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TOP 10: Music Festivals in Canada

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. 


: Travis Scott, Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine

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: 3-5 August 2018, Montreal

Festicket Guide / Book Osheaga 2018

Festival d'été de Québec


Headliners: The Weeknd, Neil Young, Lorde, Foo Fighters, Future

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 an true institution that these days welcomes well in excess of 1 million music fans in total, flocking to the city to see performances from rock, indie, pop, hip-hop and dance music giants.

When & where: 5-15 July 2018, Quebec City

North By Northeast


Headliners: CHVRCHES, Tinashe, Jazz Cartier, Azealia Banks

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, as well as some more established acts at the top of the bill. 

When & where: 8-17 June 2018, Toronto

Ottawa Jazz Festival

Headliners: Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Alison Krauss, Boz Scaggs

Both Montreal and Ottawa are home to world-class jazz festivals, so this one was a bit of a toss up between the two. But we've plumped for capital city's offering in this case. Bona fide music legends and incredibly talented lesser-known gems head to the heart of dowtown Ottawa for a hugely expansive programme of performances.

When & where: 21 June - 1 July 2018, Ottawa


Headliners: The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Diplo, French Montana, Steve Angello

Taking place on the same site as Osheaga, îleSoniq transforms its island home in the middle of the St Lawrence river into a dance music haven. From EDM and big-room house atop the bill, to helpings of rap, trap, trance, techno and drum & bass elsewhere on the lineup, the two day festival is an extravaganza of big beats and heavy-hitting DJs.

When & where: 10-11 August 2018, Montreal

Festicket GuideBook îleSoniq 2018

Sled Island

Headliners: Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, The Flaming Lips, Thundercat

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 20-24 2018, Calgary 



Headliners: Claptone, Dizzee Rascal, Malaa, Camo & Krooked, DJ EZ, Clams Casino, Justin Martin

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: 10-13 August 2018, Salmo (BC)

Winnipeg Folk Festival


Headliners: Sheryl Crow, Bahamas, Courtney Barnett, The Strumbellas

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: 5-8 July 2018; Winnipeg

Heavy Montréal 


Headliners: Avenged Sevenfold, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie

Completing the diverse trio of festivals that call Parc Jean Drapeau home is this heavy metal spectacular. Veterans of the scene are joined by the genre's most revered new proponents, exciting local acts, and thousands of metal-heads across a hard-hitting weekend. 

When & where: 28-29 July 2018, Montreal

Festicket Guide / Book Heavy Montréal 2018


Headliners: Acid Pauli, Honey Dijon, Kenny Larkin, DJ Lag

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: 22-26 August 2018, Montreal


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