Music fans will love Ontario’s thriving live music scene. Legendary and emerging talent are celebrated in bars, lounges, clubs, theatres and halls across the province, not to mention all the parks and festival grounds that come to life during music fest season.
If this isn’t exciting enough, live music events, shows and festivals also pop up in less traditional places.
Check out these unexpected spots that double down as live music venues this season.
AT A BREWERY
Amazing local beer and local music are both on tap at Rhythm and Brews Craft Brewery in Cambridge. Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton is another art brewhouse that has fused culture and music into the craft of brewing. Great beer and entertainment go hand in hand at Signal Brewing Company, a craft brewery in Belleville, with weekly live music shows. Just outside of Ottawa, Ridge Rock Brewing Co. opens its garage-sized doors to let in the summer air and share a great brew with a full lineup of live music. Check out Live Music Fridays at the Elora Brewing Company. And at The Saloon, Sawdust City Brewing Company’s taproom, an eclectic roster of musical acts take the stage every Saturday night.
AT AN AIRSTRIP
For four days in July (11-14), the airport grounds in Edenvale, just south of Collingwood, will become the epicentre for classic rockers during Roxodus Music Fest. Rock giants Aerosmith, Billy Idol, Blondie, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Collective Soul and more will hit the stage. If you’re looking to roll in style, grab your crew and arrive by private plane or helicopter.
IN A VINEYARD
Award-winning wine, gourmet food and live performances by some of Canada’s most talented musical artists, all in a scenic vineyard setting, are the key ingredients for a magical, intimate evening. Catch Sam Roberts Band, Serena Ryder, Broken Social Scene and Sarah McLachlan at the Summer Concert Series at Jackson-Triggs, while Basia Bulat, Hawksley Workman and Great Lake Swimmers grace the stage during the Concert Series at Redstone Winery. Jazz lovers will be thrilled to hear Megalomaniac Winery will resume their Sunset Jazz evenings this summer, while Stratus Vineyards and Peller Estates Winery serve as outdoor concert venues for the Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts – hurry, the 2018/19 series comes to a close this month. On the north shore of Lake Erie in Essex County, the Summer Concert at Viewpoint Winery will feature wine, food and music on the lakeside lawn. Burning Kiln Winery invites you to the Live Music on the Patio series. Sunday afternoons never sounded so good!
IN A GARDEN
Tuesdays and Wednesdays heat up during Garden Music Nights at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton. Enjoy award-winning jazz, blues, country and roots musicians preforming on the Hendrie Park stage, as well as a cold beverages and delicious BBQ. Special summer events include the likes of The Jim Cuddy Band and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in June, and The Strumbellas, Dan Mangan, Donavan Woods & Dizzy on July 6 in the Arboretum.
Photo credit: Ivan Sorensen, Wintersleep plays Supercrawl 2018
ON A DOWNTOWN STREET
Make your plans now to say goodbye to summer at Hamilton’s SUPERCRAWL, a free annual art and indie music fest that takes over uber-hip James Street North on September 13-15. Multiple stages line the length of the street with bands and artists performing throughout the three days, as well as art installations, food trucks and other vendors.
Main photo credit: Lisa Vuyk, Dirty Nil plays Supercrawl 2018