Toronto is, without a doubt, a world-class city known for a lot of things, including sports, a stunning waterfront skyline, unique landmarks, and multiculturalism. It’s one of the world’s most diverse cities, bringing a thriving global music scene.
This iconic capital of Ontario is recognized as Canada’s largest center for music, with talented artists that play a crucial part in its distinctive culture. It’s home to a number of music festivals, live music venues, and hundreds of modern recording studios that prove its love for music and success in the music world.
No matter your favorite genre or music style, you’ll find a perfect crowd in Toronto that will get you moving and lift your spirit. Dozens of epic music festivals take place in different parts of the city year-round, including the much-awaited Canadian Music Week and Decadence Toronto. There’s also a celebration of alternative, hip-hop, and urban music through some of the best music festivals in Canada.
As the temperature becomes warmer and summer hits, expect a host of music shows and a series of thrilling events that will give you unlimited and unfiltered fun. As you plan your holiday around the festival season, don’t forget to use secure luggage storage in Toronto to enjoy your favorite summer music festival luggage-free.
Ready to get started? Read our guide on getting around Toronto and then head out to your first music festival!
The best music festivals in Toronto in 2022
Now in its 20th edition, the Lulaworld Festival 2022 celebrates two decades of presenting the best music around the world. This music festival in Toronto will see seven nights featuring local music heroes from the city.
Music fans will be treated to a wide variety of music, including jazz, Jamaican dance hall and reggae, indigenous throat singing, salsa, Turkish pop, funk, soul, and more. The Lula Lounge at 1585 Dundas Street is the venue for the entire duration of the music fest.
Lulaworld 2022 will kick off on May 17th, with Silla, Tara Moneka, and Beny Esguerra opening the seven-day event. A Lula Open Jam will happen on May 18th, and you’ll witness Dancehall superstar Sister Nancy perform with Mossman firing up the stage on May 19th. Other artists who will show incredible performances on the same day include the Rayzalution Band, MC Caddy Cad, and Pressure Drop DJs.
Papiosco Torres y Su Ritmicos and the SWA Orchestra will grace the music festival on May 20th and 21st, respectively. Then you’ll witness the Cuban Funk Icon Cimafunk perform on May 22nd. The following day, Ferhat Göçer, İskender Paydaş, and Suat Suna will conclude the LulaWorld 2022.
Canadian Music Week
Canadian Music Week, or CMW, will be hosted by a new venue, the Intercontinental Toronto Centre. This year will be the 40th year of the musical event and will commence the summer music festival on June 6th and conclude on June 11th. It’s known for featuring notable speakers and performers in the past years, including Public Enemy, Slash, and Sir George Martin.
This year, a barrage of music superstars will be gracing the Intercontinental Toronto Centre stage. Notable performers include folk-pop artists Wayley and Nate Daviau. Returning to the Canadian Music Week as a keynote speaker is Chuck D of Public Enemy. Other personalities sharing their knowledge on everything about music are Emi Horikawa, creative director at BMG US, Canadian songwriter, and producer Hill Kourkoutis, and TaP Management and Records president Wendy Ong.
A world-class experience awaits music fans at the heart of Toronto. Fans will be treated to a musical event like no other. Expect rock, hip hop, indie rock, EDM, and alternative concerts, as well as panel discussions and thought leadership.
Canadian Music Week promises a convergence of music, tech, and business. Apart from the live music events and sessions, a fantastic array of virtual festivities will also happen. While you need a buy a festival wristband to attend the music festival, you’ll be delighted to know that online events are free.
North by Northeast (NXNE)
NXNE or North by Northeast Music Festival will start on June 14th and ends on June 19th. The five-day musical event is dedicated to eliminating financial barriers by connecting talented artists with excited audiences. It provides low admission prices for spectators and zero application costs for artists to play.
NXNE is one of the country’s most important music festivals, with more than 300 best new bands performing in over twenty top live music venues in Toronto. It was first held in 1995 and was inspired by the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. It has included eSports, comedy, and a flea market to add more fun to the festivities in recent years.
In the past, famous musicians performed at NXNE, including Lizzo, Chvrches, Ludacris, Run the Jewels, and St. Vincent. Today, these artists have become million-dollar selling musicians. This year’s edition hopes to be a breeding ground for future global superstars. The Lumineers, who made their first appearance back in 2007, will make a return this June at the Budweiser Stage.
Toronto Jazz Festival
One of the exciting Toronto music festivals you don’t want to miss this summer is the Toronto Jazz Festival. Starting on Friday, June 24th, to Sunday, July 3rd, this event will make your summer even hotter with local artists and guests from all over the world.
This year’s ten-day festival is Toronto Jazz Festival’s 35th anniversary. It has been an annual celebration since 1987, showcasing homegrown talents from across the country and international stars worldwide. Thousands of incredible performers will bring the best of their music to concert venues and downtown theaters. Watch the performance of some of the prominent names in R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Blues, entertaining music fans throughout downtown Toronto.
Many jazz giants have played at the festival in the past, including Tony Bennett, Roberta Flack, and Miles Davis. This year, the spectacular lineup includes the legends Smokey Robinson, Gregory Porter, Amber Mark, Michael Kaeshammer, and a lot more.
If you’re a fan of electronic dance music, it’s your chance to watch your favorite artists perform live while appreciating the breathtaking Toronto skyline view. Decadence Music Festival is a three-day electronic music festival experience over the long Canada Day weekend.
Tiesto will be headlining this year’s edition of the Decadence Music Festival, which will run from June 30th to July 2nd. CityView Toronto will host the weekend event, promising a fun atmosphere throughout. American musician, DJ, and record producer Illenium is also performing on July 1st before English electronic music group Above & Beyond closes the show on July 2nd.
Decadence Festival is also held annually in other American states, including Arizona and Colorado. The festival has presented some of the most prominent EDM artists in the world, like the Chainsmokers, Zedd, Disclosure, and Bassnectar. Fans will be treated to three nights of endless fun and energy as the beautiful people of Toronto welcomes the summer season.
Beaches International Jazz Festival
Another Toronto music festival every jazz music lover shouldn’t miss is the Beaches International Jazz Festival. The month-long musical event was first celebrated in 1989. Today, it’s one of the most celebrated jazz music festivals in Toronto and one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals, attracting around one million attendees. The 2022 edition will start on July 2nd and end on July 24th. Woodbine Park will host the first two days of the festival with Salsa on the Beach.
This mid-summer event will take place in various locations. Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside will be held from July 8th to 10th at Jimmie Simpson Park. Then the jazz festival will return to Woodbine Park on July 15th, with the Main Stage until July 17th.
A workshop series will follow from July 18th to 20th at the Beach United Church. The much-awaited Street Fest will take place at Queen St. and will start on July 22nd and end on the 23rd. The Main Stage, Weekend Series edition will close the Beaches International Jazz Festival from July 22nd to 24th at Woodbine Park.
There’s a lot more than jazz music in this month-long celebration. There are lecture series and workshops ideal for jazz music lovers and professional musicians. Due to its success, it now hires about 1,000 talented artists each year.
Fort York and Garrison Common will be the hosts of this year’s edition of Field Trip, Toronto’s Downtown Music and Arts Festival. The one-day music fest will be held on July 9th. American singer and songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff and his backing band, the Night Sweats, will headline the event. Other artists set to make an appearance are indie-pop band Peach Pit and Kurt Vile & The Violators.
Music fans waited for two years for Field Trip to return after a hiatus. The music festival promises to return with a bang by bringing indie music like no other. Attendees will be treated to amazing things other than music as the historic Fork York, and Garrison Common vows to deliver art, food, and discovery for every family.
Veld Music Festival
After two years, the electronic dance music and hip-hop music festival, VELD is making a comeback. Downsview Park will be the venue for this year’s Veld Music Festival, which will be the 9th edition. The three-day festivities will start on July 29th and ends on July 31st. International EDM superstar Alan Walker will be making a return to the festival. He will perform on the 2nd day of the musical event.
Since 2012, Veld Music Festival has attracted tens of thousands of fans all over Canada. It has featured notable acts, including Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Hardwell, Armin van Buuren, and Martin Garrix. Fans can’t wait to dance with thousands of people at the Veld Music Festival and witness their favorite EDM artists come together for the three-day event. This year’s edition is definitely a treat for every discerning electronic music fan.
Salsa in Toronto Festival
The Salsa in Toronto Festival is an annual event that takes over the city's midtown district. It is a celebration of culture, where you’ll experience Toronto’s colors and multicultural flair. It’s the country’s largest Latin celebration taking place every July.
Schedule a visit to Toronto on July 9th and 10th and watch a hundred astounding musical performances. You’ll witness salsa champions and Grammy-winning artists perform on the street with special appearances of some Canadian politicians. In the past, the Mexicans Fold Ballet, AfroLatino Dance Company, Samantha Scali, and other prominent names have been part of the program.
Don’t just be a silent spectator at the event. Enjoy dancing in the streets with the performers to make the most of the experience. There are even dance lessons with highly-respected instructors if you want to know the moves.
Different types of entertainment await you at the festival. Besides the music performance, you can attend art exhibitions, salsa film screenings, food tastings, and a parade.
Boots and Hearts
Held at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, the Boots and Hearts Festival in Toronto will please every country music lover with an outstanding lineup of top-notch country artists. It is the largest camping country music festival in the country, suitable for music lovers and fans of all ages.
It’s a long weekend event, commencing on Thursday, August 4th, until Sunday, August 7th. Walker Hayes will lead the first day of the festival along with Callista Clark and Riley Taylor. Then you’ll see professional country artists and great performers on the following days, including Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Meghan Patrick, Lindsay Ell, Tyler Rich, various emerging artists, and more. You’ll also watch Shania Twain perform live on stage on the final day.
Planning to stay some more days in Toronto?
There are a lot more music festivals in Toronto that will fill your calendar no matter what time of the year you visit. Even if you can’t come in the summer, you’ll find various winter music events and concerts that will warm your heart and elevate your spirit. And if you have extra days to spend in Toronto, get out there and visit its best museums and cultural facilities. Before you leave, stop by the shopping streets and markets in Toronto to buy souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones.
If you're planning to stay longer in Toronto, take a look at our other Toronto guides for other fun activities!