3rd Annual Top 10 Summer Music Festivals North of the Border

As the weather starts to warm up and we look to start planning our summer vacation getaways and music festivals are always topping many lists.

While attending and researching music festivals across this great nation our editorial staff have come up with our annual 3rd Annual Top 10 Summer Music Festivals North of the Border.  So, if you are looking to check out some of the amazing artists at these events or looking for a great opportunity to do some event sponsoring to spotlight your brand and get exposure for you product or service this list has something for you and we hope that you enjoy.

To start off our 3rd annual Top 10 List we have two solid honourable mentions that did not make the list but are still very much worth going to see this Summer.

Winnipeg Folk Festival

Rank: Honourable Mention

When: July 11th – 14th, 2019

Where: Birds Hill Provincial Park – Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Why: The inaugural Winnipeg Folk Festival was held in 1974 as a one-time celebration to mark Winnipeg’s 100th anniversary.  It was a free event and attracted an estimated audience of 22,000 over the three-day weekend.  

Since then, the event has grown into one of the best events in the country with attendance at last years 45th edition of the Winnipeg Folk Festival seeing a record-breaking total number of 73,000 attendees (up 1,000 compared to 2017) to become the best attended four-day festival in its history with the help of over 3,000 volunteers working to make the event memorable for all that attended.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival generates approximately $30 million per year in economic activity and creates over 281 jobs for Winnipeg, Manitoba which is a win for festival goers and the area’s economy.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival features a variety of music genres, with local, national and international recording artists performing over the 4-day event offering a musical experience that will be unforgettable as you have the opportunity to see and hear amazing artists from the past, present and future.

Get your tickets now as this is one that you will not want to miss this Summer for sure.

For more information on the Winnipeg Folk Festival: https://www.winnipegfolkfestival.ca/

Ticket Prices: $65.00 CAD – $234.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @Winnipegfolk

Follow on Facebook: @winnipegfolkfestival

Follow on Instagram: @winnipegfolkfestival

The 35th Annual George Street Festival

Rank: Honourable Mention

When: August 1st – 7th, 2019

Where: George Street – St. John’s, NL, Canada

Why: George Street Entertainment will celebrate its 35th Anniversary this summer with its annual festival that is located in the center of historic downtown St. John’s on George Street which is known as one of the premier entertainment districts in North America.

Amongst the over two-dozen pubs, clubs and bars on George Street, you will find all types of music – Irish, blues, dance, rock n’ roll, country and traditional music will keep the party going until early in the morning. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you are sure to find entertainment that strikes your fancy and musical taste.

Known for its unique character, George Street has a long and unique history of supporting local, national, and international artists through our annual festivals and special events. The success of this event has been built by the dedicated and innovative business owners who are committed to building a strong and vibrant entertainment district in the heart of St. John’s city. 

The George Street Entertainment District is proud to provide an exciting, entertaining, and safe experience for residents and tourists alike, and is committed to leveling up the greatest tiny street in North America each and every year.

This year marks a milestone for the Entertainment District as it celebrates 35 years of festivals and special events so you do not want to miss this one as they will be “Celebrating 35 Years with 35 Bands” throughout the 7-day festival.

For more information on the 35th Annual George Street Festival:  http://georgestreetlive.ca

Ticket Prices: $45.00 CAD*

Follow on Twitter: @GeorgeStLive

Follow on Facebook: @GeorgeStLive

Follow on Instagram: @GeorgeStLive

*per day

Now it is time to get into our Top 10 Summer Music Festivals North of the border this Summer

33rd Annual Halifax Jazz Festival

Rank: # 10 

When: July 9th – 14th, 2019

Where: Halifax Waterfront – Halifax, NS, Canada

Why: Well first of all, this 6-day event happens on the historic and beautiful Halifax Waterfront and numerous venues throughout the city welcome up to 65,000 festival goers to a diverse range of musical and educational activities.

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival, formerly known as the Atlantic Jazz Festival, is the oldest jazz festival founded in 1987 and is one of the largest summer festivals in Atlantic Canada.  This event is supported by not only local area businesses but also involves over 400 volunteers and spotlights over 350 amateur musicians, established local artists and the local “jazz aristocracy” plus the festival brings in renowned performers from many parts of the world.

This event gives you the opportunity to check out historic Halifax and take in the fantastic sights, shops and restaurants and have the chance to take in some amazing musical talent in a city that is not known for being on the maps for touring jazz artists.

Halifax Jazz Festival is important to the culture diversity of the area and why we have selected the festival as one the Top 10 Summer Music Festivals in Canada.

For more information on the Halifax Jazz Festival: http://www.halifaxjazzfestival.ca/

Ticket Prices: $40.00 CAD – $289.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @HFXJassFest

Follow on Facebook: @halifaxjazzfestival

Follow on Instagram: @hfxjassfest

Osheaga Festival

Rank: # 9

When: August 2nd – 5th, 2019

Where: Parc Jean-Drapeau – Montreal, QC, Canada

Why: The Osheaga Music and Arts festival has established itself as the most important festival of its genre in Canada and definitely more focused on a younger audience, with just about every staff member under 30 wanted to be assigned to cover this festival.

Osheaga takes place on numerous outdoor stages located at the newly renovated, more comfortable and spacious festival grounds than ever before at parc Jean-Drapeau on Montreal’s Sainte-Hélène’s Island which attracts more than 120 000 music lovers from all over North America and Europe to this amazing event each year.

Osheaga has given itself the objective of discovering local and national emerging talent offering them the opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest international artists in the business with artists like: Coldplay, The Killers, Iggy & The Stooges, Sonic Youth, The Roots, Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire, Weezer, Eminem and many more taking the stage over the years. Over the course of several days, approximately 100 bands take to the various stages at parc Jean-Drapeau and across the city in the festive ambiance that only a Montreal summer can provide.

Osheaga also holds a series of concerts and exhibitions in several locations around the city during the week leading up to the main event to create a buzz for the festival.

For more information on the Osheaga Festival: https://www.osheaga.com/en

Ticket Prices: $325.00 CAD – $1250.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @osheaga

Follow on Facebook: @osheaga

Follow on Instagram: @osheaga

FEQ – Festival d’été de Québec

Rank: # 8

When: July 4th – 14th, 2019

Where: Quebec City, QC, Canada

Why: Going into its 52nd year, the Festival d’été de Québec or as it is affectionately know as the FEQ,  attracts over one million festival goers to Quebec City’s historic district for this amazing event every year.  This year’s FEQ on no different with international superstars like Twenty One Pilots, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons and Blink-182 headlining some of the shows along with some the top new up and coming talent in the music industry.

Founded in July 1968, the Festival d’été de Québec is one the biggest and oldest music fest in the world. The event takes place in the heart of Quebec City (very comfortable and accessible) and it offers a dazzling array of spectacular and original activities. This amazing festival showcases the best international superstars and top new music talent offering something for everyone.

One of the things that we liked particularly about the FEQ is that your pass is not only incredibility prices for an eleven-day festival, but your pass is fully transferable, meaning you can use it and lend it to a friend for a day. This is something that it not seen at music festival like the FEQ making it a truly unique business mode for the not-for-profit organization.

Speaking of business models, not only does the FEQ offer amazing talent it is also a major contributor to the local economy.  In 2018 the festivals economic impact added $26.5 million value added to GDP, and cumulative tax revenue (provincial and federal) of $5.9 million along with 409 jobs.  The Festival d’été de Québec once again confirms its focus on having an amazing festival but also on contributing to the economy and tourism for the greater Quebec City area.

This is one festival that you do not want to miss this Summer and if you can’t make it this year, you should have it on your festival bucket list for next for sure.

For more information on the FEQ: https://www.feq.ca/en/

Ticket Prices: $105.00 CAD – $995.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @FestivalEteQc 

Follow on Facebook: @FestivaldetedeQuebec 

Follow on Instagram: @festivaleteqc

CityFolk Festival

Rank: # 7

When: September 11th – 15th, 2019

Where: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Why: CityFolk starts on its second quarter century as the event turns 26.  CityFolk has come a long way since its original incarnation as the Ottawa Folk Festival was launched back in 1994 and was held on Victoria Island (Ottawa River) then it moved to Britannia in 1995 where it remained until 2010.

The team behind Ottawa Bluesfest began to produce the festival in 2011 and from 2011–2014 the festival was held at Hog’s Back Park in central Ottawa. In 2015, the Ottawa Folk Festival re-branded as the CityFolk Festival and re-located it to the beautiful and far more accessible facility at Lansdowne Park.

Now, a multi-genre event, CityFolk has increased attendance from hundreds daily to tens of thousands for festival goers taking in this end of summer music festival in the Nation’s capital of Ottawa.

Featured acts have included Van Morrison, Kendick Lamar, Lorde, Avett Brothers, J. Cole, Vance Joy, James Bay, Vampire Weekend, Jack Johnson, and Post Malone, among others making CityFolk a true festival come back success story thanks to the hard work and efforts of Mark Monahan and his Ottawa Bluesfest team.

CityFolk offers fantastic performances from local and international artists making it an event for everyone in additional to great performances the festival site is licensed and offers a wide variety of food, beverages, and merchandise concessions so you can take something home to remember this year CityFolk Festival and the perfect ending to your Summer.

For more information on the CityFolk Festival: https://cityfolkfestival.com/

Ticket Prices: $109.00* CAD – $249.00* CAD

Follow on Twitter: @CityFolkFest

Follow on Facebook: @CityFolkFest 

Follow on Instagram: @CityFolkFest

*based on 2018 pricing

Boots and Hearts Music Festival

Rank: # 6

When: August 8th – 11th, 2019

Where: Burl’s Creek Event Grounds – Oro-Medonte, ON, Canada

Why: The Boots and Hearts Music Festival is a multi-day country music and camping festival produced by Republic Live Inc. and founded by Stan and Eva Dunford. It is held annually at the custom-designed festival grounds, Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada. Since its inception in 2012, Boots and Hearts has quickly grown to become Canada’s largest country music festival and considered the second largest music festival in North America behind only the CMA Music Festival, which is an amazing accomplishment in 7 short years.

The festival offers; multiple stages meet and greets with artist, VIP offerings, an on-site farmers market, and more than 45,000 festival-goers over the course of 4 days with Boots and Hearts alumni headliners Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert along with Maren Morris, Cole Swindell, Kane Brown, Kip Moore and many more to round out this amazing event.

Boots and Hearts was awarded the Canadian Country Music Association “Festival of the Year” Award in 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as the Canadian Music Week “Festival of the Year” in 2015, with repeat nominations in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019, they were nominated for “Festival of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music Awards.  

Boots and Hearts has seen the acts of world-renowned artists such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Billy Currington, Dallas Smith, Brett Young, Florida Georgia Line and many other country amazing music stars.

This year headliners again showcase the elite of country music and although it is a festival that is more tailored to a much younger crowd, it is still well deserving as one the best music festivals not only in Canada but North America.

Make sure you get your tickets and start living the #BOOTSLIFE this Summer.

For more information on the Boots and Hearts Music Festival https://bootsandhearts.com/

Ticket Prices: $120.00 CAD – $650.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @BootsandHearts

Follow on Facebook: @BootsandHearts

Follow on Instagram: @bootsandhearts

Now things start to get exciting as we move into the top of the charts and our Top 5 selections.

Rock the Boat MusicFest

Rank: # 5 

When: August 4th, 2018

Where: Tyne Valley, PE, Canada

Why: Come for the oysters and stay for the music, plus see the coastal experiences that PEI has to offer. Rock the Boat Musicfest is a signature event for the 56-year old Tyne Valley Oyster Festival and is a one-day family-friendly music event that is now into its sixth year and it’s a full deck of new and old faces in this year’s line up that offers something for everyone’s musical tastes. Speaking of tastes, the Rock the Boat Musicfestival is a signature event along with the Canadian Oyster Shucking Championship, held on Friday, August 2nd.

The festival is all about community involvement, oyster shucking and amazing music all wrapped into one festival that is truly unique and like no other in Canada or South of the border which brings thousands and thousands of people to Tyne Valley each year.

This event is truly a not for profit festival as all the profits from the festival go right back into the community making it a truly feel good experience for all who attended and the reason why this event has made our list for the third consecutive year.

We also want to add that this is our “Festival to Watch” Award winner as we at Spotlight on Business Magazine believe that they have a few announcements coming in the future that will make Rock the Boat a Top Contender for #1 in 2020.

For more information on the Rock the Boat MusicFest http://www.tvoysterfest.ca/

Ticket Prices: $50.00 CAD – $130.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @TVoysterfest

Follow on Facebook: @TyneValleyOysterFestival

Follow on Instagram: @tvoysterfest

The 24th Riverfront Jubilee 

Rank: # 4 

When: August 2nd – 4th, 2019

Where:  Glasgow Square Theatre – New Glasgow, NS, Canada

Why: We are sure that many people will question why such a small venue and festival like The Riverfront Jubilee, affectionately know as the “JUBE,” which has been held in Pictou County, Nova Scotia for the last 23 years would make our Top 10 Summer Music Festivals list.  Our answer is the same as it has been every year – go and find out for yourself, you will not be disappointed.

Each August long-weekend for the past 23 years The Riverfront Jubilee in New Glasgow, NS has showcased some of the best talent in the Canadian Music Industry. Making our Top 10 is not just about the talent: it is about the venue, the area hospitality and the experience. If you have not been to the JUBE, you better put it on your bucket list for this summer: as we said before, you will not be disappointed.  

Pictou County is known for its historic downtown areas with boardwalks, great shops, farmers markets, restaurants, pubs and amazing beaches.  Nestled on the edge of the East River is Glasgow Square, an indoor/outdoor venue, which was built in 2001 and is the home of the Riverfront Jubilee.  

Glasgow Square offers amazing acoustics for all festival goers. The volunteer run board of directors set the perfect layout to enjoy the festival, with the outdoor amphitheatre providing both the artists and attendees one of the most engaging performance experiences of any music festival. The artists would truly have to be in your living room to get a better view of the performance creating a truly energetic and interactive experience for all.

Get your tickets now and we will see you at the JUBE!!!

For more information on the Riverfront Jubilee visit: https://www.newglasgowjubilee.ca/

Ticket Prices: $30.00 CAD – $195.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @NGJubilee

Follow on Facebook: @JubileenG

Follow on Instagram: @ngjubilee

BVJ – Big Valley Jamboree

Rank: # 3

When: August 1st – 4th, 2019

Where: Camrose, AB, Canada

Why: There is no big valley, no hills, no river, so why go, it is simple for 26 years now, the 5 time CCMA Country Music Event of the Year, has been one of Canada’s largest country music festivals and one not to miss with the best of the best in country music and 2018 is no different.  Started back in 1992, the Jamboree is held each year during the August long weekend, and features country singers from all over North America.

The BVJ is one of the largest music festivals on the continent.  The event draws thousands of concert goers annually, with over 100,000 in attendance over the four-day event.  

This year promises to be one of the best with headliners: Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Paul Brandt, Brett Eldredge, George Canyon along with some of country’s royalty like Alabama and many more amazing artists taking the mainstage with Luke Combs, Emerson Drive, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many others performing in the Coors Banquet Saloon offering something for all festival goers to enjoy and why this is one not to miss this Summer.

For more information on the Big Valley Jamboree: https://www.bigvalleyjamboree.com/

Ticket Prices: $110.00 CAD – $850.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @theBVJ

Follow on Facebook: @bigvalleyjamboree

Follow on Instagram: @thebvj

Cavendish Beach Music Festival

Rank: # 2

When: July 5th – 7th, 2019

Where: Cavendish Beach Events Centre – Cavendish, PE, Canada

Why: There are many reasons to head to the birth place of Canada this Summer, it could be the golf courses, Anne of Green Gables, the amazing seafood or the majestic shoreline of Prince Edward Island.  However, this year, we are going to put the Cavendish Beach Music Festival as the main reason to head to PEI this Summer.   

Over the past 10 years the CBMF has welcomed major acts to Cavendish which have included Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, the Dixie Chicks, Old Dominion, and The Band Perry just to name a few of the amazing artist that taken the stage.

As the CBMF heads into its second decade with a full deck of new and old faces for this year’s festival as they go back to a 3-day format for this year’s event.  Among other headliners to perform over the 3 days are; Country Music Superstars and multi-award-winning artists Carrie Underwood and Eric Church along with Hunter Hayes as your headliner to kick things off on Friday night.

As partnerships go, the people of Prince Edward Island have a win-win with the CBMF as communities across PEI welcome festivalgoers and artist into their backyards for this event and making it the best experience possible, while contributing millions of dollars in revenue for Island shops and services.

The CBMF is an easy selection for our Top 10 as it is an amazing and safe venue that has it all, great location, amazing artists, awesome vendors and energic volunteers with everyone working together to make the CBMF the best experience of your Summer and with 70,000 concert goers each year it is a great place to promote your brand.

Get your tickets now and we will see you at Cavendish Beach this Summer. 

For more information on the CBMF https://www.cavendishbeachmusic.com/

Ticket Prices: $85.00 CAD – $549.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @CavendishFest

Follow on Facebook: @CavendishBeachMusic

Follow on Instagram: @ cavendishbeachmusic

Time for the drumroll, as Spotlight on Business Magazine’s Top Pick for Summer Music Festivals North of the Border is:

The 25th RBC Bluesfest 

Rank: # 1

When: July 4th – 14th, 2019

Where: LeBreton Flats Park – Ottawa, ON, Canada

Why: For the second consecutive year the RBC Bluesfest is the top Pick for Summer Music Festivals North of the Border and the reason is very simple for the past twenty-five years, the RBC Bluesfest has set the national standard for relevance in the live music industry through innovation and diversity.

When it comes to artistic programming, it has established a track record that is second-to-none with amazing artists year after year many different genres on multi-stages for festival goers to enjoy making it an event that everyone can enjoy regardless of your age or musical tastes.

The RBC Bluesfest is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to significantly reducing the source of all on-site waste products and monitoring and improving the collection and management of these products. RBC Bluesfest organizers will strongly encourage all suppliers, partners, and fans of the festival to follow their lead in this endeavour to make this a uniquely Green event.

If that was not enough it is all in beautiful Ottawa, Ontario giving lots of options for sightseeing, shopping or checking out one of the many local establishments before or after the event each day as the city has something for everyone.

See you in Canada’s Nation Capital this Summer.

For more information on the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest visit: https://ottawabluesfest.ca

Ticket Prices: $59.00 CAD – $625.00 CAD

Follow on Twitter: @ottawabluesfest

Follow on Facebook: @ottawabluesfest

Follow on Instagram: @ottawabluesfest

As we have always mentioned in the past, remember before going to any festival you need to find the one that is right for you, know all the costs and what is and what is not included.  The prices that we have shown are for tickets only, which are subject to change and many of these events will have additional costs for parking and camping so be aware of this before you head to any festivals.

As you can see there are many amazing festivals to choose from, but you don’t want to end up somewhere you don’t enjoy so remember atmosphere is just as important if not more than just a spectacular line-up of artists.  

Know of an amazing festival that we might have missed, then reach out to us at festivals@spotlightbizmag.com and put the spotlight on your favorite festival for 2020’s list.

Remember to tag us on social media (Twitter @spotlightbizmag / Facebook @spotlightbizmag / Instagram @spotlightonbizmag) and use #Top10CDNMusicfest so that we can share your experience with our readers.