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Music Festivals in Canada

by Travelbag on 28 May 2015, 10:05AM

Canada boasts some of the very best music festivals in North America, catering for every taste and music genre. Many of the biggest, most established festivals are regional and national institutions such as Winnipeg Folk Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest and Calgary Folk Festival, which all take place in July, and Edmonton Folk Festival in August. These events are large in size and stature and attract fittingly big names to fill their eclectic line-ups every summer.

Canada flag

The hottest acts of today and tomorrow can be scouted out at Canadian Music Week: a music industry conference as much as a music festival that takes place over five nights every May in Toronto, Ontario. With over 1,000 acts spread across 60 venues, CMW offers attendees a diverse selection of artists from mainstream pop heavyweights such as Rihanna to cult favourites like Metric, as well as a number of emerging acts to discover for the first time. Toronto is also home to Canada’s other big music industry-centric festival, NXNE, or North By North East, which takes play in July and is even more focussed on breakthrough acts and in-vogue headliners.

July also brings Festival D’ete De Quebec, Canada’s largest outdoor festival, which crams thousands of artists into hundreds of shows across Quebec City. Legions of revellers arrive every year to enjoy a wide range of acts, from Wu-Tang Clan to The Black Keys and even Skrillex. Pop Montreal is another big urban, French Canadian festival offering, and takes place over five days every September.

If you’re looking for fields and wide-open spaces rather than multi-venue city events, Pemberton Music Festival might just be what you’re looking for. Taking place in the village of the same name in British Columbia every July, this more traditional festival features stages, campsites and plenty of other attractions to complement its wide-ranging array of artists. Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay and Tom Petty have all graced its three days of live music over the years. There’s also Osheaga, Montreal’s annual, five-stage blow out that takes place every summer which always attracts a number of world-renowned acts. Rifflandia is a less established alternative in a similar mould staged in Victoria, British Columbia towards the end of summer.

For those wanting something heavier, Amnesia Rockfest is the ultimate Canadian rock and metal festival, bringing the noise every June for three days in Montebello, Quebec. Toronto’s Field Trip is another June festival that targets a rather specific kind of festival fan with its more curated and chic ethos.

Shambhala and Bestival are two quirkier options for festival goers seeking a more intimate and off-beat atmosphere. The former is an August favourite of the electronic music crowd with its positive “Shambhalove” vibes while Bestival boasts a more well-rounded list of acts every September in Toronto without risking its alternative credentials.

EDM lovers need to look up Veld in August festival while Country fans can pick between Boots And Hearts, Canada’s largest Country music festival, in August, or Prince Edward Island’s Cavendish Beach in July.

Click here to read more about Canada.


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