Possibly the greatest gift summer has to offer is an abundance of outdoor music festivals. With a steady increase in both the quantity and diversity of these festivals, there is guaranteed to be something for every budget and musical taste out there.

From outdoor camping in the mountains to crazy electronic beats in the heart of New York City, these summer festivals stand out in terms of their awesome locations, cool styles, production quality and unique offerings.

So, if you only have the chance to go to one outdoor festival every summer, scroll through this list of some of the best that Canada and the U.S. have to offer, and select one that satisfies all your wishes. There is nothing quite like the magic that music festivals create, and without a doubt, you'll cultivate memories that will stay with you forever.


1. Pemberton Music Festival

When: July 14-17th

Where: Pemberton, British Columbia

Why: If you've never been out West, this is the perfect opportunity to make the trip out there. Nestled in the breathtaking mountains, this camp-out festival is truly a once in a lifetime experience. With headliners like The Killers, J. Cole, and The Chainsmokers, there is guaranteed to be an act for every musical taste.

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2. WAYHOME Music Festival

When: July 22nd-24th 

Where: Oro-Medonte, Ontario

Why: A camp-out music festival relatively close to Montreal, WAYHOME is growing wildly in popularity. I have friends who attended this festival last year, and had the time of their lives. Between Arcade Fire and Major Lazer as headliners, this festival is going to be an all around great time.

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3. The Divide Music Festival

When: July 22nd-24th

Where: Winter Park, Colorado

Why: Kid Cudi, The Fray, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - need I say more? This more low-key festival, located in beautiful Colorado, is worth the road trip just for the scenery alone; but pair that with some truly talented artists, and you've got a recipe for an incredible weekend.

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4. Electric Zoo Festival

When: September 2nd-4th

Where: Randall's Island Park, New York City, NY

Why: You may have seen this crazy, dance-fueled festival on a live Snapchat feed last summer, or at least I did, and I was blown away. If you're an EDM fan, look no further - Electric Zoo is the pinnacle of the electronic music summer festival scene. Plus, who doesn't want the chance to road trip to NYC?

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5. Eclipse 'Circle of Light' Festival

When: July 28th - August 1st

Where: Outaouais, Quebec (Gatineau Valley)

Why: This festival isn't just an awesome showcase of electronic music, it's also an incredible ongoing light show that gets more advanced and extravagant every year. With tons of Canadian performers, this festival provides awe-inspiring, artful entertainment that will take your breath away.

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6. OVO Festival

When: July 29th - August 1st

Where: Toronto, Ontario

Why: Because it's SUMMER 6IXTEEN. I don't even know if I spelled that in proper Drake style, but who cares. No, OVO festival is not as big as some others on this list, but if there was ever a time to attend, it's this summer. An intimate environment with Drake as the headliner? Don't mind if I do.

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7. Center of Gravity Music Festival

When: July 8th-10th (Kelowna), August 19th-21st (Wasaga Beach)

Where: Kelowna, British Columbia, and Wasaga Beach, Ontario

Why: Whether you want to travel out West for this awesome festival, or stay a little closer and attend  it in Wasaga Beach, Center of Gravity is bound to be incredible. There is a surprisingly diverse mix of artists attending, so the crowd will be an eclectic bunch. If you attend in Wasaga, get ready for a crazy beach party that will make you feel like you've been transported to Miami.

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8. Bluesfest

When: July 7th - 17th

Where: Ottawa, Ontario,

Why: Since I hail from good 'ol O-town, I'll admit my deep love for this festival up front, so beware of bias. That being said, Bluesfest has been getting steadily more popular and distinguished in the last few years - I mean, Kanye West headlined last year. The great acts, awesome stages, and proximity to Montreal make Bluesfest a worthy contender for your summer festival bucket list.

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9. Quebec City Summer Festival

When: July 7th - 17th

Where: Quebec City, QC

Why: This coveted summer festival really just gets better every year. Quebec City is already a favourite spot for summer vacations, and there's no better way to enjoy it than through this 11-day event. With acts ranging from Selena Gomez to Sting & Peter Gabriel, this celebration of Quebec City is truly a spectacle.

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10. Digital Dreams Festival

When: July 2nd & 3rd

Where: Toronto, Ontario

Why: I mean, this is really the festival of dreams - and it's coming up soon, so be spontaneous and book your ticket! Again, all EDM worshippers will find their paradise in this huge Toronto festival. The production quality is unbelievable; you are sure to be wowed by Digital Dreams, and the hordes of people vying for tickets are a sure indication of the quality of this festival.

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