Top 10 summer music festivals

Neil Young. Geddy Lee. Justin Beiber. Shania Twain. It’s safe to say that Canada has produced some of the biggest names in the music industry. So, it’s no wonder that Canada is also known for some of the most exciting and bass-thumping summer music festivals in North America—from Cavendish Beach to Mutek Montreal.

If you’re opting for the type of summer escapade that keeps you moving and grooving, here are the Top 10 Canadian Music Festivals that are making all the noise.

After launching in 2009, Cavendish has quickly become one of the most sought-after music festivals by attendees, with nearly 60,000 visiting each year for this three-day event. In fact, the festival and its producers have continuously been nominated (and won) some of the highest praise among critics. And it’s no surprise, either. The festival—which is held on the beautiful Prince Edwards Island, offers the perfect venue with its picturesque beaches and warm waters, and plenty of seaside action.

2023 Headliner: Chris Stapleton

When: July 6 - 8

Held in Downton Calgary, this dubstep and beatbox bonanza is a vibrant destination for the electric music lover. The 10-day event takes place under a large tent and features some of the biggest names in the electronica and DJ scene. If packed dance floors fueled by heart-pounding bass is your game, this festival is your kind of jam.

2023 Headliner: Skrillix.

When: July 6 - 16

What began as a small concert series over 20 years ago, has evolved into one of Canada’s most popular summer highlights, with over 1 million in attendance across the 10-day event. And don’t let the seemingly obvious name drive you, either. Not all the artists featured are singing the Blues. Instead, you’ll find musicians of all genres gracing the stage of this legendary downtown Ottawa staple.

2023 Headliners: Mumford & Sons, Pitbull, and Foo Fighters.

When: July 6 - 16

Considered a “Canadian cultural institution” this long-running music festival appeals to multiple generations of folk fans. Launched in 1978— the Vancouver Folk Festival—which is held in Jericho Beach Park, welcomes artists from around the world and over 40,000 attendees annually as they vibe, dance, and celebrate magic of the world’s one and only universal language—music. 

2023 Headliners: Albert Lee, Claudio Rabeca Quartet, and The Sojourners.

When: July 14 - 16

Whether you’re in Saskatchewan around mid-July or Alberta in mid-August, the Country Thunder is the place to be for lovers of contemporary country and southern rock. In fact, the festival is so popular, that the Saskatchewan and Alberta venues are relatively new additions to the circuit. Country Thunder has other locations throughout the United States.

2023 Headliners: Tim McGraw, Jon Pardi, and Keith Urban. 

When: July 13 - 16 (Saskatchewan), August 18 - 20 (Alberta)

One of the largest outdoor electronic dance music (EDM) festivals is back in Alberta. Unlike some of the other festivals we’ve touched in this article, Chasing Summer is a relatively new one. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less popular. Over the course of two pulsating days, roughly 25,000 attendees gather at the Max Bell Centre Festival Grounds to rave and dance to some of the biggest names in the EDM genre.

2023 Headliners: Tiesto, Zedd, and Seven Lions.

When: August 5 - 6

Perhaps one of the most unique venues on our list, the Kaslo Jazz Festival—situated on the calm waters of Kaslo Bay Park in British Columbia, has a stage that literally floats. Emanating from the stage are some of the smoothest sounds in the Latin, Folk, and Jazz genres. Attendees can choose to listen on the water in the comfort of a float, or keep both feet planted on dry land. It’s no wonder, Kaslo has continued to lure new and returning fans for over thirty years with its incredible natural amphitheater and laid back kind of vibe.

2023 Headliner: Galactic

When: August 4 - 6

Juxtaposing the genre of EDM with the tranquility and natural presence of a forest might seem like a crazy idea. And perhaps that’s why Future Forest is so popular. The 200-acre venue is located in deep in the forest of New Brunswick and plays home to the steady beats and flashing lights over a three-day weekend that brings the night to life

2023 Headliners: A Hundred Drums and Canabliss. 

When: August 10 - 13

Toronto is likely not the first place that you think of when it comes to Country music, but in mid August the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds are taken over by the Boots and Hearts festival. And with it, so do 40,000 country music fans. In addition to the music, attendees are also encouraged to camp at the designated camping areas for a real outdoor and rustic experience.

2023 Headliners: Nickleback, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban

When: August 10 - 13

The last stop on our list—and the one that closes out the last few weeks of summer—Is reserved for Mutek Montreal. An eclectic blend of visual artists and musicians, there is something for everyone who attends this incredible festival that celebrates creativity. In fact, the event is so popular that there are other iterations around the globe. But the original, and perhaps most famous is the one located in Montreal and held at The 7 Fingers performance center downtown.

2023 Headliner: VRIL and Ale Hop.

When: August 22 - 27

Whether you’re looking to experience your first outdoor music festival or you’re a seasoned veteran of the live music scene, it’s important to consider purchasing travel insurance before you go—because, things can change in an instance. 

Luckily, Allianz Global Assistance is there for you and offers a variety of plans designed to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. To find a plan that’s as personalized as your summer playlist, visit us online.


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

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