The Only 2018 Summer Festival Guide You’ll Need

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Festival season is upon us once again. With an incredibly long list of events to choose from this year here in Canada, it’s pretty daunting to have to narrow down which you want to attend.  Well fear not because Umusic is here to fight the FOMO and to help find the right festival for you! Have a look! 

iHeart FanFest

Where: Rebel in Toronto, ON

When: May 26

Why: It’s the first festival of the season here in the Great White North and iHeartRadio is pulling out all the stops with a terrific mix of different artists and genres. Highlights include French Montana, Belly, Shawn Hook, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine. Best part of all, it’s indoors! So no need to cake on the sunscreen or run from the rain like at a typical festival. Ideal.

CBC Music Festival

Where: RBC Echo Beach in Toronto, ON

When: May 26

Why: Now in its third year, the CBC Music Festival is bigger and better than ever. Plus it’s one of the only festivals with an exclusively Canadian lineup. Supporting homegrown talent is the way forward! Double plus, it’s only a one day festival so an easier commitment for those of you with a busy schedule. No excuses not to attend!

Field Trip

Where: Historic Fort York & Garrison Commons in Toronto, ON

When: June 2 and 3

Why: Field Trip is now a staple part of Toronto’s festival scene. Now in its fifth year, music is just one of the festival’s offerings. Quite literally, it’s a field trip full of fun activities that will keep you busy from start to finish. Indulge in local cuisine, flex your hula-hopping skills and vibe out to an incredible lineup of musicians (Alvvays, Allan Rayman, Gabrielle Shonk and Dizzy just to name a few).

Bud Light Dreams Festival

Where: Echo Beach in Toronto, ON

When: June 23 and 24 

Why: Described as an “epic lakeside party” by BlogTO, Dreams Festival offers gorgeous views of the Toronto city skyline and features some of the biggest names in electronic dance music. With three stages and 30+ artists, get ready to eat, sleep, rave, repeat all weekend long. 

Bud Light Escapade

Where: Ottawa, ON

When: June 23 and 24 

Why: Basically Ottawa’s version of Dreams with some huge names sprinkled into the mix (Alesso? Zedd?! Say no more). If you’re looking for a similar Dreams experience but don’t want to take the trip down from Ottawa, this is the festival for you. 

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 

Where: Historic Ottawa, ON

When: July 6 to 9

Why: For those of you out on the East Coast, Cavendish Beach Music Festival is the place to be this summer. Branching away from their typically country-centric lineup, Cavendish is making bold moves this year with the inclusion of more pop acts like Shawn Mendes and Broods. With more artists to be announced, this year’s festival is sure to be one to remember. 

Ottawa Bluesfest

Where: Lebreton Flats in Ottawa, ON

When: July 5 to 15

Why: Just look at the lineup, need we say more? Shawn Mendes, Bryan Adams, Colin James, Beck, Machine Gun Kelly, Rae Sremmurd, Zeds Dead, Jessie Reyez, Strumbellas, Dear Rouge, the list goes on and on. And as if the music wasn’t enough, the festival also plays host to an extensive list of on-site attractions. Including Bluesville, an area featuring more intimate stages, and a patio lounge with scenic views of the Ottawa River. Sounds dreamy.

Festival d’été de Québec

Where: Quebec City

When: July 5 to 15

Why: Now in its 50th year, it’s one of the oldest festivals on our list. Shawn Mendes, Beck, Lorde, The Weeknd, Greta Van Fleet, Oh Wonder, New City, Tory Lanez. You can’t miss this one. Also, the price makes it impossible to turn down. Get this: $100 for ten days of music. What a steal. 

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

Where: Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, QC

When: August 3 to 5

Why: We’re going to go ahead and assume you’ve heard of Osheaga. One of Canada’s top music festivals returns in 2018 with a star-studded lineup that is impossible to resist: Rae Sremmurd, Sir Sly, Billie Eilish, Bahamas, Allan Rayman, Lights, The Beaches, Florence + The Machine, Post Malone, James Bay, LANY, BORNS, James Blake and SO much more. There’s so much talent, they need six stages to do it all. One of the stages even has a bouncy dance floor! Never a dull moment at Osheaga. 

Chasing Summer Music Festival

Where: Max Bell Centre Festival Grounds in Calgary, AB

When: August 4 and 5

Why: Who says that Toronto and Montreal get to have all the fun? Chasing Summer is one of the largest outdoor electronic dance music festivals in Western Canada with three stages and four massive headliners including our fave DJ Snake. It’s a festival Calgarians should not miss. 

Veld Music Festival

Where: Downsview Park in Toronto, ON

When: August 4 and 5

Why: The festival is a stand-out for its mix of electronic dance and hip-hop music. With performers ranging from DJ Snake to Nav and Migos, its a lineup equipped to transport concertgoers to a whole new dimension. Last year saw many surprise moments, including an unannounced appearance by rising star Cardi B with Migos. We can’t help but wonder what surprises are in store for 2018. 

Boots and Hearts Music Festival

Where: Burls Creek in Oro Medonte, ON

When: August 9 to 12 

Why: CountryCamping. What’s not to like? Strap on your cowboy or cowgirl boots and get ready to sing your heart out with some of the biggest names in country music: Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, James Barker Band, Jason Blaine. Wow! 

Ilesoniq

Where: Ilesoniq en Ville, Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, QC

When: August 9, August 10 to 11

Why: If you’re a big fan of the Veld lineup, you’re going to love this. From the organizers of Osheaga comes Ilesoniq: An electronic dance music festival now in its fifth year. Besides the incredible lineup, the festival also boasts an terrific list of pre and post parties that keep the concertgoers raving until the early morning hours. 

Riverfest

Where: Bissell Park in Elora, ON

When: August 17 to 19

Why: Perched on the edge of a spectacular gorge and nestled along the banks of the Grand & Irvine River lies the enchanting village of Elora, Ontario. Home to Riverfest! Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, the festival is going big this year with its most extensive lineup yet. Sidenote: can we take a moment to appreciate the super cute fox playing banjo on the poster? Love it.

Skookum Music and Arts Festival

Where: Stanley Park in Vancouver 

When: September 7 to 9

Why: Finishing off festival season in Canada this year is one we’ve never seen before: The inaugural Skookum Music and Arts Festival. Filling the void that was left by former festivals Pemberton and Squamish, this festival vows to leave a mark with it’s eclectic offering of food and arts in addition to major headliners The Killers and Florence + The Machine. We have a really good feeling about this one. 

PHOTO: The 2018 Skookum Music Festival Lineup

And we’ve arrived at the end. So let us know: which festivals will we be seeing you at this year? Or better yet: was there a festival that should’ve been added to the list? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter @umusic

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