10 Music Festivals You Should Attend With Friends This Summer In Toronto

Finally having fun in the sun is about to begin.

Photo cred - Veld

Toronto's music scene is booming with brand new music festivals surfacing each year, making music lovers happier and happier. Toronto is home to festivals of many music genres from jazz and rock to electronic in various outdoor and indoor venues. Hundreds of artists, bands and DJs from all over the globe make their way into Toronto to perform for people that simply all join together for the appreciation and art of music. I have chosen the top 10 music events in the city that festival-goers are looking forward to in the warmer months.

1. Canadian Music Week (CMW)

Canadian Music Week will be running for its 33rd year from May 1-10. CMW is renowned for being one of the most prestigious music events in North America, jam packing 10 glorious days of events in the city. Over 1,000 artists and bands are due to perform across 60 music venues. CMW not only offers sweet shows, but also music conferences, award shows, a comedy and film festival, as well as a trade exhibition. The variety of artists performing at CMW is overwhelming! Some artists include Canadian musician Kiesza, heavy deep house and techno act HolloH and synth pop star, Lights. The CMW artist line-up portrays some top notch local bands such as spacey pop band Bravestation, as well indie rockers, Fast Romantics and they are not to be overseen! More information on ticket pricing for all shows is listed on the website below.


2. CBCMusic.ca Festival

CBC Music Festival is happening May 23rd at TD Echo Beach where you can feel the sand between your toes and hear some great tunes at the same exact time. The all-Canadian line-up is bound to delight the audience with acts such as Bahamas, The Strumbellas, Joel Plaskett and tons more. Tickets are at an affordable price of 40 bucks, and more performers are to be announced closer to the date.


3. Electric Island

The Toronto island is a popular summer destination for many people both living in or visiting the city. Electric Island is one festival that will be delivering a concert and picnic series overlooking the city's beautiful waterfront. The outdoor summer events will be taking place on May 18th, July 1st, August 3rd and September 7th, ending long weekends with the sun, music, friends and grooves. Some dance acts to look forward to are Toronto's very own Art Department, Swedish techno producer DJ Adam Beyer and New York Based DJ Dennis Ferrer. Early bird tickets are still available and even include a ferry line bypass option. Check out more information below.


4. Field Trip

Toronto’s downtown community music and arts festival is back with a two day line-up happening June 6-7. The festival will be held at Toronto’s historic Fort York & Garrison Common. Field Trip has been combining music with culture at their events since the day it launched. This year, it is focusing on Toronto’s culinary talent with themes of food, art and fashion. The line-up for the festival is filled with a plethora of rock, pop and indie acts such as headliners Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket. UK pop artist Marina & The Diamonds is also making an appearance, along with many more. For full line-up and ticket information, click below.


5. Bestival

This UK based festival will be making its very first appearance overseas in Toronto this summer. Bestival will be taking place June 12-13 at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands, and will be hosted by Bestival co-founder Rob Da Bank and The Cuban Brothers. This music fest holds an a long list of diverse artists and DJs that will be performing at the city's first Bestival. Florence + The Machine is bound to wow fans with her overpowering vocals, being crowned as one of the headliners. Rapper, Nas, will also be sharing the title of headliner for the event. Electronic artists such as Caribou and Jamie XX are also on the list to hit the stage with their bizarre dance beats. Early bird tickets are sold out, but 1st tier tickets are still available through the website below.


6. Luminato Festival

Luminato Festival is coming back to Toronto June 19-28 to celebrate ten days of arts, creativity and music. The festival is putting on a pop music mashup taking place at the Air Canada Centre entitled Contemporary Color. The performance will include Talking Heads member David Byrne, Canada’s pop star Nelly Furtado, How To Dress Well, Kelis and more! The stars will be sharing the stage with 350 performers, a full band, as well as a colour guard team to put on an unforgettable and vibrant show. This is just one music attraction that Luminato Festival is offering this summer. Check out the website below for a full calendar of events and ticket pricing.


7. Toronto Jazz Festival

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has become one of North America’s leading jazz festivals that runs annually for a 10 day period. This year, events include over 350 performers at around 40 music venues in the city. Nathan Philips square is said to be the heart of the festival where many free jazz shows will be offered for the public to enjoy. Toronto Jazz Festival is set to take place July 18-29. Only a handful of performers have been announced so far such as American jazz performer Kurt Elling and vocalist/pianist Jamie Collum. Keep your eyes peeled on the website for artist updates and ticket information. Get ready to join over 50,0000 music lovers, as the soothing sounds of jazz take over Toronto.



North By Northeast Festival and Conference will be celebrating their 21st year as a Toronto summer music event this June. NXNE brings together roughly 350,000 participants that include artists, industry professionals and fans. It is taking place June 17-21 at various locations in the city. The first wave of performers have already been announced and include hip-hop artist Action Bronson, hip-hop duo Rae Stremmurd and rock duo Best Coast. This music event also combines other aspects other than live music to their roster. NXNE Film, NXNE Interactive, NXNE Comedy and NXNE Art are also a large part of eclectic things to see and take part in at the festival. Advanced tickets and/or wristbands are available below.


9. Digital Dreams

Bud Light Digital Dreams is known to be the largest electronic music festival in Canada! It is now in its fourth year and preparing its return to Toronto on June 27-28 at the Flats at Ontario Place. The weekend line-up offers a wide selection of respected electronic DJs with Armin Van Buuren, Zedd, Martin Garrix and Steve Angello headlining the festival. Last year brought together 80,000 bass lovers and this year should expect around the same turn up. So if you’re into enormous crowds and explosive, thumping beats, Digital Dreams is the music festival for you.


10. VELD

This past February VELD announced it's two big name headliners, without any hint towards any other artists performing at the weekend festival. Toronto native, Deadmau5 will be making a return to the VELD main stage on August 1st, closing the night with his heavy house beats in his infamous mouse mask. Dutch DJ Hardwell will be gracing VELD revellers with his presence, headlining the festival on August 2nd. VELD is being held at the grassy lands of Downsview Park. Side stages/tents aside from the main stage will also be filled with EDM performers throughout the day. This music festival is also known to have a large turnout, with approximately 70,000 people that attended last year. The rest of this year's line-up will be revealed to the public in the coming months.


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