The Best Summer Music Festivals

With summer just around the corner its time to start planning which festivals to take in 

There are a few things that feel more like summer than outdoor music festivals. North America has no shortage of these summertime traditions, which range from concert series to gigantic music festivals.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Governors Ball Music Festival 

This New York City festival is one of the coolest ones around. Only in its fourth year, the fast-growing event already draws big names from the hip-hop, rock and indie scene — this year’s headliners include Outkast, Jack White and the Strokes.  

June 6 to 8, Randall’s Island Park, New York City, N.Y.

Chicago Blues Fest

Chicago’s largest music festival is also one of the world’s largest free blues festivals, attracting 500,000 people over three days. Over the years the festival has drawn music legends like Ray Charles and B.B. King and this year’s headliners include Bettye LaVette, Billy Boy Arnold and Willie Clayton.

June 13 to 15, Grant Park, Chicago, Ill. 

Calgary Folk Festival

This highly anticipated festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year with another diverse and eclectic line-up. Headliners taking to the main stage in Prince’s Island Park include Rufus Wainwright, The Jayhawks, Feist and Andrew Bird.

July 24 to 27, Prince’s Island Park, Calgary, Alta. 

Hillside Festival

This not-for-profit festival, set on the grassy shores of Guelph Island Lake, has been around for more than three decades. Among this year’s highlight are the Mounties, a British Columbia/Ontario hybrid super-group that features Canadian heavyweights like Hawksley Workman, and Hot Hot Heat frontman Steve Bays.

July 25 to 27, Guelph Lake Island, Guelph, Ont.

Mission Hill Family Estate Concert Series

The vineyard’s outdoor amphitheatre is a magical place to take in a concert and this year’s musical performers will only add to the experience. On August 1, Grammy-Award-winning Tony Bennett will take the stage and August 24 features the Gipsy Kings on their 25th anniversary tour.

August 1 and August 24, Mission Hill Estate Winery, West Kelowna, B.C.