Summer in Toronto means music, and this year’s music festivals are back, in-person, and already delivering some early promises to be better than ever. We have missed the crowds, camaraderie, ethereal glow of lighters leading to port-a-potty lines (okay, we haven’t missed the port-a-potties that much) and headliners that make up the sights and sounds of summer music festivals. If you’ve been avoiding people like the, ahem, plague, it’s time to purchase tickets to some of the summer’s best music shows, starting with one or all of the below.
Back and bigger than ever, this year’s VELD festival at Downsview Park will span three days and include artists such as Alesso, the Chainsmokers, Marshmello, Armin Van Burren, and several other artists. After a two-year break, VELD boasts three solid days of hip-hop and EDM beneath the summer sun. If hip-hop and EDM are your jam, VELD is a must-go. Tickets on sale beginning Feb. 10 at 10 am or beat the crowd and purchase pre-sale tickets beginning February 8 by signing up for the VELD newsletter (a must to buy pre-sale).
Ok, not exactly Toronto, but we claim it as our own since it was held here for many of its early formative years. Mariposa, now in Orillia, joins the list of music festivals returning to real-life this summer with a lineup that includes Mavis Staples, Kathleen Edwards, Serena Ryder, Allison Russell, and more. Mariposa regularly adds to its already packed lineup, so watch the site for new additions. Tickets for this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival are on sale now.
Usually earlier in the year, Canadian Music Week pushed the festival back a bit to make sure an in-person event could happen. The conference is Canada’s longest-running music industry conference, and the festival showcases dozens of bands in venues across the city. Stay tuned for details.
Is it even summer in Toronto without our favourite the jazz festival? This hallmark happening, including a slew of free and paid events in and around the Yorkville neighbourhood, is what many consider the quintessential ‘must-attend’ kickoff to summer event, and it’s back this year after a short pause. The stellar lineup includes two bona fide legends in Herbie Hancock and Smokey Robinson as well as Gregory Porter, the Elena Kapeleris Quintet, and other favourites. Grab your tickets here.
The North by North East (NXNE) Festival is an eclectic mix of gaming, music, and arts with a bit of flea market thrown in but the main focus of NXNE has always been on emerging artists. This summer’s lineup will feature showcase gigs at Toronto’s best live music venues. For more information about NXNE and to purchase tickets go here. Stay tuned for more information.