Some Canada facts for you:
- It is the second biggest country in the world by area.
- Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
- There are (approximately) loads of music festivals in Canada.
Here are ten of the best.
Festival Lineup (2019): Tame Impala, Childish Gambino, Flume, Rosalía, Mac DeMarco, J Balvin, Janelle Monáe
Where better to start? We feel fairly comfortable saying that this is Canada's best; certainly when you're talking about the 'archetypal' music festival. Held in the Parc Jean-Drapeau over an August weekend, few do it better than this Montreal giant when it comes to scale, lineup, diversity and consistency.
When & where: 31 July - 2 August 2020, Montreal, Quebec
Festival d'été de Québec
Festival Lineup (2019): Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Slipknot, Blink-182, Twenty One Pilots, Diplo, Daniel Caesar
FEQ is an absolute musical marathon of a festival, with hundreds of performances taking place across Quebec City over the course of eleven days. Started back in 1968, the festival is a true institution that these days welcomes well in excess of one million music fans in total, flocking to the city to see performances from rock, indie, pop, hip-hop and dance music giants.
When & where: TBA July 2020, Quebec City, Quebec
North By Northeast
Festival Lineup (2019): Cupcakke, Haviah Mighty, American Football, Royal Tusk, Ellis, Owen, Walrus
As the name suggests, this is Canada's answer to the world famous SXSW. Not quite on the same scale as the Austin event (what is?) Toronto's new music showcase nonetheless welcomes an array of exciting new talent from across the musical spectrum and beyond, as well as some more established acts at the top of the bill.
When & where: 12-21 June 2020, Toronto, Ontario
Ottawa Jazz Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Norah Jones, The Roots, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Judith Hill, Ranee Lee, Chicago, Jane Siberry
Both Montreal and Ottawa are home to world-class jazz festivals, so this one was a bit of a toss up between the two. Toronto also has a reputable one too. But when in doubt, go with the capital. Bona fide music legends and incredibly talented lesser-known gems head to the heart of downtown Ottawa for a hugely expansive programme of performances.
When & where: TBA July 2020, Ottawa, Ontario
Boots and Hearts Music Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Cole Swindell, Kane Brown, Kip Moore, Chase Rice
Not only is Boots and Hearts the largest country music festival in Canada, it's the second largest country music festival in North America, behind only the CMA Music Festival. Welcoming 45,000 music fans each of its four days every year, the multi award winning festival hosts performances from the biggest names in the genre and the most exciting up-and-comers.
When & where: 6-9 August 2020, Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Festival Lineup (2019): Julien Baker, Japanese Breakfast, Rapsody, JPEGMAFIA, Cate Le Bon, Le1f, Hop Along
Fiercely independent with alternative and eclectic programming, a community spirit and a commitment to showcasing comedy, film and art alongside the musical offerings. Sled Island is the perfect spot for fans of music, art and culture that do not worry themselves with the mainstream.
When & where: June 24-28 2020, Calgary, Alberta
Shambhala Music Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Chase & Status, Bonobo, GRiZ, Zeds Dead, Kaskade, Silk City (Diplo + Mark Ronson)
One of the largest and longest running electronic music festivals in all of Canada, Shambhala is more focused on the underground than a lot of its contemporaries. Unencumbered by genre, the lineup ranges from house and techno to glitch, dubstep, drum & bass, hip-hop and experimental electronica.
Add that to the beautiful rural setting, left-field production, art installations, themed camps and a programme of workshops and the result is a festival unlike many others.
When & where: 24-27 July 2020, Salmo, British Colombia
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Festival Lineup (2019): Death Cab For Cutie, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Mraz, Half Moon Run, The Sheepdogs, K,Naan, Alvvays
Now over 40 years old, Winnipeg Folk Festival has been a fan favourite for literally generations. As the name suggests, folk is the primary focus, but as with any festival that welcomes more than 80000 music lovers that has expanded to include contemporary singer-songwriters and performers from the world of acoustic rock, indie, blues, Americana and more.
When & where: 9-12 July 2020; Winnipeg, Manitoba
RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
Festival Lineup (2019): The Killers, Snoop Dogg, Backstreet Boys, Kygo, Kane Brown, Alexisonfire, CHVRCHES
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019, Bluesfest is Canada largest music festival and one of the biggest in North America. What started out as a platform for blues has evolved into a multi-genre behemoth, welcoming the biggest names in rock, pop, hip hop, country, electronic and beyond to perform for over 300,000 fans every year.
When & where: 9-19 July 2020, Ottawa, Ontario
Festival Lineup (2019): Octave One, Blawan, Matmos, Project Pablo, GAIKA, Nicola Cruz, Jlin
Without doubt the most experimental electronic music festival in Canada. As well as showcasing digital art, MUTEK hosts a lineup of the scene's boundary-pushers, representatives of diverse club music from around the world, and a helping of the underground's favourites playing the best in house and techno.
When & where: 26-30 August 2020, Montreal, Quebec
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