Canada's Largest Rock Festivals

by Lacy Nichols
There are several large rock festivals in Canada each year.

There are several large rock festivals in Canada each year.

A J James/Photodisc/Getty Images

Music festivals are a great way for music fans to get together in a large setting and experience live music from many bands during one show. Most music festivals are held outdoors, and usually fall under the umbrella of a certain musical genre or nationality. The majority of music festivals are held annually. Some music festivals are for profit, while others may benefit charities. Some of Canada's rock music festivals are small, and some are very large.

Canadian Music Fest

Canadian Music Fest, or CMF, is a large rock music festival held in downtown Toronto each year. According to the CMF's website, CMF is the largest new music festival in Canada and takes place over five nights. The CMF features over 800 musical acts and takes place in over 50 different music venues, as of July 2011. CMF takes place each year during Canadian Music Week, a week of events incorporating music, production, technology and broadcast. CMF differs from many other music festivals by taking place within pre-established music venues, as apposed to a large outdoor field setting.


Edgefest is a rock music festival hosted by a Canadian radio station. The festival takes place annually in Toronto, Ontario. The 2011 Edgefest is scheduled to take place in a park, but the venues have varied over the years. The first official Edgefest happened in 1992, and the festival has happened every year since, with the exception of 2007. Past Edgefest performers have included bands like A Perfect Circle, Rise Against, AFI, Billy Talent and Stone Temple Pilots. Unlike other music festivals, Edgefest takes place during one day, as opposed to spanning over several days.

North by Northeast

North by Northeast, or NXNE, is a Canadian music festival and conference that takes place over seven days and seven nights each year. The festival is named after a similar American festival known as South by Southeast. As of July 2011, NXNE features over 600 bands. North by Northeast has been in existence for 17 years and serves as a catalyst for new and unsigned artists. NXNE does not take place in one singular location, but in a variety of locales across Toronto.

POP Montreal

The POP Montreal international music festival takes place in Montreal during late summer each year. Prior to the festival, POP Montreal hosts Canadian music tours, referred to as the POP Off tour. The POP Montreal festival is not for profit and promotes independence within the arts. The festival began in 2002 and currently lasts over five days annually. The festival draws in a crowd of over 50,000. POP Montreal also features films, art and fashion exhibitions in addition to rock and indie music. 2011 acts for POP Montreal are set to include Chromeo and Jeff Magnum of Neutral Milk Hotel.

Photo Credits

  • A J James/Photodisc/Getty Images