has already sold out!
Hillside Festival | July 14th – 16th
Where: Guelph (Guelph Lake Conservation Area)
Headliners: Ora Cogan, The Franklin Electric, Xavier Rudd
About: This 3-day, five stage festival hosts musicians, spoken word artists, and workshops from across Canada. Past performers include Gord Downie, Feist, The Weakerthans, Sloan, City and Colour, Arkells and several other great Canadian artists. A truly Canadian experience in the great outdoors.
River and Sky Festival | July 20th – 23rd
Where: Field (Fishers’ Paradise)
Headliners: Wintersleep, Timber Timbre, Pup, Weaves (More Coming Soon!)
About: This boutique summer music festival features emerging indie, roots, folk, punk and electronic artists. The location, Fishers’ Paradise just South of River Valley, is the perfect natural setting that includes camping and swimming.
OVO Fest | July – Dates Unconfirmed
Where: Toronto (Echo Beach)
About: Every summer the renowned Toronto rapper Drake draws thousands of fans to his local stomping grounds for the now iconic festival named after his very own record label. The festival is known for surprising its audience with special guests and secret performers. Be sure to check out some of the rumours circling online about who will be attending this year’s festival.
Wayhome | July 28th – 30th
Where: Oro-Medonte (Burl’s Creek Event Grounds)
Headliners: Imagine Dragons, Frank Ocean Fume, Cage the Elephant
About: Not your typical music festival, Wayhome is running for it’s third year on its values of bringing different and interesting people together to experience good music, food and all around togetherness. Hosting a multitude of stages with various indie performers, a seemingly endless row of amazing food trucks and variety of vendors selling handcrafted goodies, this festival is sure to become an Ontario staple. Be sure to invest in a camping space to get the full three-day party experience!
Boots and Hearts | August 10th – 13th
Where: Oro-Medonte (Burl’s Creek Event Grounds)
Headliners: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Eldredge
About: There has never been a country music festival quite as big as Boots and Hearts in Canada. This festival is a four-day celebration featuring some of the biggest names in country. The festival grounds are massive and surrounded by vast meadows that show off a beautiful Canadian landscape.
Veld Music Festival | August 5th & 6th
Where: Toronto (Downsview Park)
Headliners: Future, Major Lazer, Tiësto, Zedd, Migos, Tory Lanez
About: This will be the sixth annual Veld Music Festival. It may appear that the festival is short being only two days in length, but you will be exhausted by the end. Guaranteed. The festival features over 30 internationally acclaimed Dance Music and Hip-Hop acts which will continually keep you on your feet.
Havelock Country Jamboree | August 17th-20th
Headliners: Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Jana Kramer
About: Another camping and music festival, Havelock Country Jamboree is a smaller scale to Boots and Hearts. It’s four days long and it has been running for 27 straight years! This year, the festival has added new larger twin stages to up the ante from previous years.
Greenbelt Harvest Picnic | August – Dates Unconfirmed
About: This isn’t so much a festival as it is a celebration of art and music that also raises awareness for local farmers and the local food movement. Nonetheless, it’s on the list. The festival features a diverse lineup of musicians, both of local and international talent. There are tons of activities including fishing, hiking, canoeing and disc golf. There’s even a Kids Area, so it’s fun for the whole family!
Riverfest | August 18th-20th
Where: Elora – Bissell Park
Headliners: MGMT, Gogol Bordello, Monster Truck, Mother Mother
About: This is the 9th annual Riverfest held in Elora. It started off as a humble little music festival held along the banks of the Grand River, and it has come a long way since then. The festival is predominantly Canadian and covers a wide array of genres.
As these amazing festivals get closer and closer we will continue to update our guide to fill all the information still to be announced! Let us know which music festival you are most excited for!
This post was created in conjunction with indieinterluded.com an alternative indie music blog from Toronto.