Open Your Ears: 25 Can’t Miss Canadian Music Festivals to Hit Before September

Music and millennials go together like an iPod and headphones. That is to say, they’re attached at the ears. 

And if you’ve never hit the Canadian summer concert series, you’ve been doing those ears a lifelong disservice. This country is stacked so full of auditory delight that we’ve come up with 25 can’t-miss music festivals that feature every type of sound you can imagine. 

And even some you can’t. 

So pack up, book off, and settle in. It’s time to open your ears…

Telus Ski and Snowboard
Whistler, BC | April 10-19
It starts in one week and it’s in Whistler. What else do you really need to know?

Sled Island 
Calgary, AB | June 24-28
Originally inspired by Pop Montreal, this is how you take over Calgary.  

Calgary Stampede 
Calgary, AB | July 3-12
If you haven’t put on a cowboy hat and pretended to love cows at least once, you’ve been doing it wrong. 

Pemberton Music Festival
Pemberton, BC| July 16-19
The official lineup was just released, and it’s basically mind blowing

Calgary Folk Fest 
Calgary, AB | July 23-26
Think acts like Elliot Brood, Alabama Shakes, and Bahamas. There’s a reason it grew from one-day to a full four.  

Dawson City Music Festival  
Dawson City, YT | July 24-26
This is as much about the here as the hear. Go there and see for yourself. 

Cowichan Valley, BC | July 30-August 2
If you’re going to go country (with 2015 headliner Keith Urban) there might not be a more beautiful place to do it. 

Squamish Valley Music Festival
Squamish, BC | August 6-9
Sam Smith, Drake, Mumford & Sons. These three days will be so good you might not remember them.  

Shambhala Music Festival
Salmo River Valley, BC | August 7-10
This is about as grassroots as it gets. If you want to “dance and be free in the wilds of interior British Columbia” this festival was made for your hippie ways.


Canadian Music Week 
Toronto, ON | May 1-10  
Canada’s largest new music festival, CMW packs 1,000 bands into a five-night stretch. Yes, 1,000. 

Field Trip 
Toronto, ON | June 6-7
Perhaps the best ‘boutique music festival’ happening in the country, on this weekend in June you’ll find Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, The War on Drugs, and many, many more.  

Toronto, ON | June 12-13
Any festival that has both Florence and the Machine and NAS as headliners is definitely at least going to draw a great/interesting crowd – especially when it’s the UK festival’s first time in Canada. The fact that it’s on the island only makes it even more appealing. 

Toronto, ON | June 17-21
10 days and nights, draws over 350,000 attendees.

Ottawa Blues Fest 
Ottawa, ON | July 9-19
This is Ottawa at its best. Nobody does full-blown Canadiana like the capital. 

Wayhome Music & Arts Festival
Oro-Mendente, ON | July 24-26
From the creators of Bonnaroo, this is what happens when the big boys and girls come to town. 

Hillside Festival 
Guelph, ON | July 24-26
Think of this as the anti-wayhome festival. Smaller in every way, from headliners to camping space, we still expect it to be just as much fun. 

Toronto, ON | August 1-2
A world-class dance party that’s featured the likes of Avicii and Deadmau5. Don’t plan on sleeping.  

OVO Fest
Toronto, ON | August 1-3
Drake does Toronto. That is all. 

Boots & Hearts 
Bomanville, ON | August 6-9
Country music at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds. BURL’S CREEK. Oh, and Brad Paisley will be there too.  

Amnesia Rockfest
Montebello, QC | June 18-21
These guys claim to be the biggest rock festival in Canada. And they prove that with a line-up that features System of a Down, Linkin Park, Pixies, and – wait for it – Snoop Dogg…?

Montreal Jazz Fest
Montreal, QC | June 26-July 5
Just the LARGEST JAZZ FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD. (Sorry, we’re proud, is all.)

Festival D’ete De Quebec 
Québec City, QC | July 9-19
As the website says, 300 Shows, 10 Stages, 11 Days – all in downtown Québec City. And some little band called The Rolling Stones will be dropping by for a set or two.    

Montreal, QC | July 31-August 2
Is this the greatest festival in all of Canada? Go. And report back. 

Heavy Montreal
Montreal, QC | August 7-9 
If you like to mosh (even just a little) this is well worth the ticket price. Say hi to Skipknot, Korn, and Iggy Pop for us. 

Ile Soniq
Montreal, QC | August 14-15
This year’s line-up hasn’t been released yet but based on last year’s alone you’re going to want to be there. Bring your dancing shoes. Two pairs, actually.  

This post was sponsored by MINI Canada. With the new MINI 5 door, connectivity and iconic go-kart handling, these music festivals won’t be the only thing you’ll have to look forward to.


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