Now that we’ve parted ways with the seemingly endless winter, the fine folk of Ontario are free to whet their musical appetites in the great outdoors rather than in cramped bars bundled up in parkas. In honour of all things warm, The Varsity has compiled a list of the most notable music festivals in Ontario this summer that’ll openly embrace your need to throw on a pair of shorts, put on some shades, and sing your heart out. 

2015 Canadian Music Week (CMW)

May 1-10

Ticket prices vary

What better way to kick off the summer than with a nine-day, city-wide music festival? CMW features over 1000 local and international artists in 48 venues across the city. Lee’s Palace, The Rivoli, Massey Hall, Sneaky Dee’s, Horseshoe Tavern, and other iconic venues will host home grown talents such as Lights, Brave Shores, and last summer’s debuting heartthrobs Alvvays.  International acts include Faith No More, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Of Monsters and Men, and many, many more.

Field Trip

June 6-7

Tickets starting at $70

Arts & Crafts Productions has proven itself a powerful force in the Canadian music scene since its arrival in 2003. The production company has supported multiple up and coming artists as a record label, management firm, and merchandiser, and in recent years has worked with the city of Toronto to host a music and arts festival at the historic Fort York & Garrison Common. Families looking for a musical outing will enjoy the festival’s “kids 12 and under are free” policy, and fans of independent Canadian music can celebrate the contributions that Arts & Crafts has made to the country’s musical culture in the past twelve years with this two-day show.

Bestival Canada

June 12-13

Tickets starting at $129.50

As if any extra push was needed to help get “visiting Toronto Island” off of your summer bucket list, Bestival is just the excuse to set a course off the mainland. This year marks the UK festival’s first international outing, gracing Torontonians with a diverse mix of electronic, alternative, hip hop, and surf rock music. Florence + The Machine is set to headline the two day festival, complimenting the release of their third studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Other notable acts include Born Ruffians, Caribou, Wavves, and dozens more.

North by Northeast (NXNE)

June 17-21

Tickets at varying prices

Since 1995, the city of Toronto has hosted a mirrored version of Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest, aptly titled North by Northeast. The five-day show goes beyond the scope of a traditional music festival by celebrating and showcasing not only musicians but filmmakers, comedians, and artists of all kinds. Ticketing varies for each individual event, but NXNE will offer Torontonians two free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday and Sunday that will feature The New Pornographers, Action Bronson, and Best Coast.

Ottawa Blues Fest

July 8-19

Tickets not yet announced

Music fans looking for a chance to get out of the city need look no further than the Ottawa Blues Fest. Since its conception in 1994, the festival has gradually expanded beyond its strictly blues-oriented acts and now welcomes artists from a wide array of musical genres. From Iggy Azalea to Shakey Graves and Chance the Rapper to “Weird Al” Yankovic, Ottawa Blues Fest may very well be the most diverse concert series Ontario has to offer in 2015.

Wayhome Music Festival

July 24-26

Tickets starting at $299

This late July series of shows is a bit of a trek for those staying in Toronto for the summer, but is certainly a festival worth noting. Situated north of Barrie in the township of Oro-Medonte, Wayhome easily boasts one of the most impressive lists of performers for fans of pop, indie rock, and hip hop. Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Passion Pit, Hozier, and July Talk are but a few of the powerhouses visiting the small township for what looks to be Oro-Medonte’s biggest weekend of the summer.

Veld Music Festival

August 1-2

Tickets not yet announced

Since its inauguration in 2012, Veld has become one of the largest and most recognizable electronic music festivals in the country. Past years have seen electronic icons like Avicii, Zedd, and Calvin Harris all take the stage at Downsview Park to interact with the waves of shirtless, colourful, or otherwise messy attendees of this two-day festival. With Veld’s 2015 show still a few months away, only two performers, Deadmau5 and Hardwell, are confirmed to attend, but fans of electronic music can expect only the best of the genre when August rolls around.