Canada’s Most Anticipated Music Festivals This July

They say that Canada’s season is winter. We did adopt the rallying cry, “We the North”, after all. But the country doesn’t really come alive until the sun is shining and the temperatures hit the double digits. Only then is it warm enough for music lovers to pack onto the green and experience some of the best music festivals in the world. From Digital Dreams in Toronto to Osheaga in Montreal – there’s something for everyone’s tastes.


Whether you prefer toe-tapping bluegrass or bass-thumping hip hop, everyone should make a point of checking out a local festival this July. Music can take on a magical element when you’re in the middle of the crowd swaying to the same beat. Even those who stay away from the beer tent and other recreational drugs can feel a sense of euphoria once the music starts. But there’s no enchantment involved. In recent history, scientists have studied the effects of listening to music and have found that it can reduce stress, increase creativity, improve memory, and boost moods.

If you live in Hogtown or the GTA, be sure to check out Digital Dreams during the Canada Day weekend. From July 2-3, you can expect the world’s top electronic musicians playing the festivals. With four stages at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, roughly 25,000 concert goers attend. Last year, the two-day event was cancelled due to heavy rains, so electronic lovers are highly anticipating the event, especially when the lineup includes Chocolate Puma, Above & Beyond, Hannah Wants, BassNectar, 3LAU, and Armin van Buuren to name a few.

A little further north, in the nation’s capital, the Ottawa Blues Festival is set to occur from July 7-17 at LeBreton Flats. The annual outdoor music festival has been going on for over 20 years, and has played host to some of the biggest names in music. This year, headliners include The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Lumineers, Tallest Man on Earth, Brad Paisley, and Duran Duran, but you can also expect to see Canadian darlings, City and Colour and Coeur de Pirate during this 10 day festival.

Fast forward to the end of the month when Osheaga brings a European style of festival to La Belle Province. From July 29-31, some of the most popular pop, rock, indie, electronic, hip-hop, and rap artists will take the stage. Perhaps the most highly anticipated band will be English rockers, Radiohead, who are supporting their latest album release. They’ll be accompanied by Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Haim, Bastille, and Half Moon Run.

Of course, the country’s top musical festivals aren’t only located in the east. Each province has its own grouping of highly anticipated events set to kick-off this July. From the Winnipeg Folk Festival to the Pemberton Music Festival in Vancouver to the Calgary Stampede, the summer is chock-full of events all around the country. Whichever pass you buy, expect to be bit by the music bug. A summer spent attending the biggest concerts and outdoor festivals often results in a renewed interest in your own musical prowess.

Whether you have plans to one day make it on stage yourself or you prefer to explore you talents in the privacy of your own home, Canada has some of the world’s foremost music stores to help you on your journey. The top Canada music stores have online shops that you can use at your discretion, but you can also find your local music store at should you want to shop in person and speak with a representative.

Let them know which band inspired you to take up guitar or the fiddle. You might just find out you saw them play at the same concert! But more importantly, take advantage of the summer and explore the country’s exciting festivals. Make sure to sort out a Canadian visa, can help. Also don’t forget to get pass for Digital Dreams or the Ottawa Bluesfest. It doesn’t matter as long as you embrace the season of outdoor music!