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Music festivals are a sure shot at a good time. You get enough bands covering enough genres that you’re bound to like a few acts, be surprised by a few more, and discover some new music. Not only that, but you’re likely to be hanging out in the sun meeting new friends and eating awesome food. But who doesn’t want to maximize their fun by being at the perfect music festival? If you’re pushing twenty, you might not want to be surrounded by your parents friends. If you’re a hip-hop head, you’re probably not as stoked at that metal show. Luckily, Canada is a big country with a wide array of music festivals for every type of person. Here is a list of Canadian music festivals for every type:
Folk On The Rocks, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
For: Folk On The Rocks is for all of you max-chillers or work-a-holics that need a break.
What: Void of ego, pretense, and washroom lines, and taking place in the relatively remote landscape of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, this is one festival that makes it too easy to relax at. Started in 1980, Folk On The Rocks is a summertime music and culture festival that draws both local and global acts alike. The winters are long in the North, so this summer festival is always at the top of the summer bucket list for locals. Hanging out and listening to music under a midnight sun might be one of the most cathartic and relaxing experiences you’ll ever have.
Way Home Festival, Oro-Medonte, Ontario
For: All of you elder siblings.
What: Way Home Festival is akin to Hillside Festival in that it harkens back to a day when music festivals were just a little less about spectacle and sensationalism and more about, well, the music. If you’re burned out on the festival scene and just want straight up good music, visual art, and cinema this is the festival for you. Like, l’art pour l’art, man.
NXNE, Toronto, Ontario
For: Are you the person in your friend group that finds musical acts while they’re still practising in their parent’s basements? Then NXNE is for you.
What: Trendsetters and tastemakers can rejoice knowing that for five days, their job gets a little easier. This festival of music, visual art, comedy, and film, takes over Toronto for five days in June, and in terms of finding new acts, it’s tough to beat.
Pemberton Music Festival, Pemberton, British Columbia
For: Genre? What’s genre? All of you post-modern kids that like every genre of music imaginable will dig this one.
What: With the gorgeous backdrop of Pemberton’s meadows and mountains, this location is difficult to top. But what really sets this festival apart is the genre disparity of the performers. 2016’s headliners include Pearl Jam, J. Cole, FKA Twigs, Billy Idol and Snoop Dogg. Can you imagine what it’s like with all of these musicians hanging out backstage? Weird, just like you.
Heavy Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
For: Do you like to head bang? Do you like your music so loud you can’t hear it anymore? This is for you.
What: Heavy Montreal brings it with a smattering of heavy rock, punk, and metal. There’s something about screaming at the top of your lungs in the company of thousands of people that’s difficult to beat, just be weary of the mosh pit, friends.
Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Cavendish, P.E.I.
For: Similar to Ontario’s Boots and Hearts, this country music festival on Prince Edward Island is for those who appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
What: Country music is good at telling stories about losing your dog, falling in love for the first time, a Sunday afternoon, or a cold beer. If you not only appreciate these small things but also recognize that they make you happy, Cavendish Beach Music Festival is for you, pardner.
Edmonton Folk Festival, Edmonton, Alberta
For: Tender hearts, salt of the earth types, we hear you. Rather, the Edmonton Folk Festival hears you.
What: This festival has been bringing a unique and broad lineup together for years, but it is all about folk music and folk culture. In the spirit of folk, the festival organizers work with partners to keep ticket prices affordable to the average family. Folk music; it’s for the people.
Digital Dreams, Toronto, Ontario
For: Those who like to turn up their Digital Dreams.
What: This electronic music festival in Toronto is a P-A-R-T-Y. 25,000 people dancing, four stages of electronic music, and the sunshine; there’re a few reasons why my Facebook feed gets lit up with Digital Dream posts for a week each summer.
OVO Fest, Toronto, Ontario
For: If you’re from Toronto, you like Drake. If you’re not from Toronto, you like Drake.
What: I’d like to pick a certain archetype that might appreciate this festival, but thinking about how often I hear Drake coming out of speakers, I think this one might be for everyone. With a new single called “Summer Sixteen,” you can expect this OVO Fest to be as good or better than any OVO Fest that came before it.