Montreal is a mecca of festivals, we all know it. But, as the weather warms up, we want to see and do more. If you combine this desire with the inherent love of music that can be found in 99% of Montrealers, then you can only come to one possible result - summer of out-of-town music festivals.
We've put together a list of the 10 best music festivals happening in the surrounding areas - all are six hours or less by car. We've got you covered - everything from country to electronic to rock. Get out your calendar, mark all of these down, and get planning for the best summer ever.
Festival d'été de Québec
When: July 3-13, 2014
Where: Quebec City, Quebec
Who: Literally everyone you can think of, from Lady Gaga to Billy Joel to Snoop Dogg - the list goes on and on.
Why: Besides all of the big names who will be playing, this festival is Canada's biggest and it would be a shame to miss it. Approximately 1.5 million people attend the Festival d'été de Québec every year, so obviously, they're doing something right. As if all of those reasons weren't enough, here's one more: festival passes (for all 11 days) are only $78 right now!
How: A little under three hours away, it's pretty easy to get there. Here's a tip: if you don't have a car, you can always check out the rideshare listings on Craigslist. It's basically modern hitchhiking... except you pay for it.
When: June 28-29, 2014
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Who: Digital Dreams' headliners include Tiesto, Deep Dish, Justice, Victor Calderone, The Chainsmokers (of #selfie fame) and more.
Why: Digital Dreams is, quite literally, the biggest electronic music festival in Canada. It's happening Canada Day weekend which means you don't even have to take any time off from work to attend. Tickets are starting at about $220 for general admission, but if you want to get real fancy, split the 15 person VIP Package with your closest friends ($7,000) - you'll get bottle service, food, incredible seating, vip bathrooms, and so much more. Need convincing? Check out our pictures from Digital Dreams 2013.
How: You can get to Toronto pretty much any way, except maybe walking. Grab a Porter flight to Billy Bishop or get on a train.. it's so easy to get there, you literally have no excuse to not go.
When: August 3-4, 2014
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Who: Outkast and Drake + special guests
Why: OVO Fest is Drake's music festival and it's ridiculously good. Every year, he always surprises the crowd with awesome, surprise guests and just that alone, is a good reason to attend. Add to that, the fact that everyone raves about the energy of this festival and you've got the recipe for a great time. Single-day passes are about $66 and two-day passes range anywhere from $120 to $350.
How: To really make Drake proud and get in the spirit of OVO Fest, you should probably hop on your private jet, stocked with Hennessy, decked out in tuscan leather.. well, we don't need to tell you, you already know how it is.
Woodstock en Beauce
When: June 25-29, 2014
Where: Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce, QC
Who: AWOLNATION, Rise Against, Papa Roach, Black Tiger Sex Machine
Why: So, you're probably wondering, what is this? 20 years ago, in this town in Eastern Quebec, this festival was created to mimic the fun-loving, peaceful vibe of the original Woodstock. Not Woodstock-y enough for you? Rent a camping area ($45), bring your tent and spend 5 days listening to good music under the stars. Don't be surprised when you see how many people will be there - this festival sees about 78,000 visitors over its length. 5-day passes start at $75.
How: This is really the type of festival that makes you feel like you're in another world - you've never heard of it, it's far away (a little over three hours) and everyone speaks a different language (if you're an anglophone) so, we say, make it a road trip with your friends! Bring a ton of junk food, drinks, disconnect from your life in Montreal for a few days and have a blast. You won't regret it.
Escapade Music Festival
When: Festival June 28-29; Club Series June 30; Canada Day July 1
Where: Ottawa, Ontario
Who: All of your favorites - Dada Life, Danny Tenaglia, Fedde Legrand, Victor Calderone, and more
Why: This is a unique experience. June 28th and 29th, live the Escapade Music Festival with local and international talents. June 30th, the Escapade Club Series make its debut - DJs will be taking over clubs all over downtown Ottawa. Finally, it all culminates on July 1st, for a Canada Day celebration of epic proportions. Hold on - wait until you see what this is going to cost you: $139 for 2-day festival pass and $37.50 for the Canada Day party. The Club Series events range between $15-$20. Check out our pictures from Escapade 2013 to die of jealousy.
How: You can walk to Ottawa. No, really, I checked - only 38 hours (gets a little tricky with the highways at one point).
When: August 2-3, 2014
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Who: Calvin Harris (and others)
Why: Is Calvin Harris not a good enough reason? Veld is epic rave madness - neon everything, half-naked people, incredible performances - if you don't believe us, just check out how much fun we had last year... Don't lie, you're buying your ticket right now, aren't you?
How: Damn Toronto, why do you have to have so many cool festivals? Not to worry though, we have just as many - if not more - and we know you'll all be flocking to us all summer.
The Hudson Music Project
When: July 11-13, 2014
Where: Saugerties, New York
Who: Kendrick Lamar, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips and more.
Why: This festival is brand spanking new and it sounds INCREDIBLE. Four stages, interactive art installations, carnival rides, a game center and more await you at the Hudson Music Project. This three-day event offers something for everyone and is camping-optional. You know what that means - you and your tent are going to be best buds this summer. Don't have a tent or RV? No problem, the festival has 'luxury tents' for all of you glampers out there. 3-day packages start at $199.
How: Ok, so you do need to leave the country for this one, but we think it'll definitely be worth it. Saugerties, NY is only a little over 4 hours away which means, it's actually closer than Toronto! Don't forget your passport!
When: May 23-25, 2014
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
Who: Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Bastille, Modest Mouse, Tegan & Sara
Why: Although a little further away, this festival's indie vibe is the perfect focal point of a road trip with friends. This is an all-ages event with only two stages, which means that you get to see everything - no running around between shows! This would be a great way to kick off your summer of music festivals. Tickets start as low as $50 (one day) and $135 (weekend).
How: Boston Calling takes place during Memorial Day weekend in the US so use that to your advantage! Take Monday off work and explore Boston, find a memorial day party and enjoy!
When: June 20-21, 2014
Where: Montebello, Quebec
Who: Blink-182, Motley Crue, Weezer, Alice in Chains, Megadeth, Billy Talent.. and so, so many more.
Why: This is Canada's largest rock music festival and it's located in the small, quiet town of Montebello. How perfect is that? Tickets for the whole weekend start at $129. These are big names people, so you just know they'll give big performances. Get ready for some head-banging, mosh-pitting good times.
How: Surprise! Although you've never heard of it before, Montebello is only 1.5 hours away from us. Easy as pie! Actually, if you walk, it'd take you less time than your walk to Ottawa (and it'll be a good warm up).
Valhalla Sound Circus
When: July 3-7, 2014
Where: Bryson, Quebec
Who: Downlink, Truth, Botnek, Construct, Snails, Apashe, The W4RRIORS, Wally, Jams and a lot more Montreal talent.
Why: Picture the most psychedelic camping trip and then amplify that by 10, that is Valhalla Sound Circus.
How: It is nearly 3 and half hours away so pack fun snacks, some smokes and a lot of jokes. You will likely be road tripping to this one along with a lot of Montrealers.