4 family-friendly concerts in Ontario this summer

Dear Rouge Riverfest 2016

Dear Rouge performs at Riverfest Elora 2016.

Summer is a great time for music lovers in Ontario as there seems to be a worthwhile band to see or festival to attend every week. If you have kids, you know you can’t see them all. But that doesn’t mean you can’t include them in the fun!

Taking your kids to a concert or festival opens them up to the live music experience and is a great way to bond with them (music brings people together, right?). It also saves you on having to find a sitter and if it’s not near your home, it’s a great reason to turn it into a mini vacation.

With two boys of my own, here are four family-friendly summer concerts I’ve found in Ontario for 2017.

CBC Music Festival (May 27, Toronto)

Not technically summer yet, but the CBC Music Festival celebrates its fifth year at Toronto’s Echo Beach on May 27. The all Canadian line-up includes the likes of Serena Ryder, Walk Off The Earth, Scott Helman and BROS. Along with the main stage, there’s a kids stage where the puppet Cottonball and CBC Kids hosts will introduce “fun and interactive performances”. There’s also a Food Truck Fair and vintage flea market.

Limited tickets are still available for $39.50 (plus fees) and can be purchased at cbcmusic.ca/festival. Children 12 and under are free.

Field Trip (June 3-4, Toronto)

Founded by record label Arts & Crafts in 2013, Field Trip is going full circle for its fifth anniversary with original headliners Broken Social Scene and Feist once again headlining the fest.

Running June 3 and 4 at Toronto’s Fort York, other acts include A Tribe Called Red, Portugal. The Man, Phoenix, The Pharcyde, and Thundercat. There’s a Day Camp area for kids, which has its own lineup of acts, and a comedy section called the Laugh Barracks. There’s also lots of good food options, games and a marketplace.

A weekend pass starts at $125 (plus fees) for general admission with single day tickets available for $80. Kids 12 and under are free. Visit fieldtriplife.com for more info.

City and Colour + friends at Butler’s Barracks (July 2, Niagara-on-the-Lake)

Hosted by Wayne & Daryl from the CraveTV show Letterkenny, this Canada Day long weekend show at Butler’s Barracks in Niagara-on-the-Lake features City and Colour, Stars, Dear Rouge, The Strumbellas and Blue Rodeo.

Tickets are $69.50 (plus fees) for general admission. Kids 12 and under are free. Visit dinealonerecords.com/NOTL2017 for more info.

Riverfest (Aug. 18 – 20, Elora)

I’ve attended Riverfest with my family and friends for the past three years, and it’s always been a great experience.

Held at Bissell Park in beautiful Elora, this year’s lineup includes MGMT, Mother Mother, K. Flay, DJ Jazzy Jeff (yes, that DJ Jazzy Jeff), Sloan, Hollerado, The Boo Radley Project, and more.

There’s camping options nearby, free shuttle buses from Guelph, Elora and Fergus, lots of great food and drink options, and free water on site. The park is also big enough that if you or your kids need a break, you can take a walk and get away from the crowd.

Weekend passes start at $139 (plus fees) with single day options available. Kids 12 and under are free. For more info, visit riverfestelora.com.

Any concerts or festivals you plan to take your kids to this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

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