As the temperatures continue to rise from coast to coast, Canadians need not look further than our own backyard when it comes to planning a summer get-a-way. Whether it’s the mountainous, rocky coasts of B.C., the dynamic metropolis of downtown Toronto, or the laid-back climate of the Maritimes, Canada has much to offer for the summer traveller.

And if you’re hoping to add some dance music in the mix, you’ll be pleased to know that Canada is home to a wealth of festivals! While our festival season may be short-lived, once it hits, the challenge lies in knowing which events to catch, and which to pass. Luckily, we’ve rounded up three of this summer’s ‘must-see’ music festivals, spanning from the bustling Toronto Islands, to the historic woodlands of Parc Carillon Quebec, and the lush riverside of Albrights Corner, New Brunswick. Explore Canada’s eastern regions, while treating your ears to some infectious tunes, as you pack your bags for Electric Island, AIM Electronic Music Festival and Future Forest!


Electric Island - Hanlan’s Point, Toronto Islands

Electric IslandKURTHOOP and WESC of Ded AgencyToronto’s Electric Island concert + picnic series has become one of the city’s most-cherished summer events among the dance music community. This summer marks the festival’s sixth consecutive season, with each party (typically) falling on a long weekend. The festival maintains an intimate party vibe with its low-key decor that includes picnic tables, local food trucks, ping pong tables & bean bag chairs. With that said, the talent is anything but low-key. The promoters of this party clearly know their music. This summer’s events will see musical guests Green Velvet, Loco Dice, Rodriguez Jr., The Martinez Brothers and more!

Dates: Sunday, July 1 [Canada Day], Saturday, August 11, Sunday, September 2 & Monday, September 3, 2018 [Labour Day]

Music: Underground house & techno





1. Buy your ferry ticket ahead of time! It’s the long weekend in Toronto, the sun is shining and with 3 ports to dock at (Ward’s Island, Centre Island & Hanlan’s Point), you’re not the only one who had the idea of heading to the island today! Don’t miss the opening act because you’re stuck in long ferry lines. Buy your ferry ticket online ahead of time and skip the line. Or, skip the ferry altogether and take a water taxi. It’s $10/ person for the taxi & you’ll get there in half the time!

2. Eat at the food trucks! From fish tacos, to Canada’s infamous poutine, to thin crust wood-oven pizzas, the dining options at this music festival are on-point. Come hungry & come ready to explore the various food trucks. Trust us, your post-dance festival self will be happy that you fuelled-up!

3. Check out Toronto’s local night clubs. When the festival ends, you don’t have to go home! The dancing continues across Toronto’s numerous night venues, with both “official” and “unofficial” Electric Island after-parties popping up. CODA nightclub, located in the city’s University of Toronto borough, is home to the official Electric Island afterparties.


AIM Electronic Music Festival - Parc Carillon, Quebec

AIM FestivalPhoto Courtesy of Patricia BrochuJust a one-hour drive outside of Montreal, there’s a world where music, technology and nature collide. AIM Electronic Music Festival is back in its fourth year, and this time around, they’ve expanded their programming to cater to dance music lovers of every genre. But what makes this festival truly unique is the tight-knit community vibe that can only be found at a camping festival. Imagine yourself walking down neon-lit pathways, through dense forrest with the moon shining high, and pulsating bass echoing in the distance. Suddenly, the tree line opens up to a futuristic stage, with psychedelic lasers and visuals casting their light upon a sea of dancing bodies. Art-Innovation-Movement, this is AIM.

Dates: July 6, 7 & 8, 2018

Music: House, techno, trance, dubstep, bass





1. Pack layers! While daytime temperatures can climb well into the 30s, the nights are quite the opposite. With just a sleeping bag between you and the frigid outdoors, we suggest bringing multiple sweaters and socks to wrap around you once night falls. Even better, join in the festival fashion and bring your furry coats & spirit hoodies!

2. Find some shade. When you first show up to the camp grounds, it’s difficult figuring out where to post up. We suggest you find a spot near a tree. Remember, this is a festival that provides more than 24 hours of non-stop music. So chances are, you may be in need of a daytime siesta at one point or another. There’s nothing worse than roasting in your tent. Be sure to find an area where you’ll be protected by the sunlight’s unforgiving rays.

3. Make a pit-stop at Schwartz’s. Being just 1 hour outside of Montreal, we can only hope that you take the time to stop into one of Canada’s oldest, renowned delis. Famous for their smoked meat sandwiches, Schwartz is a true Montreal landmark, situated on the historic “Main.” Insiders tip: order a side pickle with your sandwich!


Future Forest - Albrights Corner, New Brunswick

Future Forest FestivalPhoto Courtesy of Jessica Judge PhotographyFor those looking for a truly psychedelic and participatory experience, New Brunswick’s Future Forest invites you to step into a musical wilderness! While music remains a focal point at this camping festival, Future Forest also delves into the worlds of performance artists, workshops, healing centres, yoga, and of course, the natural world that it’s surrounded by. Prepare to have all your senses ignited; the aural and visual elements of Future Forest is one of a kind! This summer will mark their 6th season in action, and it’s safe to say these guys have got it down to a T.

Dates: July 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2018

Music: techno, house, bass, dubstep, psy-trance





1. Come with an open mind and open heart. There’s no room for judgements here. Future Forest prides itself on embracing the perspective that there are no spectators at the event, but rather participants who in some way contribute to the overall experience.

2. Check out a DJ you’ve never heard of. Just as diverse as the festival itself, is the selection of music. Ranging from breaks, to funk, to techno, to psy-trance, Future Forest has called upon talent from all corners of the world to share their sounds. If you want the full experience, then we urge you to make your rounds and open your ears to some fresh, new acts!

3. Acquaint yourself with the visual artists! This year, keep your eyes peeled for Californian visionary Gabriel Welch, "The Bridge Brothers"; including Martin and Carl Bridge whose live painting performances have reached audiences around the world, body-painting mastermind Arielle Paints and the gallery space of Full Moon Collective (who may be found circulating the Nest Stage).



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