winter music festivals toronto

The top 5 winter music festivals in Toronto for 2016

The top winter music festivals may not boast the same star-studded lineups as summer events, but they'll keep you going until WAYHOME and Riot Fest return. With everything from rap battles to indie shows on tap, you have more than a few reasons to brave the cold this season.

Here are my picks for the top winter music festivals in Toronto.

Class of 2016 (January 9, 16, 22, 29, 30)
Get your fill of indie music this winter by heading to the Silver Dollar for the venue's annual music honour roll series. The event is already in full swing, but there are still five dates left in January. You can catch sets by Fake Palms, Casper Skull, Germaphobes, Goodbye Honolulu and many more. All nights ring in under $10, so it's budget-friendly.

Long Winter (January 16, 30 and February 17, 18)
Long Winter is a seasonal staple. This year it'll kick off with an all-ages show at The Great Hall featuring acts like Vallens, BOSSIE, and loom (to name just a few). New this year is the art show/concert hybrid at the Galleria Mall. Long Winter will close off in February with a giant maze and audio-visual experience at Artscape Sandbox. Tickets for all events are under the $20 mark.

Wavelength (February 12-14)
Instead of spending your Valentine's Day weekend stocking up on SOMA chocolate and trying to nail down reservations at Canoe, why not hit up a music festival? Wavelength is bringing Calvin Love, She-Devils, Soupcans, Duchess Says and more to the Garrison and the Markham House City Building Lab for three nights of shows. All-access passes cost $39.

Winterfolk Music Festival (February 12-14)
The Winterfolk Music Festival returns to the Danforth in mid-February, bringing with it a handful of free and paid shows worth checking out. This year's lineup is filled with urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots bands. You can catch sets by Alana & Leigh Cline, Danny Marks, DRUMHAND, The O'Pears, and many more. A three-day wrist band will set you back $15.

Blackout 6 Rap Battle (February 19-20)
Venture to 99 Sudbury on February 19 and 20 to watch the lyrically gifted go head-to-head in the city's biggest rap battle event. If you want a taste of what's in store, check out the KOTD event trailer here. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Drake will be making an appearance this year. Tickets will set you back $55 for a two-day GA pass.

What did I miss? Add more winter music fests to the comments.

Photo of Long Winter by Jesse Milns.


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