Best Music Festivals

The 14 Most Incredible Music Festivals In Canada You Need To See

When it comes to travel tourism for festivals, I think it’s fair to say that most of the spotlight lands on the United States and Europe.

Now, don’t get me wrong: these regions have some of the most incredible musical experiences in the world. The U.S. in particular has some of the most popular music festivals in the world, and European music festivals are no joke either.

However, as a Canadian, I feel as if the Great White North deserves a bit more representation when it comes to music in general (I mean, we have Drake and The Weeknd after all).

Additionally, Canadian music festivals are nothing to scoff at. In fact, Canada has a wide variety of premier music festival events throughout the year that span across the country.

If you live in Canada or plan on visiting our beautiful country sometime soon, I highly recommend checking out this list of the best Canadian music festivals and adding at least one event to your bucket list.

1. Osheaga

Osheaga is actually my favorite music festival, and it’s certainly one of the top Canadian music festivals there is.

Taking place in Montreal, Osheaga is a three day, multi-genre, outdoor music festival that brings together some of the very top artists from around the world.

The city of Montreal is truly a magnificent backdrop for any festival as well. Between the beautiful summer weather, rich cultural history, and booming downtown nightlife, your Osheaga weekend will be the experience of a lifetime.

Osheaga 2020 lineup: Foo Fighters, Kedrick Lamar, Lewis Capaldi, Lizzo, French Montana, Little Tecca, and many more.

Osheaga 2020 dates: July 31st to August 2nd.

Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal.

Attendance: 40,000.

2020 Osheaga ticket prices: General $333 CAD, Gold $608, Platinum $1,258, Day Pass $142.


2. Veld

As someone who has lived near Toronto for their entire life, it’s impossible to write a list of the best Canadian music festivals without mentioning Veld.

If you’re a fan of EDM music, the two day Veld experience is something you need to try in your lifetime.

Just like Osheaga, Veld is an awesome music festival to attend for both the music and cultural aspects you’ll experience. Listen to some of the top DJs from around the world and then explore the sights and experiences the beautiful city of Toronto has to offer.

Veld 2020 lineup: DaBaby, Tyga, Alan Walker, Cosmic Gate, Galantis, Lil Tjay, Menduza, and so many other talented artists and DJs.

Veld 2020 dates: August 1-2.

Location: Downsview Park, Toronto.

Attendance: 20,000.

2020 Veld ticket prices: General $268, VIP $343.


3. Boots and Hearts Music Festival

Boots and Hearts Music Festival is a country lover’s dream festival. It is the second largest country music festival in all of North America, and this festival is designed for an incredible four day camping experience that is truly immersive.

Boots and Hearts provides some of the best performances from some of the biggest names in the country music industry. If you live in Canada or have travel plans this summer, adding this festival to your list is a must. There are performers that provide shows from other genres as well such as pop, but it is admittedly designed for country fanatics.

Just be sure to pack properly and to consult our music festival packing list. Canadian summers get hot, and a 4-day camping festival is no joke.

Boots and Hearts Music Festival 2020 Lineup: Eric Church, Dan and Shay, Jon Pardi, Dustin Lynch, Brothers Osbourne, Alessia Cara, Cam, Andy Grammer and many more popular and up and coming artists.

Boots and Hearts Music Festival 2020 Dates: August 6-9. 2020.

Location: Burl’s Creek, Oro-Medonte, Ontario.

Attendance: 45,000.

2020 Boots and Hearts Music Festival Ticket Prices: General 4 Day $269.99, VIP 4 Day $599.99.


4. Shambhala Music Festival

Shambhala Music Festival is made for fans of the dance music industry. It is the top electronic dance music festival with expert lighting, sounds and talent.

There are camping amenities available at Shambhala which definitely enhance the entire festival vibe. Plus, the stages at Shambhala are truly spectacular. This festival has been voted as the Best Festival in North America in 2019, and it has a great following through the Shambhala Fam from its twenty-three year history.

If there is one Canadian music festival you need to see in your lifetime, Shambhala is definitely a close contender for first choice.

Shambhala Music Festival 2020 Lineup: DJ Premier, What So Not, BTSM, Defunk, Dr. Fresch, Tiga, Wuki, Sub Focus, Malaa, Bob Moses, Claptone, Tipper, Testpilot and many, many more local and headlining talents. There are over two hundred more artists waiting to be announced as well.

Shambhala Music Festival 2020 Dates: July 24-27, 2020

Location: Salmo River Ranch, British Columbia.

Attendance: 17,000.

2020 Shambhala Music Festival Ticket Prices: Early Bird General with Camping and Parking $395, General Admission with Free Camping and Parking $450.


5. Contact Winter Music Festival

Contact Winter Music Festival is one of the music festivals in Canada that occurs during the winter, but don’t worry, this festival is indoors.

It just finished in December, but it is looking to return in 2020. Some of the genres of music represented at this music festival include EDM, trance, trap, rap and techno musics.

Contact Winter is definitely dance music oriented. It features headliners and local talent, as well as after parties to continue enjoying all that the festival has to offer.

Canada gets a lot of flak for how brutal our winter season can be. However, Canadian winter culture is something you need to experience in your lifetime, so I recommend booking a bit of extra time off for this festival to make the most out of your time in British Columbia.

Contact Winter Music Festival 2020 Lineup: Major Lazer, Tails, Kaskade, San Holo, Tiesto, Fisher and others were at the festival last year. Artists are waiting to be announced for 2020’s festival.

Contact Winter Music Festival 2020 Dates: December 26-27, 2020.

Location: BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Attendance: 170,000.

2020 Contact Winter Music Festival Ticket Prices: General 2 Day Tier 001 $169.95, General 2 Day Tier 002 $189.95, General 2 Day Tier 003 $209.95, VIP 2 Day $329.95, General 1 Day Tier 001 $115.95, General 1 Day Tier 002 $135.95, VIP 1 Day $189.95.


6. Ever After Music Festival

Ever After Music Festival gives off a vibe of being in a fantasy, or as they call it, a wonderland.

This festival is centered towards dance music, primarily in the form of the electronic bass music. If you can’t make it to Veld, I suggest Ever After as a backup plan since both music festivals occur in the Greater Toronto Area.

The atmosphere is fun, loud and exciting. Most of the acts are electronic bass performers, though there are features from all genres of electronic dance music. There are also camping accommodations and activities such as zip-lining available to participate in.

2020 Ever After Music Festival Lineup: Slander B2B Subtronics, Rezz, Liquid Stranger, Calcium, Haus of Panda, Whipped Cream and many other artists in the dubstep and EDM genre.

2020 Ever After Music Festival Dates: June 12-14, 2020.

Location: Kitchener, Ontario.

Attendance: 3,000.

2020 Ever After Music Festival Ticket Prices: General 3 Day $179.99, General 3 Day Buy 4 or More $169.99, Rabbit Hole $209.99, VIP $247.50, VIP Buy 4 or More $240, Pre-Party $30, General 1 Day $129.99.


7. Quebec City Summer Festival

One of the best Canadian music festivals in the summer is the Quebec City Summer Festival. This is an outdoor, eleven day festival that occurs in the historical district of downtown Quebec City.

There are street performers and activities for the whole family to enjoy as well, and you would be hard-pressed to find a better location than Quebec City. Between the amount of history, food, entertainment, and cultural attractions the city has to offer, you’re more than set for an amazing 11 days.

There are over three hundred shows that accompany the festival, including some of the top names in the music industry. This is definitely an iconic music festival in Canada, and I recommend this festival or Osheaga to anyone who has never visited Quebec.

Quebec City Summer Festival 2020 Lineup: Halsey, Five Seconds of Summer, Imagine Dragons, Sublime with Rome, Jack Johnson, Charlie Puth, Alanis Moorissette, G-Eazy, Marshmello, The National, Rage Against the Machine, Rod Stewart, X Ambassadors and hundreds more.

Quebec City Summer Festival 2020 Dates: July 9-19, 2020.

Location: Quebec City.

Attendance: Over 1,000,000.

2020 Quebec City Summer Festival Ticket Prices: Eleven Day General Pass $110, Pre-Sale Eleven Day General Pass $100, Gold Front Stage Zone $713, Silver Front Stage Zone $413, Bell Signature Zone $470, Turnkey Package $179.


8. Pop Montreal International Music Festival

Pop Montreal celebrates musicians that are headliners as well as up and coming musicians. It is a non-profit festival that wants to recognize independent artists from international locations.

The festival is five days long in takes place during the fall. Fall is honestly an incredible beautiful time in Canada, with hiking or outdoor activities being extremely pleasant to take part in.

Pop Montreal celebrates other art forms as well through art exhibits, symposiums, film screenings and fashion shows. Montreal is simply an incredible city on it’s own, but adding this Canadian music festival to the city only sweetens the deal.

Pop Montreal International Music Festival 2020 Lineup: The artists have not yet been announced for the 2020 festival. In 2019 artists included Helm, Yung Baby Tate, Weyes Blood, Tirzah, Bad Waitress and more.

Pop Montreal International Music Festival 2020 Dates: September 23-27, 2020

Location: Montreal, Quebec.

Attendance: 50,000.

2020 Pop Montreal International Music Festival Ticket Prices: Blind Discovery Pass $95, Pop Hopper $15, Single Show Tickets $10-$45.


9. Chasing Summer Festival

Chasing Summer Festival is the largest electronic dance music festival that takes place in Calgary, Alberta. It is an exciting and fun two days and is a celebration of the tragically short season of summer.

Chasing Summer features headliners in the EDM world as well as new talents. So many music festivals in Canada take place in Ontario, Quebec, or British Columbia, so it’s nice to see the beautiful province of Alberta getting some love.

Chasing Summer Festival 2020 Lineup: Armin Van Buuren, Marshmello, Fisher, Tigerlily, Tritonal and many more.

Chasing Summer Festival 2020 Dates: August 1-2, 2020.

Location: Max Bell Centre Festival Grounds Calgary, Alberta.

Attendance: 35,000.

2020 Chasing Summer Festival Ticket Prices: General 2 Day Early Bird $149.95, General 2 Day Tier One $169.95, General 2 Day Tier Two $179.95, General 2 Day Tier 3 $189.95, VIP $219.95, Ultra VIP $299.95.


10. Escapade Music Festival

Escapade Music Festival is sponsored by Budlight and is fully devoted to electronic dance music. It has four stages dedicated to different types of EDM including the main stage, the trance stage, the dreambox stage and the bass stage. If you’re a self-declared ‘Bass Head,’ this is definitely the right festival for you.

This festival has been going on for ten years and promotes new artistry, though it does not neglect headliners in the EDM world.

If you’ve never visited the historic capital city of Canada, this might be the perfect trip to plan this summer.

Escapade Music Festival 2020 Lineup: Martin Garrix, Illenium, the Chainsmokers, Kaskade and many more local and international artists.

Escapade Music Festival 2020 Dates: June 20-21, 2020.

Location: Ottawa, Canada.

Attendance: 20,000.

2020 Escapade Music Festival Ticket Prices: The general and VIP tickets are already sold out for this year!


11. RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Ottawa

Bluesfest Ottawa has been succeeding in the music festival industry for the last twenty-five years. This is another eleven day festival that is one of the largest music festivals in all of North America.

Bluesfest Ottawa began as solely a blues festival, but since has showcased artists of all genres including pop, country, R&B, hip-hop and even EDM.

It is obviously hard to take a full eleven days away from work. However, if you can spare some time to enjoy this Canadian music festival and some Ottawa sightseeing, I strongly recommend burning vacation days for it.

RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Ottawa 2020 Lineup: Alanis Morissette, Blink-182, Dean Lewis, DJ Shadow, Jack Johnson, Marshmello, Nelly, Rage Against the Machine, Travis Tritt and many more.

RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Ottawa 2020 Dates: July 9-19, 2020

Location: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario.

Attendance: 300,000

2020 RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Ottawa 2020 Ticket Prices: Pick 3 Pass $129-$189, Pick 5 Pass $170, Full Festival Pass $259, General Tier 2 $159, General. $179, VIP 1 Card $605, VIP Full Festival $705, Day Pass $65.


12. Bass Coast Festival

Bass Coast Festival promotes nature alongisde by showcasing Canada’s beauty and promoting local artists, community, and culture.

Bass Cost celebrates electronic dance music artistry, as well as other art forms through art displays that are situated around the festival grounds. The festival aims to bring people together from all walks of life, and this is definitely more of a spiritual or cause-driven music festival than your typical EDM rager.

Bass Coast Festival 2020 Lineup: Ben UFO, Moxie, The Librarian, The Funk Hunters and more.

Bass Coast Festival 2020 Dates: July 10-13, 2020.

Location: Merritt, British Columbia.

Attendance: 6,500.

2020 Bass Coast Festival Ticket Prices: General Tier 1 $345, General Tier 2 $369, General 1 Day $59.


13. North by Northeast Festival

North by Northeast Festival is a ten day festival that not only promotes the power of music, but also promotes gaming through eSports events., comedy through comedian shows, and much more.

This festival has been occurring for twenty-six years and also includes art displays, rides and food for your enjoyment. The festival closely mirrors a popular American music festival, South by Southwest.

The eSports competition is free to participate in. There are performances throughout Toronto, but the primary location is Yonge Dundas Square.

North by Northeast Festival 2020 Lineup: Cleopatrick, Walrus, Sir Babygirl, Leif, Santigold and more!

North by Northeast Festival 2020 Dates: June 12-21, 2020.

Location: Toronto, Ontario.

Attendance: 350,000.

2020 North by Northeast Festival Ticket Prices: Single Wristband $29.


14. Sled Island Music and Arts Festival

Sled Island Music and Arts Festival celebrates independent artistry with shows from alternative and eclectic musicians. Art shows, film showings and comedy shows are also provided at the festival, providing a truly diverse festival experience.

There aren’t really mainstream artists at this event. However, there is a great sense of community and pride in the artistry represented, and this is certainly one of the top music festivals in Alberta alongside Chasing Summer.

Sled Island Music and Arts Festival 2020 Lineup: The Black Angels, Pussy Riot, Sacred Paws, OM, Control Top, Liturgy, Diet Cig and many more.

Sled Island Music and Arts Festival 2020 Dates: June 24-28, 2020.

Location: Calgary, Alberta.

Attendance: 44,000.

2020 Sled Island Music and Arts Festival Ticket Prices: Single Show Tickets $15-$35.


Final Thoughts

Canadian music festivals provide a wide range of music genres that all provide a celebration of arts and music. Whether you enjoy country or electronic dance music, and all things in between, you are sure to find something for you in the music festivals in Canada.

Canada is also a beautiful country with breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural tradition, great food, and friendly people. If you have time to attend a music festival in Canada, I also recommend taking some time to explore the scenery and cities around you.

Thank you so much for checking out our list of the best Canadian music festivals! If you’re planning on attending a festival this summer, I would love to know which one (and why) in the comments below.

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