With summer break just around the corner, students may find themselves with some extra time on their hands. The music festival scene in Canada has exploded over the last decade, offering music lovers young and old the opportunity to see their favourite music acts live and on Canadian soil.
If you find yourself with some extra time and money this summer, take a look at five of Canada’s top music festivals you won’t want to miss.
Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
Osheaga is a three-day music festival that runs every summer on the Civic Holiday long weekend in Montreal. The festival takes place in Parc-Jean Drapeau on Ile Ste-Hélène—a beautiful island located in the heart of Montreal. Over the years ,Osheaga has hosted some huge international acts, but because of the size of the festival it is also able to feature some really cool local emerging artists.
Take a look at some of the artists who have graced Osheaga’s stage in the past: Coldplay, The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Tegan & Sara, The Black Keys and Metric.
This year the headliners include Outkast, Jack White and The Arctic Monkeys, but the event will also feature popular Canadian acts like Sam Roberts Band, Serena Ryder and Half Moon Run.
Osheaga doubles as a visual arts festival, incorporating designs from local emerging artists into sets for each stage.
This year, general admission tickets will run about $250, but the festival does offer all-inclusive packages that offer VIA Rail passes from Toronto to Montreal, as well as accommodations at McGill University.
Visit Osheaga’s official website for more information.
OVO (October’s Very Own) Fest
OVO Fest is an annual concert held in Toronto hosted by the city’s very own Drake. The festival has been held at the Molson Amphitheatre since 2010 and over the years it has grown into a huge tourist attraction for the city. What started as a one-day concert has since grown into a two-day extravaganza, selling out almost instantly. Since 2010, the festival has seen some of music’s biggest stars perform on the Toronto stage. This year’s featured headliners include Outkast and Drake. But the highlight of OVO Fest always seems to be the unannounced artists Drake has up his sleeve. In the past, surprise guests have included: Kanye West, Eminem, TLC, Diddy, Ma$e, Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.
Tickets to this year’s show are already sold out, but there are still some available on websites like Kijiji & Stubhub.
Boots & Hearts
If country music is your thing, you won’t want to miss the Boots & Hearts festival taking place in Bowmanville, Ont. during the August long weekend. The festival has run since 2012 and was inspired by American music festival Bonnaroo. The four-day festival not only offers an amazing music experience, but also on-site camping facilities for concertgoers.
This year, the festival headliners are Luke Bryan, Toby Keith and Blake Shelton. Past headliners have included Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow.
This year, tickets are going for $269.99 (more if you’re looking for accommodations). But for those on a budget Boots & Hearts also offers a payment plan, allowing country music fans the option of paying for tickets in four easy instalments.
Shambhala Music Festival
Shambhala is a long-running annual electronic music festival, taking place in the middle of a 500-acre ranch in the wild interior of British Columbia. The family-run festival features six unique stages, more than 300 musical acts and free camping for concertgoers. The music never stops at Shambhala as performances run from dusk until dawn. It also features installations from local artists. Since 1998, the festival has remained free from corporate sponsorship, which allows the original vision of the festival to remain true. The festival now boasts more than 10,000 concertgoers who flock to the B.C. forests and share in the “Shambhalove.”
The full lineup will be released April 9 but, so far, this year’s headliners include Drum ‘n Bass legend Andy C, Bassnectar and Canada’s own A Tribe Called Red.
Get your tickets early to save on the $300+ fee. Watch the video below if you need some more convincing on why you should attend this magical festival.
North by Northeast
NXNE is a Canadian festival held each year during the first week of June in Toronto. The festival’s main focus has always been music, but over the years has transformed into a 10-day music, comedy, film,and art festival. This year the festival will run from June 13–22 and will celebrate the best in Canadian and international talent.
Over the years the likes of The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, Raekwon & GZA, Ludacris, K-os, Billy Talent and Action Bronson have taken part in the event.
Because of the size of NXNE, music lovers are able to purchase wristbands for the entire festival or for individual events they’d like to attend. Visit the official NXNE for more information.