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Top 15 Canadian Music Festivals to Check out This July!

Top 15 Canadian Music Festivals to Check out This July!

Now that July is here, festival season in Canada is kicking into full swing. Whether you’re into rock, indie, metal, electronic, hip-hop, folk or blues, there’s great festivals for all genres happening from British Columbia, to The Northwest Territories to The Prince Edward Islands. Here are 15 of our favourites (in no particular order) that you can check out this July!

Heavy Montreal (Montreal, QC)

Heavy Montréal is a two-day, summer heavy metal and hard rock music festival held annually at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, taking place on July 27th & 28th. This years headliners include Slayer, Ghost, Godsmack & Slash.

WTFest (Brantford, On)

Brantford’s biggest music festival, WTFest returns on July 27th, 2019 at Lions Park. The fourth-year festival is set to feature an incredible onsite event headlined by Juno award-winning modern rock revivalists The Sheepdogs, and support from USS, The Beaches, and Ascot Royals.

Folk On The Rocks (Yellowknife, NWT)

Every year since 1980, over 30 diverse musical acts from North, South and beyond, have gathered each year on the sandy shores of Yellowknife’s scenic Long Lake to bring you Folk on the Rocks – the coolest Canadian Music Festival north of 60! Set in a natural amphitheater, the breathtaking site provides the backdrop for five stages of live music, workshops, a cultural area and beer garden – all under the lure of the midnight sun. Folk on the Rocks’ unique mix of southern, and northern musical acts results in a culturally diverse program for both artists and audiences to experience. This year’s headliners include Wintersleep, LA Force & Lido Pimenta. 

Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec City, QC)

The FEQ is an annual 11-day music festival in downtown Quebec City. With a total attendance of about 1.5 million peoples year in year out and its hundreds of performances spread over a dozen venues, the festival has established itself as a major player on the music festival circuit. Its main stage (the largest of its kind in North America) is located on the historic Plains of Abraham. This year’s festival takes place on July 4th to 14th and headliners include Alt-J, 21 Pilots & Slipknot.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival (Vancouver, BC)

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is a Canadian cultural institution. It is a unique community-based celebration internationally renowned for presenting the finest traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world. Now in its 42nd year, the Festival continues to be one of the city’s most beloved, enjoyed, and respected events. Taking place on July 19 – 21st, this years headliners include Sam Roberts Band, Corb Lund and Basia Bulat.

Future Forest (Fredericton, NB)

Located outside of Fredericton, NB on a 200 acre wilderness preserve on the side of a river Future Forest is likely unlike anything you have experienced. Featuring over 140 musicians and taking place on July 26th – 29th, this years headliners include Justin Martin, Ardalan and Stickybuds.

Slamfest (Kitchener, On)

This will be Slamfest’s first edition, bringing in heavy metal acts Queensryche, Skid Row & Great White. The festival is taking place on July 6th at On The Grand. They are giving free entrance to all Roxodus (cancelled earlier this week) ticket holders, a pretty great act for a festival just getting on it’s feet!

Big Sky Music Festival (Oro-Medonte, ON)

Big Sky Music Festival invites fans to sing along to Alabama, Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio & more at Burls Creek Event Grounds, on Saturday, July 20th. They’re taking it back to the good ol’ days with a classic car show, camping, and craft market the whole family will enjoy.

Valhalla Sound Circus (Kazabazua, QC)

‘Valhalla Sound Circus is a cultural event in Quebec where free expression and community combines with big bass and even better vibes. The product? A singular event with live musical performances, collaborative visual art installations, and the aim of unifying and strengthening the bass music community to create a truly magical experience. This years event takes place on July 19 – 23rd and headliners include Bleep Bloop, Dubloadz & Eprom.

Marioposa Folk Festival (Orillia, On)

Mariposa Folk Festival is an exciting, vibrant and storied music happening! Often called the Grande Dame of North American music festivals, Mariposa is now entering its 56th glorious year with a line-up and program that fetes its illustrious legacy. Taking place on a beautiful lakeside setting on July 5th – 7th, headliners include Tom Cochrane, Lee Harvey Oswald and Shakura S’aida.

Evolve (Moncton, NB)

The Evolve Music and Awareness Festival is an annual 3-day summer celebration of music, culture, and social awareness. From its start in 2000 as a grassroots music and awareness festival featuring local bands, the festival has grown to showcase world-class performers from around the globe. This years festival is taking place July 19 – 21st and headliners include Chris Lorenzo, Leikeli47 & Marc Rebillet.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival (Calgary, AB)

The Calgary Folk Music Festival (better known as “Calgary Folk Fest”) is held in late July each year at Prince’s Island Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. July 2019 is the Festival’s 40th edition. A genre-bending affair, it features roots, funk, country, old-time, world and indie icons and upstarts from around the globe. Ever-evolving programming brings on-the-fly collaborations where musical arranged marriages spark one-time works of art. This years fest is taking place July 25th – 28th and headliners include Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Nightsweats, Lucius & Half Moon Run.

Cavendish Beach Music Festival (Cavendish Beach, PEI)

What was once a cow pasture in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, is now the home of the largest multi-day outdoor music festival in Atlantic Canada – the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. More than 60,000 visitors annually flock to the festival for the biggest names in country music, camping, dining, the warmest waters north of the Carolina’s and to create memories that last a lifetime. This years festival takes place on July 5th – 7th and headliners include Eric Church, Carrie Underwood & Hunter Hayes.

Bass Coast (Merritt, BC)

A DIY endeavour founded and run by women with no sponsors or corporate presence whatsoever, Bass Coast Festival is an independent international exhibition of electronic music and art. Founded in 2009 by Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson, the artist owned and operated event is a distinguished platform for Canadian artists and a springboard for innovative international talent. This years festival is taking place July 12th – 15th (already sold out!) and artists include Stickybuds, The Funk Hunters & Sabo.

Ottawa Blues Fest (Ottawa, On)

Ottawa Bluesfest has been ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of the top-10 most successful outdoor music festivals in the world. People travel from far and wide to attend the ‘fest, and music fans in Ottawa look forward to opening night with mounting anticipation, year after year. This award winning, multi-staged music extravaganza is the biggest outdoor music festival in Canada and is considered one of the most important music events in North America. Thousands of national and international performers are featured annually at LeBreton Flats Park, in downtown Ottawa. This years fewtival takes place July 4 – 14th and headliners inlcude The Killers, Eric Church & The Backstreet Boys.

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About The Author

Jesse Read

Jesse Read is a videographer, writer and editor for Dropout Entertainment. As a musician as well as a videographer, Jesse has travelled the country numerous times, playing alongside and listening to the stories of hundreds of artists. A few of those are documented on this site. For video's, interviews & features follow the contact us tab!

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