dance music festivals toronto

The top 10 dance music festivals in Toronto for 2016

Dance music festivals in and around Toronto this year are more diverse than ever before. From the more laid back Electric Island and quirky Bestival, to the all-out production that is Veld, there's an electronic music event for just about everyone. Whether you're looking for a huge lineup, a camping getaway, or something experimental, this is a big summer for EDM fans.

Here are my picks for the top dance music festivals in and around Toronto this year.

Electric Island (May 23, July 1, August 1, September 4-5)
With dates set for every long weekend of spring/summer 2016, Electric Island brings the party to Hanlan's Point. Individual lineups haven't yet been announced but Jamie Jones, Nicole Moudaber, and Get Real are all set to perform over the course of the summer.

Ever After Music Festival (June 4-5)
Borrowing a psychedelic fantasy vibe from Tomorrowland, the second-year festival in Kitchener features a solid lineup including Adventure Club, Zedd, RL Grime, Dillon Francis, Toronto-favourite Rezz, and more. Attendees can book a campsite or a four-person cabin.

Unsound Toronto (June 10-11)
Part of Luminato's 10-year anniversary, Unsound promises a unique experience at the Hearn Generating Station. The industrial setting is a perfect fit for headliners sunn o))) and Tim Hecker. Each night runs from 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM, making it the city's latest running festival, with tickets selling separately for $25 apiece.

Bestival (June 11-12)
Rob Da Bank's UK export returns for its second year in Toronto, this time ditching the ferry to the Island for the 501 Queen car to Woodbine Park. The lineup includes Porter Robinson, Jamie XX, ODESZA, Grimes, Tchami, Malaa and more. Expect to see the inflatable church, as well as a costume party and parade.

Digital Dreams (July 2-3)
Set for Canada Day long weekend, Digital Dream's fifth year should meet EDM fans' expectations after booking Armin Van Buuren, Knife Party, Bassnectar, Above & Beyond, Axwell & Ingrosso and many more to play the Flats at the Molson Amp. Fingers crossed for good weather.

Electric Eclectics (July 29-31)
Meaford is the setting for three days of experimental music and sound art. The lineup will be announced in April, and for $65 you can buy yourself three days and nights of music and camping at the Funny Farm, complete with some of the best sunsets you'll ever see.

Veld (July 30-31)
Consistently one of the biggest EDM events of the summer, Veld is once again slated for the Simcoe Day long weekend. The lineup does not disappoint, with Flume, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and Kygo among the headliners. As per usual, there are also some hip-hop acts booked to offer some variety in the form of Travis Scott and Post Malone.

Zeds Dead presents Deadbeats (August 12)
Toronto-based Zeds Dead recently announced their label Deadbeats along with a new showcase this summer at Echo Beach. Other than the date and location, the event remains somewhat of a mystery, but with tickets starting at $20, fans of the hometown heroes are sure to jump on board before the special guests are revealed.

TIME Festival (Mid August)
Although the official date has yet to be set, TIME Fest's recent social media activity suggests an upcoming lineup announcement. The one-day festival is expected in mid-August, and you can expect the early-bird passes to be around $25 if the last two years are any indication.

Mad Decent Block Party (Late August)
After expanding the MDBP festival internationally in India this past February, Diplo is sure to bring the popular all-ages event back to North America this summer. The huge roster of artists results in different lineups depending on the city, but fans of Mad Decent can be sure Diplo or Major Lazer will perform at every date.

What festivals did I miss? Add your suggestions to the comments.

Writing by Julian Staniewski. Photo of Veld by Jesse Milns.


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