6 of the Coolest Canadian Music Festivals to Hit This Summer

 Ottawa Bluesfest

I’ve been getting a little envious of all the Glastonbury coverage that’s been going on this week. Mud aside, this year looked better than ever from this side of the pond, not least for the fact that they had Dolly Parton performing! But not all is lost for my Canadian music lovers because, as luck would have it, we also have a great selection of festivals to suit every taste, in every province. So, grab your floral headbands, ripped booty shorts and fringe handbags because here are some of the best music festivals you can watch from coast to coast.

1. Ottawa Bluesfest

Dates: July 3-13

Location: Lebreton Flats, Ottawa

Acts: Lady Gaga, Blake Shelton, Tegan and Sara, Dean Brody, Barenaked Ladies, Blondie, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age — what more do you want?

Why you should go: Ottawa Bluesfest is ranked by Billboard Magazine as one of the top-10 most successful outdoor music festivals in the world. People travel from far and wide to attend this multi-staged music extravaganza that’s considered one of the biggest outdoor fests in Canada.

Ottawa Bluesfest

2. Osheaga

Dates: August 1-3

Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal

Acts: Outkast, Skrillex, Foster The People, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Haim

Why you should go: Osheaga is an indie lover's paradise, featuring the very best emerging artists mixed with seasoned headliners. In 2012, the fest reached its full capacity of 40,000, so start making plans now if you wish to attend.

3. OVO Fest

Dates: August 3-4

Location: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto

Acts: Drake, Outkast and special guests (previous years have welcomed Eminem, Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and Kanye West as surprise appearances).

Why you should go: We can once again thank Drake for bringing a little extra je ne sais quoi to his hometown as the rapper hosts his fifth annual OVO Fest to celebrate hip-hop music.

4. Cavendish Beach

Dates: July 4-6

Location: Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island

Acts: Dean Brody, Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker

Why you should go: You better get your skates, I mean boots, on if you want to get to Cavendish Beach’s annual country music fest. Best of all, could you think of a better location than the beautiful coastline of Cavendish to sway along to your favourite tunes?

5. Squamish Valley

Dates: August 8-10

Location: Squamish, British Columbia

Acts: Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire, Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, The Roots, Serena Ryder

Why you should go: Like Cavendish, Squamish also trades on its looks to make itself one of the premiere music festivals on the west coast. But let’s be honest here, how many venues can proclaim to host both Eminem and The Roots at the same event?

6. Edgefest

Dates: July 1, July 18 and August 16

Location: Echo Beach, Toronto

Acts: The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, USS, Ms Mr, Our Lady Peace

Why you should go: For all my rock stars out there, 102.1 The Edge wants to say a big thank you with its annual concert series, which this year is being moved from Downsview to Echo Beach. Dive into the mosh pit and nod along to the longest running rock show in Canada.

Images via Ottawa Bluefest