Large music festivals in BC or Montreal are often over promoted but what about those music festivals just hours outside of the city that won’t cost nearly as much? Grab your friends and load up the truck (or pile on a Go Bus) because these music festivals are just hours outside of Toronto and are must-sees! You can go down for the day or camp at most of these must-see shows.
Burlington, Waterfront, June 13-21
Travel Time from Toronto: 50 Minutes
Go Buses Available
Tickets: June 13 (ticketed Show): Early bird prices are $60 plus fees and taxes but will go to $75 plus fees and taxes
June 13th Line-up: Weezer, Our Lady Peace, Collective Soul, Finger 11, Current Swell and Scott Helman
Rest of festival (free): Big Sugar, Shad, Say Yes, Loverboy, Hollerado among others.
This festival has been taking place since 1980 with a annual attendance of a whopping 230,000 attendees. It’s 9 days long and they are expecting there to be 100 acts across 10 different stages. The “Kick- Off Concert” on June 13 will feature Weezer, Our Lady Peace, Collective Soul, Finger 11, Current Swell and Scott Helman. There will be a shuttle bus from the Burlington Go station. Usually the festival is free but this year the first day requires a ticket with the rest of the festival remaining free. There will also be a carnival, Children’s Village (complete with petting zoo and hula hoops… let’s face it.. that’s not just for kids), parade and street festival.
Guelph ON, July 24-26
Travel Time from Toronto 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Go Buses and Greyhounds Available.
Tickets: Weekend passes are $139, Friday $55 and Saturday and Sunday $83 each. Children under 12 are free.
Line-up: BADBADNOTGOOD, Badminton Racquet, Great Lake Swimmers, The Constantines, The Good Lovelies, Daniel Lanois, Nick Ferrio, The Weather Station and more.
Hillside Guelph has been rocking for 32 years and is a must go to for indie music fans. Performers include a bunch of indie bands you probably have never heard of, but after you do will wonder how you lived life without their music in it. Camping is also available. Past performers include Hollerado, Arkells, Mother Mother, The Midway State, The Sheepdogs, METZ and Alvvays.
Oro-Medonte (In Barrie), July 24th-26th
Travel Time from Toronto: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Go Buses available.
Tickets: 229.99 for the most basic ticket, there are no single day tickets available
Line-up: Neil Young and promise of the Real, Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, Modest Mouse, Brandon Flowers, Vance Joy, St. Vincent, The Gaslight Anthem, Hozier, July Talk, Sloan, Yukon Blonde, Metz and many, many, many More
Wayhome has a very diverse and quite large line-up. There is definitely something there for everyone- obviously a bonus if you and your friends aren’t into the same music. You can see some classic rock with Neil Young and the Promise of the Real; some rap with Kendrick Lamar or Danny Brown some electronic music with Bassnector or some alternative with Modest Mouse, Alt-J or The Sheepdogs. There is camping. Shuttle buses will be available but are not free.
Kitchener, Mclennen Park, July 10-11
Travel Time from Toronto: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Go buses and Greyhounds Available.
Tickets: Single Day $88.50
Line-up: Modern Hearts, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, Monster Truck, The Glorious Sons and Mohrs
Big Music Fest has brought big bands to smaller towns and cities in Canada since 2008. Last year it was also held in Kitchener and previously Belleville and Bobcaygeon. Every year the bands get bigger and better. Last years line-up included Aerosmith, Styx, Bryan Adams, Collective Soul and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. This year the festival went a little more alternative rock for day two with James Addiction and Soundgarden. The Friday there is a free show open to public called “Breaking Bands” featuring Big Sugar and up and coming bands. They are expecting around 70,000 people this year. The festival will also kick off the 6th until the 9th with the “Big Food fest” and a “Breaking Films” festival.
Bissell Park, Elora ON, August 14-16
Travel Time From Toronto: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Tickets: 140.00 for all three days or $60for Friday, $80 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday. Children 10 and under are free.
Lineup: Metric, Sam Roberts Band, Lighthouse, Tokyo Police Club, Alan Doyle (of Great Big Sea)
Riverfest has been running for 7 years and is three days this year instead of two. They also hold a winter festival “Ice Jam Elora”. There will be shuttle buses from Elora, Guelph and Fergus, but no parking on site. There is camping as well. The festival is also green (awesome) you can bring your own reusable mugs for your alcohol or purchase a reusable mug for $5.