June 19 2012 by Julie Drossos
Summer is here, and what's better than spending a warm summer's day or night enjoying great music and people watching? You might not think it but Canada actually has some pretty sweet music festivals that take place in the summer months. Below I have included a list of some sure-to-please events happening across Canada; there's a little something for everyone.
Digital Dreams Festival
June 30 - July 1, 2012
Ontario Place, Toronto, Canada
If you love electric sounds you can dance your ass off to (acts include Kaskade and Hed Kandi), get ready for a must-attend event for any electronic music lover. This is happening on Canada Day (the northern "Fourth of July") long weekend and so will undoubtedly be a BIG party for all that attend. Toronto has been considered a mecca for electronic music for decades and this event will not only include killer beats by some renowned DJs, but it will also include a spectacular fireworks display over Toronto's gorgeous skyline.
Accomodation Tip: if you want somewhere convenient (less than 3 miles away) and affordable to stay, try to book your stay at the BEST WESTERN Primrose downtown. It's just 3 miles away from Ontario Place!
Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts
July 3 - 5, 2012
Osheaga, besides being held in one of Canada's bonafide party cities - Montreal - is somewhat of a who's who of bands. Likely one of the most well-known as far as Canadian music festivals go, the 2012 line-up includes the Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Snoop Dogg, Feist and more. Last year the event drew around 70,000 music lovers and this year will likely top that.
Accommodation Tip: The BEST WESTERN Hotel Europa is in a prime location just a couple miles from the Osheaga site and located near many of Montreal's downtown attractions including some excellent shopping.
RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest 2012
July 4 - 15, 2012
This is one of the biggest music events in Canada, and what a colourful lineup at this year's Bluesfest boasts! Taking place in Ottawa - the Nation's capital - artists include Iron Maiden, Norah Jones , David Gray, John Mellencamp and LMFAO. Local favorites Nickelback and K'naan will also hit the stage. This event is huge - last year a whopping 350,000 attended.
Rock the Peach 2012
July 27 - 29, 2012
Cost $227 for 3 days
It's the first year for this festival but I'm a sucker for the beautiful Okanagan, and particular the lively town of Penticton and so I had to give them a plug. If you've driven through Penticton (amidst the Okanagan wine country in beautiful British Columbia, a few hours' drive from Vancouver, BC) you may have noticed the "peach on the beach" - obviously where the name of this first-time event has come from. Acts include Collective Soul, Sam Roberts Band, Glass Tiger and Three Dog Night. A sweet bonus to visiting Penticton is that as it will be the peak of summer, you'll be able to also spend some quality soaking up the rays on the lake.
Accommodation Tip: Penticton is a hub of activity and tourism in the warm summer months, and this is prime time. Try to get in at Penticton's BEST WESTERN PLUS, it's centrally located and within walking distance of the water and other attractions.
Live at Squamish
August 24 - 26, 2012
Cost $ 104-264
Live at Squamish returns for its third year in a row. Squamish is approximately an hour's drive from Vancouver, BC, roughly halfway between Vancouver and Whistler. This weekend-long festival heats up the BC coast with acts including the Tragically Hip, City and Color, Mother Mother and DJ Mark Farina. Options for transport or accommodation include camping at a nearby school's field, "glamping" for the those who want a more posh version of "roughing it", or taking advantage of their organized shuttle bus service out of Vancouver. The official website sums the event up simply and oh so perfectly: "Happy times in a big field with great music" - do you really need more than that?!