April 27, 2012

North of Northwest: Canadian Summer Festival Outlook




One of the Venues for Dawson City Music Fest


Looking for an alternative to Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, or the so-last-week (and the week before) Coachella? Maybe something a little smaller, cheaper, more obscure, or just further away? Here are a few recommendations from this year’s crop of Canadian summer music festivals.

Hillside Festival

Guelph, Ontario July 27-29

The Gist: A highly Canadian-centric festival in Ontario college town / musical hotbed Guelph.

The Bands: Bry Webb, Elliott Brood, The Wooden Sky, Joe Pug, Joel Plaskett, Bahamas, Chic Gamine

The Price: $40-$115



Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal, August 3-5

The Gist: Named after an old European settlers’ word for Montreal, Osheaga celebrates its seventh year in Parc Jean-Drapeau on the Île Sainte-Hélène in Montreal. Osheaga consistently attracts big-name headliners, and this year is no exception.

Sigur Ros, The Black Keys, Metric, The Weeknd, Plants and Animals, Dan Mangan, Wintersleep, Keys N Krates



Sled Island

June 20-23, Calgary

The Gist: Not an actual island, but more of a conceptual one created in downtown Calgary every summer, Sled Island aims to bring people to the streets to experience both music they know they love and boundary-pushing artists they might not encounter in their day to day lives.

The Bands: Feist, Cannon Bros, Rococode, The Antlers, Bonjay, The Hold Steady, Duchess Says

The Price: $50-$349


Dawson City Music Fest

Dawson City, Yukon Territory, July 20-22

The Gist: An adventurous festival in the remote Yukon, Dawson City’s long bright summer nights have a reputation for breeding surprising performances and spontaneous collaborations.

The Bands: Partial lineup includes Hooded Fang, Born Ruffians, The Weather Station

The Price: $126



Kelowna, BC, July 6-8

The Gist: A brand new festival on Okanagan Lake in BC’s toasty interior.

The Bands: Joy Formidable, Dan Mangan, Cold War Kids, Said The Whale, The Pack AD, Devon Coyote

$49.50 – $175



Saskatoon, June 14-16

The Gist: Canada’s second annual MoSo (Mobile and Social Media) conference has added to its appeal this year with the first MoSoFest. With the partial lineup already looking quite promising, this thirty-nine (!!) dollar festival might be the best bargain of the summer.

The Bands: Damien Jurado, Bry Webb, Shotgun Jimmie, Jessica Jalbert

The Price: $39



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