Camping = [*]
Multi-venue = [#]
When: June 10-19
Where: Montreal, Que.
Why Go: It’s a year of change for the Francofolies: this juggernaut French music fest got a slash in government funding this year, and it’s moved from August to June. But a stellar lineup will brings fans back – you can catch local acts like Coeur de pirate, Malajube, and Les Trois Accords, and French music stars from around the world. Quebecois icons Diane Dufresne and Robert Charlebois make an appearance, of course. Check out the free concerts, which are as big as the ones at the Jazz Fest.
For more information: francofolies.com
What: North by Northeast (NXNE) [#]
When: June 14-20
Where: Toronto, Ont.
Why Go: A music and film festival that brings together international and local artists, industry leaders and fans for interactive shows and conferences. Over 650 acts will showcase across the city during nights where bars stay open until 4 a.m., while days will be filled with workshops and conferences for industry folk. With 2,300 industry delegates, this is where new talent gets discovered and skills are honed. Proving that age is irrelevant to those who like to rock, Iggy Pop and the Stooges will be tearing up the stage of Yonge-Dundas Square Saturday night of the seven-day festival, after The Raveonettes.
For more information: nxne.com
What: Woodstock en Beauce [*]
When: June 30-July 4
Where: St-Ephrem-de-Beauce, Que.
Why Go: A big ol’ campsite concert love-in, Woodstock en Beauce is playing host to a variety of Quebec rock acts, like Les Cowboys Fringants, Tricot Machine, and newcomers Ladies of the Canyon, as well as big names like the Planet Smashers, Anti-Flag and Bad Religion. As for fans of great acts of the past, there are a number of tribute bands paying homage to Metallica, the Doors, Pink Floyd and the Beatles, among others.
For more information: woodstockenbeauce.qc.ca
When: July 31-Aug. 1
Where: Montreal, Que. (Jean-Drapeau Island)
Why Go: The spirit of the early ’90s will be revived with shows from Pavement and Sonic Youth. Montreal legends Arcade Fire will also be gracing the stage along with fellow headliner Weezer. Female vocalist fans will delight in the inclusion of Stars and Metric to the lineup, while rock’n’roll enthusiasts will flock to the island for the Black Keys.
For more information: osheaga.com
What: Montreal Jazz Fest
When: June 25-July 6
Where: Montreal, Que.
Why Go: Perhaps the most diverse of jazz fests, the 31st edition boasts over 275 artists and covers all genres with acts like Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie, Alex Cuba, Cyndi Lauper, Andrew Bird, the Roots, Lou Reed, and Holy Fuck, to name just a few. Attendees of all ages and tastes are guaranteed the time of the summer at this outrageously fun festival. Don’t miss it!
For more information: montrealjazzfest.com
What: Quebec City Summer Festival [#]
When: July 8-18
Where: Quebec City, Que.
Why Go: This is Canada’s biggest outdoor artistic event with more than 300 shows. Hard rock fans everywhere will rejoice with the appearances of Apocalyptica, Rammstein and Iron Maiden. For festival goers with more mainstream tastes, the Black Eyed Peas and Billy Talent will be there to regale viewers with catchy songs to sing along to. Dream Theatre and Rush will also be making an appearance as well as indie favourites Great Lake Swimmers and Passion Pit.
For more information: infofestival.com
What: FestiBlues International de Montreal
When: August 11-15
Where: Montreal, Que. (Ahuntsic Park)
Why Go: A lot of the FestiBlues’ 2010 programming is still under wraps, but this festival is great fun in terms of price, even if it is a little off the beaten path. Located in Ahuntsic, near Henri-Bourassa metro station, you pay $6 for the day to enter the park, or $15 for the full five days. It’s part of La Route du Blues – a string of blues festivals in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, including Les nuits blues des Laurentides. So if the blues makes your heart sing, you can follow it through three provinces.
For more information: festiblues.com
What: Evolve Music and Awareness Festival [*]
When: July 23-25
Where: Antigonish, N.S.
Why Go: Set in beautiful surroundings and named Canada’s best summer music festival in a 2010 CBC Radio 3 poll, the Evolve Music Festival emphasizes sustainable energy, environmentalism and social justice. Acts include Hey Rosetta!, Jenn Grant, Woodhands, and Fred Penner – what feel-good festival would be complete without him?
For more information: evolvefestival.com
What: Ottawa Bluesfest
When: July 6-18
Where: Ottawa, Ont. (LeBreton Flats)
Why Go: This year’s Bluesfest is featuring more than just blues musicians. Metal lovers can get their fill of power chords as Iron Maiden opens the festival on July 6. People of an older generation can relive their youth through the performances of Santana, Jimmy Cliff and the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. In addition, local hipsters will now be able check the Flaming Lips off their life to-do list when they headline July 10.
For more information: ottawabluesfest.ca
What: Sled Island [#]
When: June 30-July 3
Where: Calgary, Alb.
Why Go: This independent music and film festival is only in its fourth year, but it’s growing stronger with each lineup. Boasting acts like the Dudes, the Black Lips, Hot Water Music, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr, Priestess, Deerhoof, Fucked Up, and Girl Talk (to name a few), this year is your cool older brother’s record collection in festival form.
For more information: sledisland.com
For coverage of these festivals and more, visit
theconcordian.com throughout the summer.