Looking for the best music festivals in Canada? Well, look no further, because I’ve put together what I think is the ultimate Canadian Music Festival Bucket list! From epic weekend-camping adventures, mega raves, and city-wide events, Canada is home to some truly spectacular events throughout the year that’ll keep all music fans entertained!
For international travelers, Canada is a must-visit destination famous for its unbeatable scenery, super friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and incredible cities – so planning a trip to Canada to attend one of these music festivals would be a fantastic decision! I actually just moved up to Seattle, and plan on making tons of trips up there in 2020 to check out a few of these special events!
So without further ado…
Take a look at what I believe to be are the Top 30 Music Festivals in Canada!!
Also, if you’re planning on hitting up a camping festival this summer, make sure you check out The Ultimate Packing Guide To Camping Music Festivals and make sure you’re well prepared .
1) Shambhala Music Festival
When: July 24-27, 2020
Where: Salmo River Ranch, British Columbia
“This is Canada’s premiere Electronic Music Festival! Cutting edge Talent, Lights and Sound come together in Paradise to give life to a non-sponsored family run anomaly. Seeing it for yourself is the only way to understand exactly what is Shambhala.”
This has been at the top of my festival bucket list for years, and I’m thinking that 2020 is finally the year I make it to this infamous Canadian festival. Everyone I know who has been (and attend every year) say it’s truly spectacular, and is definitely one of their favorite times of the year. Complete with incredible camping, unbeatable Shambhala Fam vibes, massive stages, and insanely stacked line-ups – Shambhala is guaranteed to be a highlight of your summer!
Voted Best Festival in North America 2019 by the readers of DJ Mag
Fun Fact: During the festival, Shambhala Music Festival becomes the largest city in the West Kootenay.
Watch this jaw-dropping Shambhala 2019 after-movie below, and start planning your trip now!
2) Veld Music Festival
When: August 1-2, 2020
Where: Downsview Park, Toronto, Ontario
This two-day festival brings an impressively stacked line-up that would please just about any fan of electronic music. Tiesto, Major Lazer, and W&W will be bumping some heavy hitting EDM. Claptone, Mark Knight, Nicole Moudaber, and Sasha & John Digweed will be delivering the sweet sounds of the underground.
3) Snowbombing Canada
When: April (2020 Dates TBA)
Where: Sun Peaks, British Columbia
“Coors Light Snowbombing is a festival filled with fresh air, blue skies, black runs and white-hot parties. An exhilarating week-long whirlwind of brilliant bands and world class DJs in the unrivalled setting of Sun Peaks, British Columbia, Canada.
Canada’s Greatest Music Festival On Snow…”
4) CONTACT WINTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
When: December 2020
Where: BC Place, Vancouver
Genre: EDM / Electronic / House / Dance
“Contact Winter Music Festival is a dance music festival held each year in the Canadian city of Vancouver. The largest indoor party of its kind in Western Canada, Contact plays host to a number of the scene’s biggest names as the year approaches its final days.
From big room house and EDM to trance, trap and rap, the lineup features established international DJs, rising stars and promising local talent, all tasked with filling the vast space of the BC Place stadium with their own take on dance music’s diverse sound.”
5) Dreams Festival
When: June 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Echo Beach, Toronto, Ontario
“Dreams Music Festival is a 19+ boutique festival experience for a discerning electronic music fan, taking place at Echo Beach in downtown Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario. A new luxury festival with a familiar feel, Dreams is a two day, three stage, outdoor, sensorial celebration of Toronto’s music and arts community.”
6) Osheaga Music & Art Festival
When: July 31-August 2, 2020
Where: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal
“Osheaga is a unique and eclectic music and arts festival staged in the breathtaking landscape of Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau.” Spread out over 3-days with a massive line-up, this is a festival that will please just about everyone!
Since 2006, the OSHEAGA Music and Arts festival presented by Bell Alt TV, in collaboration with Coors Light has established itself as the most important festivals in Canada. With its numerous outdoor stages located at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Montreal’s Saint Helen’s Island, OSHEAGA attracts 135 000 music lovers from around the world. A huge celebration dedicated to music and visual arts, OSHEAGA has given itself the objective of championing the discovery of local and national emerging talent offering them the opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest international artists in the business including: Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Eminem, Mumford and Sons, The Black Keys, Krendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Muse, Travis Scott, Artic Monkeys The Lumineers, The Chemical Brothers and Childish Gambino. Over the course of several days, over 100 bands will take to the various stages at Parc Jean-Drapeau and across the city in the festive ambiance that only a Montreal summer can provide. OSHEAGA also holds a series of concerts and exhibitions in several locations around the city during the week leading up to the main event.
7 ) North by Northeast (NXNE) Festival
When: June 12-21, 2020
Where: Toronto, Ontario
“NXNE is a raging annual 10-day summer festival and conference, featuring music, gaming, comedy, interactive and more at this packed cultural explosion. The U.K. Guardian says “NXNE has crowned itself Toronto’s leading music event.” NXNE celebrates its 26th year in 2020 and takes over Toronto with showcases, panels, parties, installations, and more. NXNE includes a major three-day music festival that also features comedy, food, art installations and midway rides and games at NXNE’s Port Lands festival site. NXNE Game Land will present Canada’s largest-ever, free outdoor e-Sports competition at Yonge Dundas Square. We take over Toronto’s best live music clubs to present our must-see Club Land series of emerging music with extended last calls at your favourite sweaty club/bar/pop up venue.
NXNE takes place across the city of Toronto, one of the greatest cities in the world. The epicentre of the festival is Yonge Dundas Square in the heart of the city, some call it the 6’s Times Square. We shut down two blocks of Canada’s longest street. We also program in Toronto’s top live music venues as well as non-traditonal music spaces. NXNE has featured bands: at the airport, in parks, on streetcars, a ferry boat and much more.”
8) Quebec City Summer Festival
When: July 9-19, 2020
Where: Toronto, Quebec
Every year, the Festival d’été de Québec attracts over one million festival-goers to Québec City’s historical district for concerts by international superstars and top new talent. Colourful street performers also bring their special magic to the Festival, not to mention the great program of shows and activities for the whole family.
“300 shows, 10 venues and 11 days of music make the Festival d’été de Québec one of Canada’s biggest music festivals. In 2016: Sting and Peter Gabriel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Brad Paisley, Duran Duran, The Lumineers, Ice Cube, Selena Gomez, Flo Rida, Half Moon Run, Hedley and Rammstein.”
9) Astral Harvest
When: July 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: North Country Fair festival grounds, Lesser Slave Lake North
Home is not a place. It’s a feeling.
“Astral Harvest is a celebration of music, art, knowledge, community and the human experience. Enjoy the sounds of talented musicians and producers from all over the world showcased on enticing stages that are sure to provide the ultimate visual and auditory experience. Daytime, Night-time, Chill, and Acoustic; There is a little something for everyone.
Explore untapped elements of your intellectual, intuitive, and creative mind. Join skilled facilitators from our community as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics and artistic mediums. Seek an inner truth or learn a new art form. Whatever it may be, walk away feeling inspired.
Get your body moving, explore a new skill, or sharpen up a familiar one. The variety of workshops are sure to stimulate some curiosity within, so embrace the intrigue and challenge yourself. The diversity of workshops include yoga, dance, flow arts, and many more. People of all levels of experience are welcome, especially beginners!”
10) Motion Notion Festival
When: 2020 Dates TBA
Where: Beaverfoot Lodge, British Columbia
“Motion Notion lives in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and in the heart of Canadian underground electronic-music culture. We invite you to the spectacular Beaverfoot Lodge near Golden BC to experience the bliss we and the attendees have created over the past 18 years! The festival has always been something off the beaten path and a thing of discovery and amazement for all”
11) Pop Montreal
When: September 23-27, 2020
Where: Montreal, Quebec
“POP Montreal International Music Festival is a non-profit community organization that supports independent art forms, showcasing emerging and celebrated artistic talents worldwide. Now entering its 19th year, POP Montreal’s main event is a five-day long festival of music and art, which takes place in early fall, presenting more than 450 bands.
12) Chasing Summer
When: August 1-2, 2020
Where: Calgary, Alberta
13) Meme Festival
When: August 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Winnipeg, Canada
“The Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition (MEME) is the only annual event in Western Canada that highlights local and international electronic musicians at such a high profile and free public venue (The Cube). MEME is a festival that presents refined cutting edge electronic music performed using the latest in new creative technologies. MEME is a combination of 21st century artistic exploration and a collective celebration of human creativity expressed through a symbiotic relationship with technology. MEME is an experience that delivers a wide array of eclectic sonic soundscapes that are intellectually stimulating and also beckoning to the dancefloor. Some of the musical styles you can expect to hear at MEME include a broad spectrum of house, techno, deep dub, psychedelic, world, nu-jazz, ambient and experimental sounds.”
14) Mutek Montreal
When: August 2020
Where: Montreal, Quebec
“A beacon signaling the beginning of the summer festival, MUTEK returns to the heart of the Quartier des spectacles and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal (MAC) for 5 days and nights of carefully curated performances. Emphasizing live and original expressions of contemporary electronic music and audiovisual arts, the festivities run at a breakneck pace at various indoor and outdoor downtown locations.”
Organizing festivals across Mexico, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dubai, San Francisco, and Tokyo – it’s safe to say that MUTEK is making a massive global splash in the international festival scene!
15) Center of Gravity
When: NO 2019 Edition. Returning in 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Kelowna, British Columbia
“Canada’s Hottest Beach Festival is back! Now in it’s 10th year, the much anticipated Monster Energy Center of Gravity returns to Kelowna’s City Park July 28 – 30, 2017. Produced by Wet Ape Productions and Live Nation Canada, the biggest, adrenaline-pumping festival to hit the Okanagan includes three days packed with extreme sports, sandy beaches, bikinis, and some of the biggest DJ names in the world.”
16) Escapade Music Festival
When: June 20-21, 2020
Where: Ottawa, Canada
“Dedicated to the development of the electronic music scene, the event to be held in the nation’s capital will be presented on 4 distinct stages: the main stage, the bass stage, the trance stage, and the Dreambox stage, which will be devoted to local and emerging artists.
17) Evolve Festival
When: July 2020 (Dates TBA)
Where: Moncton, New Brunswick
Voted “Best Festival in Canada” 2010 by listeners of CBC Radio 3 Searchlight all over Canada!
“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.
Evolve also plays host to workshops that inform spectators about social issues such as personal wellbeing and environmental awareness.”
18) Field Trip
When: No 2019 Date. Returning in 2020 (June Dates TBA)
Where: Fort York & Garrison Common, Toronto, Ontario
“Since its launch in 2013, we have proudly grown Field Trip Music & Arts Festival into a multi-disciplinary, cross-generational event unlike any other. Thanks to the timeless performances of each artist, our partners, supporters, and most of all, our fans, Field Trip has become the distinctive start of summertime in Downtown Toronto, and our favourite weekend of the year.
“Field Trip is about so much more than just great, world-class music. Food, art, comedy, family, fashion and a spirit of discovery are among our many inspirations and each year’s Field Trip is dedicated to collaborative explorations of these themes.”
19) Bass Coast Festival
When: Merritt, British Columbia
Where: July 10-13, 2020
MUSIC. ART. NATURE
“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 destination for innovative international talent.
The natural beauty of British Columbia is a quintessential element of the Bass Coast experience. Our festival site, located outside the city of Merritt, in the picturesque Nicola Valley, invites attendees to be present with nature. Bass Coast prides itself in being an inclusive gathering that brings together people from diverse backgrounds and inspires them to participate to the fullest.”
““A DIY endeavour founded and run by women with no sponsors or corporate presence whatsoever, it’s a unique fixture in a region already known for its plethora of festivals…” –Resident Advisor
20) Canadian Music Week
When: May 19-23, 2020
Where: Toronto, Ontario
“Now in its 38th year, Canadian Music Week (CMW) is recognized as one of the premier music conferences and festivals in Canada. Known for its world class and expert keynote speakers, CMW has established itself as one of the largest and single longest running entertainment and networking events, attracting delegates from around the world. With seminars, keynotes/celebrity interviews, international match-making, mentoring sessions, networking & Canada’s largest new music festival – 1000+ artists, 40+ countries, 60 venues and 9 days – it is the official meeting ground for those leading and shaping our industries. For artists, it is a chance to learn and network with pros from all sectors of the industry who are at your disposal with the tools and knowledge to build your career in music.”
21) Bomfest 2020
When: June 19-20, 2020
Where: Edmonton Expo Grounds, Edmonton, Alberta
This two-day mega rave brings one of the biggest EDM line-ups over the Canadian summer! With an amazing venue, lovely PLUR vibes, and top notch tunes – this is a must experience electronic music festival in Canada!
With 2020’s line-up having Allstars like The Chainsmokers (who always throw it down), Diplo, and Louis the Child – you BETTER NOT miss this one!
22) IleSoniq Music Festival
When: August 6-8, 2020
Where: PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU, MONTREAL
ÎLESONIQ takes place at Parc Jean-Drapeau, located on the island of Île Saint-Hélène just minutes away from downtown Montreal.
Created in 2014, îleSoniq settled into the heart of Montreal, at Parc Jean-Drapeau. For two complete days, the island is transformed into an urban oasis which springs forth and allows the public to live and groove to the rhythms of EDM and urban music’s biggest stars. îleSoniq has welcomed some of the industry’s biggest artists including Skrillex, Iggy Azalea, Adventure Club, Deadmau5, Die Antwoord, Above & Beyond and many more. With its exotic décor, only steps away from downtown Montreal, îleSoniq transports fans into a playful and colorful universe, offering them a unique festival experience.”
23) RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest
When: July 9-19, 2020
Where: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa
Ottawa’s Hottest Summer Music Festival
“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.”
Join the RBC Bluesfest 2020 Facebook event for more information!
24) Sound of Music
When: June 14-21, 2020
Where: Burlington, Ontario
“Sound of Music has exploded in size since it’s modest beginnings in 1980 as a marching band parade. Operating as a not-for-profit corporation, the organization stages Canada’s Largest Free Music Festival every year in June. Due to the passion, love and commitment of hundreds of volunteers, a small staff, and a roster of generous sponsors and suppliers music takes over Burlington Downtown and Waterfront.
As the region’s largest music event we support an eclectic combination of new and emerging artists, past favourites and some of today’s most popular performers.
Music can be heard throughout our downtown for nine days straight.
From our ticketed Kick-off Concert, to our Sound of Music Club Series that brings local talent to the spotlight one show at a time, and of course our Grande Festival Parade, an ongoing tradition since 1980, there’s no shortage of entertainment on every corner. The Downtown Streetfest, Children’s Village, carnival, vendors and FREE concerts on Father’s Day Weekend never cease draws crowds of all ages, from near and far.”
When: June 12-14, 2020
Where: Kitchener, Ontario
A 3-Day Fantasy & Camping Electronic Music Festival Experience
“ADVENTURERS, we make the return to the kingdom for our 6th Annual year on June 12,13 and 14. Gather your friends and create a new fantasy. A place where music, dreams and fun will come alive to become an experience like no other. A high energy camping and music festival in Kitchener, Ontario Canada – at Bingemans Resort.”
Join the Ever After Music Festival 2020 Facebook event for information, tickets, announcements + more
26) Forge Fest
When: July 25, 2020
Where: Tillsonburg, Ontario
The 3rd year of the festival takes place and is a multi-venue/stage wristbanded festival showcasing and celebrating local, national and international artists, musicians & comedians. We will once again again be donating all proceeds to Canadian Mental Health Association Oxford.
This year’s lineup features Kevin Seconds (7Seconds), Jonah Matranga (onelinedrawing, Far) Danber NoBacon (Chumbawamba), The Matadors, K-Man & the 45s and 40 more acts! Full line up at www.forgefest.ca (If you are thinking of posting something I can send a banner with all the headlining acts …there are a few a didn’t mention that are in the process of being locked up. Can also send Eventbrite link/embed ) Wristbands are only $20 and the festival starts at 6pm with music at venues Sammy Krenshaw’s (upstairs/downstairs) Paper Suitcase Photography, Boston Pizza, Station Arts Centre, Kesley’s Roadhouse & The Copper Mug. The festival is all ages/licensed.
Thanks again for supporting music and mental health initiatives!
26) Boots and Hearts Music Festival
When: August 6-9, 2020
Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, Oro-Medonte, Ontario
Canada’s largest camping country music festival
“Work Hard, Play Harder! Its the Canadian Way. We love our families, friends, and country. When there’s work to be done, no one does it better. We know when its time to buckle-down, roll up our sleeves, and take care of business. And most importantly, we know when the job is done, its time to celebrate.
The Boots & Hearts Music Festival, Canada’s largest camping and country music festival. Come and camp under the stars at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in stunning Oro-Medonte and listen to your favourite country stars.”
Join the Boots & Hearts Music Festival 2020 Facebook Event for tickets, announcements, and camping information!
27) Winnipeg Folk Festival
When: July 9-12, 2020
Where: Bird’s Hill Provincial Park, Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Folk Festival is a year-round arts organization that presents one of Canada’s premier outdoor music festivals each July.
“It’s the moment you walk down the forested path and see Snowberry Stage. It’s dancing with your toes in the soft grass. It’s kicking back on your tarp with your hat tipped over your eyes, listening to the music while the sun warms your cheeks. It’s running into old friends and making new ones. It’s discussing the music, in-depth and openly. It’s taking the time to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate the things that are truly important in life.
The Winnipeg Folk Fest is the culmination of everything great about our local folk community. For four days every July, we gather at Bird’s Hill Park to celebrate and enjoy exceptional music with our friends and family. You’re home at the Winnipeg Folk Fest.
We have evolved from a one-weekend event in July to a year-round arts organization with folk music at our heart. We present dozens of concerts and events throughout the year and support our community with education and outreach programs. We are also a not-for-profit charitable organization.”
28) Sled Island Music & Arts Festival
When: June 24-28, 2020
Where: Calgary, Alberta
“Since 2007, Sled Island’s thoughtful, eclectic programming and independent spirit have produced a one-of-a-kind festival experience. Each June, the five-day music and arts festival brings together a community of music, comedy, film and art as well as over 40,000 attendees in 30 venues, earning rave reviews from attendees, artists and media across the globe.”
29) Cavendish Beach Music Festival Canada
When: July 10-12, 2020
Where: Cavendish, Prince Island
“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. Country festivals in Canada are becoming more and more popular- so come on down to the East Coast and join the fun!
Two-time winner of the CCMA for Festival / Event of The Year, with past performances by Past performers have included: Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Steve Earle, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, country legends Ricky Skaggs, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alabama and Reba and pop sensation, Shawn Mendes”
30) Big Valley Jamboree
When: July 30- August 2, 2020
Where: Camrose, Alberta
Every August Long Weekend, Big Valley Jamboree is Canada’s Premiere Country Music Festival.
5 Time CCMA Award Winner – Country Music Event of the Year
Join the 2020 Big Valley Jamboree Facebook Event for more details!
Am I Missing Any Epic Music Festivals in Canada?
There really are an incredible amount of festivals up in Canada, so i’m sure I missed some good ones! If you think I need to add any specific Canadian music festivals or city-wide event, please do let me know! I’d love to keep this list as up-to-date as possible :-) .
Looking for more music festivals around the world?
My travel blog is filled with articles jus like this discussing the best international events, global parties, and epic music festivals. Check out a few of my favorite posts below, and feel free to reach out with any suggestions/ questions!
- Top 20 Vancouver Music Festivals For Your Bucket List
- The 50 Best Music Festivals in the U.S.A | US Festival Bucket List
- 30 Music Festivals in Europe to Experience Before You Die
- 37 California Music Festivals That’ll Keep You Dancing All Year Long
- 30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You Die
- The 25 Best Music Festivals in Asia
- Top 10 Music Festivals Cruises for EDM Addicts
- Top 25 Music Festivals in Florida To Experience Before You Die
- The 25 BEST MUSIC FESTIVALS IN TEXAS
- Top 21 Music Festivals in Las Vegas to Experience Before You Die
- Top 25 Music Festivals in Arizona To Add to your Bucket Lis
I’m not quite sure where my summer travels will take me this year, but I’m always on the hunt for my next music festival. If you’re new to this site, check out my Facebook & Instagram to follow along on my international adventures.