Festively Speaking: A Taste of Canadian Music Festivals


Spring is in the air and that can only mean one thing: the festivals are coming. It’s only a matter of time before your news feed is littered with photos of high-waisted cutoffs, crop tops and peace signs. Festival-talk around this time of year is typically dominated by American staples like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Sasquatch but let’s not forget about the gold we have here, north of the border:

Big Valley Jamboree – Aug. 1-4 (Camrose, AB)

Cowboys and cowgirls! Big Valley Jamboree is celebrating its 20th year this July and I can guarantee that this one will go down in history, folks. Most people thought that last year’s lineup couldn’t be rivaled but I’m happy to report that in 2013, Nashville will be taking over small town Alberta as BVJ is set to host country music’s biggest stars. A lineup that is too good to be true features Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Terri Clark and Country Music’s 2013 Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan (I told you it was too good to be true). Alongside these country greats are a number of Canadian artists including Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee and Shane Yellowbird. Grab your boots and hop in your pickup truck because BVJ 2013 will be sure to break your heart. 

Osheaga – Aug. 2-4 (Montreal, QC)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about what Osheaga 2013 has in store (although you might not believe it). Canada hasn’t seen a lineup this big since Pemberton Festival in 2008 (RIP). This year, Osheaga’s five stages will be taken over by headliners such as Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, The Cure, Ellie Goulding and Calgary’s own Tegan and Sarah. Not to mention a slew of other amazing artists who will undoubtedly blow your mind. Heads up that accommodation for Osheaga is not included in the ticket price, so look into making alternative arrangements.

Gentlemen of the Road – Aug. 23-24 (Simcoe, ON)

It came as somewhat of a surprise when Gentlemen of the Road announced a Canadian stopover on their 5-city tour. With 3 US destinations and one in the UK, Gentlemen of the Road will also be stopping over in Simcoe, Ontario. Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are set to headline this unique 2-day festival, along with a number of special guests including Old Crow Medicine Show and Vancouver native, Dan Mangan. The banjos and tambourines will surely be ringing so if you’re looking for a super chilled-out atmosphere, Norfolk County fairgrounds in Simcoe is the place to be this August.

Folk on the Rocks – July 18-21 (Yellowknife, NWT)

There’s no greater reason to check out our Great Canadian North than for Folk on the Rocks this summer, a festival that is known for showcasing a huge variety of Canadian talent. Nationally popular artists from coast to coast will be featured at Folk on the Rocks this year including Vancouver-based band Hey Ocean! and Toronto veteran, Hayden. Early bird passes are still available at less than $100 a piece for the entire weekend. If you’re up for an epic Canadian adventure and some sweet tunes, Folk on the Rocks will not disappoint. 

Rifflandia – Sept 12-15 (Victoria, BC)

This festival isn’t until September but it’s worth mentioning as it has been rapidly gaining popularity. After ironing out minor venue and scheduling kinks from some of the early years, Rifflandia is easily up there as one of Canada’s best. Previous lineups have featured artists such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Hollerado- proof that Rifflandia has a knack for featuring “big artists before they’re big” (if you’re into that kind of thing). Not to mention the wicked stages and venues conveniently located in and around downtown Victoria. Keep an eye out for this year’s lineup which is set to be released in the next couple of months. If you find yourself going through withdrawals at the end up the summer, Rifflandia is a great place to get one last festival fix.

Know of any more home-grown festivals? Let us know about them in the comments below.
Feature Image sourced on WeHeartIt. 


2 responses to “Festively Speaking: A Taste of Canadian Music Festivals

  1. Don’t forget Live at Squamish! Vampire Weekend, Macklemore x Ryan Lewis, Childish Gambino, and the list goes on…

    • Great suggestion! We’re hoping to feature more articles on upcoming music fests (there are A LOT happening, eh), so we’ll keep Live at Squamish on our radar for the next line-up.

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