What groovier way to enjoy the sunshine than at Toronto’s best music festivals. Toronto (and the surrounding GTA) is playing host to various music events this summer, and we’ve compiled the biggest and brightest so you don’t miss a beat.
The Vibe: English-teen-with-a-flower-headband, but in Canada.
Originating from Isle of Wight, England, Bestival marks its first overseas venture here in Toronto. Hop on a ferry and take a staycation to Toronto Island to enjoy a mix of artists from all over. This two-day festival is hosting some big and upcoming names, such as Florence + The Machine, SBTRKT, Nas, and Caribou just to name a few. We all know that the UK is home to some pretty stellar festivals (Leeds/Reading, hello!), and this comes paired with awesome fashion of the festival goers. Bestival is unique in this way as they promote their attendees to dress up in creative costumes.
North by Northeast (NXNE)
The Vibe: Super indie with cheap beer
Following the footsteps of Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest (SXWS), NXNE is an annual music and arts festival that began here in Toronto in 1995. Held every June, NXNE is hosting almost 1,000 artists over a week in the downtown core. The long list of musicians includes Real Estate, New Pornographers, Best Coast and War Paint. Besides the music, there will also be film and comedy presentations taking place throughout the week. If you’re a fan of Amy Winehouse and have heard of her upcoming biopic Amy, be sure to catch its premier at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on June 20.
The Vibe: Mellow with a smack of sassy saxophone
TD Toronto’s Jazz Festival is marking its 28th year next month as one of Canada’s largest jazz fests. The musicians come from different musical backgrounds, such as latin, R&B, blues – the list goes on. The long list of musicians includes names such as Booker T. Jones, Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling, and Charles Lloyd.
The Vibe: popped a molly I’m sweatin’, woo!
End off June with Bud Light’s Digital Dreams. The EDM lovers’ haven, this festival is held at the Flats at the Ontario Place and it hosts some of the biggest names in the electronic scene. Some of the DJs performing include Anna Lunoe, Martin Garrix, Adventure Club, and Zedd.
The Vibe: A cheaper Digital Dreams
Kick off July with a trip to Electric Island. Held on Canada Day, Toronto Island festival is a strange but fun way to celebrate the birth of our nation (but pretty positive John A. MacDonald didn’t dance like that, just saying). The whole island is transformed into a rave centre that will be sure to draw crowds. The line-up is short with headliners including Sasha, Marcel Dettmann and Lee Foss.
The Vibe: God listened to our prayers
With similar vibes and a much bigger venue than Field Trip, the fields of Oro Medonte, Ontario will host WAYHOME in late July. This fest brings together some of the best artists, both world-renowned and indie, for an unforgettable weekend. Even a very picky selection of the performing artists can’t show how great the line-up is. Think Neil Young, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Hozier, Modest Mouse, Run the Jewels … you get the picture.
The Vibe: Popping more molly than Miley
With only two musicians who are not EDM-related, VELD is basically an opportunity for those who couldn’t make it to Digital Dreams, or who can’t get enough electro. Held at Downsview Park, VELD hosts DJs who fall more into the trance category, which is much different than what you’d see at Digital Dreams. And it’s much more laid back (that being said, Deadmau5 IS the one who co-runs the event, so of course there’s gonna be some pretty cool vibes and performers). Performers include Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, Duke Dumont, and Laidback Luke.
Boots and Hearts
The Vibe: A hug-in for Canadian Nashville viewers and Young Conservatives
Also held in Oro-Medonte, Ontario (the same spot as WAYHOME!), 2015 marks Boots and Hearts’ third year as the biggest country music festival ever in Canada, and it will be sure to win your hearts and ears this year. Inspired by Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, Boots and Hearts hosts some pretty renowned country musicians, having provided a stage for Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton, for example. This years headliners include Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Justin Moore, and Little Big Town. Besides the music, Boots and Hearts also provides a place for various food vendors, as well as plenty of beer tents across the property. Oh, don’t forget about the camping ground that is available for the attendees.
Mad Decent Block Party
The Vibe: A bunch of old people recapturing their youth
Mad Decent tours North America and hosts various DJ sets and concerts along the way. Their Block Party comes to Toronto on August 29, which seems to be a fun way to end off the summer. Held at the Fort York Garrison Common, Mad Decent will be presenting artists such as Cashmere Cat, Cut Copy, Odesza, and Skrillex. But warning: water guns are not allowed. (Laaaame.)
Did we miss any of the biggest Toronto summer music festivals? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.