Summer has finally arrived after a volatile winter, and the Canadian festival season is ready to begin. Hustling between stages, dancing shoulder to shoulder with friends, and falling in love with new bands is the perfect way to spend a weekend, and part two of The InstaList will be there with you through all of it.
Canada has been making a name for itself as a festival haven, and this year looks to be one of the best years yet. Beautiful venues in British Columbia and Alberta rival anything found in the American festival circuit, and there’s so much Canadian talent that you can be sure that you’re supporting local artists.
1. What: Field Trip Festival – @fieldtriplife Fort York, Toronto. Entering its third year, the Field Trip Festival has grown from a small get-together promoting local record label Arts & Crafts to a vibrant (though still small-scale) community event. Field Trip is equally about experiencing local food and local music, though this year headliners Alabama Shakes and My Morning Jacket do hail from the American South.
Known For: The low-key atmosphere and sense of community. Field Trip sometimes more resembles a farmers’ market than a music festival, and draws an older crowd, but if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend of music, this is the place to be. The official Instagram account reflects this beautifully, packed with understated and artistic snapshots of people kicking back and having a great time.
When: June 6-7 2015
MORE: Oh Canada
2. What: NXNE Festival– @NXNE Downtown Toronto. North by North East, the Canadian compatriot of South by South West in Austin, Texas, sprawls all over downtown Toronto. 23 venues both big and small, from the resplendent Drake Hotel to the grungy Lee’s Palace, will be absolutely packed with everything from quiet indie rock to hardcore West Coast rap. Nearly every venue has a full schedule so you’ll have to make some tough decisions, but it’s impossible to finish the weekend without seeing something mind-blowing. And best of all Saturday and Sunday feature free concerts at Yonge Dundas Square, so you can have an exciting and fiscally responsible time.
Known for: Always keeping you on your toes. Even though the festival is fairly concentrated to the downtown, you’ll still wear out your shoe soles catching all of the shows. NXNE is organized by artists, so of course the official Instagram account is full of intimate artist portraits and expertly framed venue pictures.
When: June 17 – 21
3. What: Pemberton Festival – @Pemberton_fest Pemberton, B. C. Since 2008 the Pemberton Music Festival has been one of the most beautiful festivals in North America, tucked into the cozy B.C. mountains. It has grown enormously but organizers have taken great pains to make sure every festival-goer’s experience is top-notch, guaranteeing a stunning and exciting weekend.
Known For: Keeping the quiet and laidback atmosphere of the B.C. mountains perfectly alongside some of the loudest bands ever. It also lets you pay for your ticket through a payment plan, in case you’re a little cash-strapped. And if you are truly cash-strapped and can’t make it to the festival, then the official Instagram account has you covered, with countless pictures of stunning vistas and gorgeous campgrounds to keep you entertained.
When: July 16 – 19
4. What: Way Home Festival – @WayHome Oro-Medonte, Ont. The WayHome festival is Ontario’s response to massive American festivals such as Lollapalooza and Coachella, to the point that it’s even affiliated with North Carolina’s expansive Bonnaroo fest. For a first time festival the lineup is positively stacked (though very skewed towards modern indie rock) with Neil Young, Kendrick Lamar, and Sam Smith serving as headliners for Ontario’s latest claim to fame.
Known for: Not much yet, but the impressive lineup should be taken as a testament to the organizers’ skill and trust. Organizers have certainly made a big splash on Instagram with a bold blue, yellow, and red colour scheme, adding vibrancy to anyone’s Instagram feed.
When: July 24 – 26
5. What: Big Valley Jamboree – @thebvj Camrose, Alta. For more than 20 years the Big Valley Jamboree has been one of the premiere festivals of the Canadian prairies, winning countless “Best Country Music Festival” awards throughout its history. Unlike many festival the Big Valley Jamboree only has one massive stage, guaranteeing that you’ll be seeing the top country artists in the country instead of running around between stages and missing everything.
Known For: The Big Valley Jamboree is one of the largest and also the most peaceful festivals in Canada. By keeping all of the action to one stage the festival manages to avoid any major complications, letting you sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend. And if you have a hankering for seeing people wearing only the finest cowboy hats, look no further than the Big Valley Jamboree Instagram feed!
When: July 30 – August 2
Which outdoor music festival are you attending this summer? Show us by tagging @GlobalNewsone on Instagram photos with the hashtag #GlobalNews.
-Written and compiled by Spencer Sterritt