Year after year, Canadians count down the days till summer so the much-awaited festival season can begin. And as is, every year the decision as to which festival one should attend gets tougher and tougher. With the introduction of a new festival almost every year, Canada is blessed to have such a varied option when it comes to choosing how to spend your hard-earned (or handed down) money on which festival.
This year we see the inclusion of many new festivals and adaptations that make the decision even harder. But fret no more, The Sherp is here to help you decide and make a decision.
“I’m looking to see a bunch of famous names, as well as discover a few new artists within my genre”
If you’re on the lookout for familiar names that you’re comfortable with, Digital Dreams and Veld will provide you best. These two festivals are known to have a standard and stable lineup over the years that appeal to a certain type of audience, and are great as a first time festival. Expect attendance in large numbers, and you’re bound to meet people you know, or don’t.
“I want a line-up that has more artists I like than I can count”
We’re of course talking about Osheaga. Osheaga is one of Canada’s premier festivals that features a line-up that will take your breath away. Taking place in Montreal, Osheaga, year after year, maintains an artist line-up that will cover any of your music likings, from any phase of your life. People travel long and far to attend Osheaga, and you ask us, it’s definitely worth it.
“I just want to go for a crazy party, see people twerk and go loco”
As the name suggests, Mad Decent Block Party. The famous block party that happens every year in various cities all over North America is coming back to Toronto this year and it will be no short of crazy. Last year we saw great acts like Diplo and Zeds Dead, and this year we see a quality line-up again featuring Major Lazer, Thugli and What So Not. Don’t miss this festival if you’re looking for a crazy good time.
“I want some top-notch names in rock, pop and everything else”
Meet Le Festival d’été de Québec. With big name acts like The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Jack Ü, Iggy Azalea, and the love/hated Nickelback, Le Festival d’été de Québec has a heavy line-up that is hard to beat by any other local festival standards. But we’ve barely touched the surface; that list goes on and on and you’re bound to be left deciding which stage you need to hit and which artists you need to sacrifice. This 10 day festival will leave you musically satisfied for weeks to come, or until your next festival attendance.
“I’m looking for an experience coupled with my music”
Bestival and Wayhome pave way for a more exclusive festival experience. Both festivals have a variety of things to do on-site, such as yarnbombing, camping, play dress-up, and you can even get married in an inflatable church! If you’re looking for a Coachella/Bonnaroo experience, these festivals are your go-to!
“I’m looking to party on a f*****’ mountain”
Tall Tree Music Festival is a festival that literally happens on a west coast mountain, in British Columbia. Taking place on Brown’s Mountain, Tall Tree attracts festival attendees that like to venture and travel their way out to a festival, as opposed to hoping on the drunk subway train in metro cities. But don’t expect to instantly recognize mainstream names in the line-up; this line-up features talents from all sorts of music, featuring a lot of local wonders too. Additionally, Tall Tree is plastic free and a supporter of damage-free festival ethics.
“I’m looking for something a little less crowded, and a little more underground”
Electric Island provides to a specific niche audience that enjoys music ranging from tech to deep house, with a dabble in techno, while not overcrowding the venue. Hosted on Toronto Island, this festival provides a setting like no other that will definitely leave a lasting imprint in your mind. From ping-pong tables to beer booths, Electric Island makes you feel like you’re at a picnic, except this time there’s no home-made sandwiches and apple pie.
“Corporations and sponsors are evil, show me something mom-pop with great production”
Enter Shambhala Music Festival. Taking place every year at the Salmo River Ranch in British Columbia, this festival is known for it’s deviation from gathering sponsors, but instead does it’s operations through volunteers that help out. But don’t let that fool you; Shambhala features 6 beautiful stages with the production of a top-tier festival. It’s no wonder that it’s won the “Best Large Event’ award two years in a row. The festival is shaped by it’s attendees, who, by volunteering, collectively oversee the direction the festival takes. If you ever wanted to give back to the community, this festival is your perfect excuse.
“Big names are great, but where’s all the local talent?!”
Garden of Eden is a festival conceived locally as a result of TRC’s founding member forming a festival to appeal to audiences that wanted to see their local talent shine. Featuring a bunch of local acts that you’ll recognize, from festivals to resident nights, this is a festival to attend if you want to represent, support and enjoy your local talent!
We know the decision can be hard (and expensive!), but in Canada, summer is a short-lived season and must be enjoyed to the fullest. Let us know what festival you think is on top of your list in the comment section!