Get your festival on: previews of this summer’s music fests

(Lena Yang -- Graphics Editor)
(Graphic by Lena Yang)

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of summer is the abundance of live, outdoor music festivals that go on. Music festivals are an unbeatable way to experience your favourite musicians. No matter what type of person you are, there is always a place for you at a music festival.

That is, unless, you hate crowds, lineups and sweaty hippies or ravers, and in that case, maybe a Sunday matinee with your grandmother would be more suitable. Canada has gained a global reputation for having some of the top music festivals, devoted to diversity, community and the music. Here are four unique festivals from Toronto to Montreal to spice up your summer.

Toronto: Veld (August 3 and 4, 2013)

For any of you who fall into that category of being a lover of everything techno, this is the festival for you. After a huge success last summer, this will be Veld’s second annual festival and is better than ever. The festival is a two-day event and is going to be held in Toronto’s beautiful Downsview Park.

According to the organizers, this year’s festival has some of the most advanced lighting, sound and video for this type of festival to create the best experience for all who will attend. Beyond that, the way it has been set up is meant to create an intimate setting with the stage no matter where you are standing.

This year Veld is offering some of the most internationally acclaimed DJs and even more genres of electronic music than last year. DJs include Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Dada Life, Dirty South, Sub Focus and Above & Beyond. Being Canada’s biggest EDM festival, this year’s lineup certainly will not disappoint. If you are an EDM diehard, this is one festival you should not miss this summer.

Ottawa: Bluesfest (July 414, 2013)

 Ottawa’s Bluesfest is Canada’s oldest festival having started in 1994 with only 5,000 attendees. Now, this festival has become not only one of the biggest Canadian music festivals but one of the biggest global music festivals. In 2007, 30,0000 fans attended Ottawa’s Bluesfest setting a new standard for this festival. Bluesfest has been rated by Billboard Magazine as one of the top-ten music festivals in the world and has become Ottawa’s biggest summer event.

Bluesfest is held over a 12-day period and has expanded its lineup beyond strictly blues musicians to a wide range of genres and artists. Last year, the lineup ranged from Skrillex to Snoop Dogg to John Mellencamp to Iron Maiden. With more genres being covered, the festival has become even more popular by festivalgoers.

This year, the lineup includes: B.B. King, Rush, Weezer, The Tragically Hip, Wu-Tang Clan, Zac Brown Band, Eric Burdon, Ra Ra Riot. This festival provides something for everyone and with some a strong international reputation; it is hard to go wrong with this one.

 Montreal: Osheaga (August 2-4 2013)

It seems this year everyone and their mother is attending Osheaga.

In 2006, Osheaga was inaugurated as the largest festival of its kind in Canada and seems to only be getting bigger. This festival is deeply dedicated to providing it’s attendees with a wide range of artists, genres and music. When looking at the list of artists they have attracted this year, it is clear that they have achieved their goal and once again has a lineup that cannot be competed with.

Artists include The Cure, Beck, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, New Order, Vampire Weekend, Frank Ocean, The Lumineers, Hot Chip, Tegan & Sara, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. With new acts constantly being added to the lineup this festival continues to attract a larger audience. If you want to see some of the biggest international acts all in a three-day period of time, this is definitely the festival for you

Guelph: Hillside (July 26 -28, 2013)

 Hillside is turning 30 this year, and its presence both on the local and national level just continues to grow substantially. Featuring bands from across Canada as well as the United States, the Hillside festival – which is on Guelph Lake Island each year – also intertwines art, spoken word, music and food to showcase the extensive culture of southwestern Ontario.

In addition to attracting thousands of patrons each year, Hillside is almost completely run by volunteers. The volunteer village – the part of the island where all the volunteers camp out – thrives after hours with the music and partying continue well into the early hours of the morning.

This year’s line-up includes Said The Whale, The Darcys, Yukon Blonde, Fucked Up and Wintersleep.

— With files from Justin Smirlies

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