music festivals toronto

The top 10 music festivals in Toronto for summer 2016

The top music festivals in Toronto this summer offer those of us without a driver's license - we have a separate list for out of town festivals - to get in on festival season. Sadly, some tried and true faves - RIP Riot Fest Toronto - will not be returning to our fair city, but there are still plenty of events worth snagging tickets for.

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

Toronto Jazz Festival
Dates: June 24-July 3
Cost: Cost per show varies, free series at Nathan Phillips Square
Venue: Various
Type of music: Mostly Jazz
Kicking off summer festival season is the annual Toronto Jazz Festival, which takes over a number of live music venues across the city as well as Nathan Phillips Square. Performers this year include KC and the Sunshine Band, Sarah McLachlan, Grace Potter and many, many more.

Digital Dreams
Dates: July 2-3
Cost: $110-$260
Venue: The Flats at Ontario Place
Type of music: Electronic
The largest electronic music fest in Canada will bring faves like Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Above & Beyond, Knife Party to The Flats at Ontario place for two days filled with EDM, dancing and probably a few contraband substances.

Electric Island
Dates: July 1, Aug 1, September 4-5
Cost: $56-$79
Venue: Hanlan's Point
Type of music: Electronic
The first Electric Island concert of 2016 has already come and gone, but you've got three more chances to get in on the action before summer ends. Each lineup is announced when the last one has passed, so for now all we know is that Tale of Us, Ben Klock vs. Marcel Dettmann, Apollonia, Honey Dijon and a few others will hit Hanlan's on July 1.

OVO
Dates: July 29, 31, Aug 1
Cost: Sold Out
Venue: Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ACC
Type of music: Hip-hop
Drake's annual fest returns to Toronto at the end of July, and lucky for us it's overlapping with his Summer Sixteen tour. Already announced headliners include Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and Future. As per usual, the tickets for this star-studded fest sold out in a flash, but you can always try sending out an ISO on Bunz.

VELD
Dates: July 30-31
Cost: $160-$230
Venue: Downsview Park
Type of music: Electronic
VELD returns to Downsview for another round of EDM shenanigans this July. Kygo, The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Travis Scott, Flume, DVBBS and our very own hometown hero, Deadmau5, are headlining the two-day affair. Expect to party long after the sun goes down.

TIME Festival
Dates: August 6
Cost: $30-$50
Venue: Fort York, Garrison Common
Type of music: Various
Embrace is bringing a roster of electronic, hip-hop and R&B acts to Fort York for this year's TIME Fesstival. Headliners include Broods, Kehlani, Joey Bada$$ and TOKiMONSTA making for a kind of all-over-the-place but impressive line up.

Mad Decent Block Party
Dates: August 19
Cost: $47-$72
Venue: Fort York, Garrison Common
Type of music: Various
Mad Decent has yet to release the festival's full line up, but the announced headliners will probably inspire you to hit Ticketweb sooner rather than later. Bishu, Diplo, Grandtheft, Louis the Child, Marshmello, NGHTMRE x Slander and Sleepy Tom are all on board for the August 19 show.

Camp Wavelength
Dates: August 19-21
Cost: $55-$250
Venue: Artscape Gibraltar Point
Type of music: Various
Want to hit up camping festival but don't have a ride to Oro Medonte? Camp Wavelength is once again taking over Artscape Gibraltar Point for a fest filled with music, art, performances and, of course, overnight shenanigans under the stars. This year's lineup boasts acts like Odonis Odonis, Cloud Nothings, Young Galaxy and Wolf Saga - just to name a few.

in/FUTURE
Dates: September 15-21
Cost: $80
Venue: Ontario Place
Type of music: Various
in/FUTURE is the new kid on the block this year and is taking over an unexpected venue to make itself known: Ontario Place. The fest - which is the brainchild of Art Spin and Small World Music Festival - promises an array of contemporary art pieces on display, films, theatrical performances and music. Acts include DOOMSQUAD, Mariachi Flor and Wally Badarou, among others.

TURF Festival
Dates: September 16-18
Cost: $75-$400
Venue: Fort York, Garrison Common
Type of music: Various
Good 'ol trusty TURF is closing out the summer season with what promises to be quite the fest. The indie-heavy line up includes performers like James Bay, Explosions in the Sky and Jake Bugg. Hopefully the inclusion of Death Cab for Cutie will have you not missing Riot Fest too badly.

What did I miss? Add more summer music festivals to the comments.

Photo of Electric Island by Hector Vasquez.


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