Summer concert preview

A lineup of this summer’s hottest concerts

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Summer concert preview collage of bands

Besides the smell of seaweed and sunscreen, summer also means one thing: music festivals. What better way to kick off bikini season than bounteous bands, sticky crowds and loud music under the hot sun? Here’s your guide to some of Canada’s best summer music festivals:

North by Northeast (June 7-10): For four days, the North by Northeast (NXNE) Music & Film Festival and Conference will be taking over the streets of downtown Toronto. With 450 bands in over 30 venues, it’ll be a club-hopping feast for hipsters and music labels looking for the next big thing. A $28 wristband gives you access to all the films and shows including limited spots into NXNExtra concerts with Peaches, Dinosaur Junior, Voxtrot and Junior Boys. Check out next week’s Gazette for full coverage of NXNE.

Montreal International Jazz Fest (June 28-July 8): You don’t have to be a jazz lover to appreciate great music. Over the course of 11 days, the world’s largest jazz festival will gather 2,500 musicians in a celebration of jazz, blues, electro and afrobeat in indoor and outdoor venues all over Montreal. Highlights include Bob Dylan, Sean Lennon, Harry Connick Jr. and DJ Girltalk.

Sunfest (July 5-8): Staying in London over the summer? Stop by Victoria Park at the beginning of July for a free culturefest of music, dance and food from around the globe. Featuring everything from reggaeton to Cuban music and salsa to Latin jazz, take a detour from Jim Bob’s to Sunfest for an outdoor dance party.

Wakestock (July 26-29): Combine action sports, punk bands, bikini contests and beer gardens and you get Wakestock. If you’re not into the 25 bands playing, including Deftones, Goldfinger, Story of the Year, Lupe Fiasco, Moneen and illScarlett, some of the world’s best wakeboarders, skateboarders and motocross jumpers are competing on the side. Hopefully they’ll be enough to cure your ADD woes.

Rock the Park (July 26-28): If obscure indie bands and borderline screamo isn’t your scene, you can always count on classic rock veterans to comfort your ears. London’s Harris Park will be host to Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, Nazareth and the legendary Deep Purple. Don’t miss the chance to hear “Smoke On the Water” live instead of trying to master the riff on Guitar Hero.

Hillside Festival (July 27-29): With previous performers like Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts and The Constantines, the Hillside Festival is one of the main reasons to visit Guelph this summer. While this year’s lineup isn’t nearly as impressive, Ani DiFranco, The Dears, Do Make Say Think, Emily Haines, Ron Sexsmith and Shout Out Out Out Out, will try and make it worth your while.

Cutting Edge Music Festival (Aug. 3-6): Take a mini-road trip north of London to Grand Bend for some Alexisonfire, B.Y.O.B. camping and drag races on the Motorplex strip. Top it off with MSTRKRFT, Protest the Hero and Social Code and your summer just keeps getting better.

Warped Tour (Aug. 11): Ah Warped Tour, the good old days of eyeliner-heavy, pre-pubescent scenesters wearing checkered Vans shoes. After 12 years, the metalcore-slash-skater punk festival is still going strong despite Good Charlotte staining its past lineup. Look for Coheed and Cambria, Bad Religion, New Found Glory, Cute Is What We Aim For, Red Jump Suit Apparatus and a random appearance by k-Os at the Barrie show.

Virgin Festival (Sept. 8-9): School’s started, but summer isn’t officially over until we say it’s over. For two glorious days some of the biggest bands will be gracing Toronto Island Park: Bjork, Interpol, Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A., Amy Winehouse, Mute Math, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Metric, The Hives, Tokyo Police Club, Editors, Peter Bjorn and John. Miss this music festival and it may hurt a little.

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