Summer festival season is almost upon us again, and with it comes a variety of options to get your live music fill. As we now know for sure, the music festival bubble has burst, meaning there are a few less options compared to previous years – but there are still more than enough festivals to choose from – covering every genre you want to hear.
Canadian Music Week (CMW) April 18 – 23rd
CMW takes over the city next week, holding both a festival to celebrate the music, and a conference to educate the industry. Artists playing shows include Earl Sweatshirt, Big Sean, Wolf Parade, Explosions in the Sky, Whitehorse, The Strumbellas, Hollerado, Dan Mangan, 54.40 and many more.
CBC Music Festival May 27th
CBC’s annual music fest returns to Echo Beach once again on May 27th, with Serena Ryder and Walk Off The Earth set to headline, alongside openers Ruth B, Austra, Sarah Slean, Keys N Krates and more.
Field Trip June 3 – 4th
Field Trip returns this June, banking on the strength of the always incredible Broken Social Scene once again. The label’s artists fill out the majority of the bill as per usual, with Feist performing solo as well as with the band, along with Phoenix, A Tribe Called Red and more.
North by Northeast (NXNE) June 23 – 25th
After last year’s strange change up, everyone’s been wondering what the future would hold for NXNE. While the website has undergone a significant make-under, and there is only information about the Port Lands parking lot portion of the festival (including headliners Tyler The Creator, Passion Pit and Post Malone), it looks like the club shows will be returning, along with the inexplicable focus on the video game world.
Digital Dreams July 7 – 8th
If electronic music is your thing, you’ve probably been frequenting Digital Dreams for years now. The 2017 lineup includes Above & Beyond, Dillstradamus, DVBBS, and more.
WayHome Music & Arts July 28 – 30th
WayHome has built quite the reputation as the festival to beat all other Ontario festivals over the past two summers – but this year’s lineup is lacking any of the big names we’ve seen previously (no one near Neil Young’s level, not even an Arcade Fire or LCD Soundsystem). That said, it’s still a tradition worth taking part in for everything that comes with a weekend spent camping with like minded strangers. Flume, Cage The Elephant, Frank Ocean, Solange and Imagine Dragons take top billing. And if the headliners aren’t doing it for you, the rest of the lineup is still strong. Seeing Margaret Glaspy, Andy Shauf and The Shins on the same day is worth driving to Barrie for.
VELD Music Festival August 5- 6th
If Digital Dreams didn’t give you enough of an electronic fix in July, head up to Downsview Park in August for VELD. Future, Major Lazer, Migos, Tory Lanez and more are scheduled to perform.
Usually happening in early August, Drake’s OVO festival hasn’t been announced yet for Toronto – but he has hinted at bringing it to London. Who knows if that means it will or will not be happening as well in Toronto this summer. While we highly doubt he’d leave his hometown high and dry, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Drake’s Twitter for clues.
With no date for the festival released yet, and no hints on any of their social media profiles, I am starting to worry that, like Bestival, it might not be returning in September after four glorious years of bringing the best bands to the city. Cross your fingers that TURF does return for its 5th anniversary (and maybe reverts back to a hot summer weekend instead of a chilly and TIFF busy September one).
Did we miss any of the best music festivals happening in Toronto this summer? Let us know in the comment section.
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