The four days of concerts also marks the first time hip-hop pioneers Michie Mee, Maestro and Dream Warriors have been booked on the same bill
You can always count on the City of Toronto for some safe, council-approved July 1 festivities, but Canada 150 patriotism must have hit the city hard this year.
For four days at four public venues, Canada Days will bring an impressively diverse program of literal and figurative fireworks – all free. It’s dance, circus, comedy, human statues and an enormous amount of live music. Each night will finish with a fireworks display.
Seriously, it feels like 150 artists are playing.
Nathan Phillips Square itself gets four stages and June 30 kicks it off with a bizarre pairing in which Indigenous folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie somehow opens for Barenaked Ladies.
July 1 packs a full day of headliner-worthy talent, as indie rock mainstays Born Ruffians make way for a Vinyl Vaudeville show from Kid Koala, something colourful from Maylee Todd, and Ron Sexsmith teaming up with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The gem of the day is up-and-comer Charlotte Day Wilson, whose smoky soul recently won us over at CMW.
The next day brings a stage full of all-time great hip-hop, R&B and soul performers as Shad, OVO Sound duo dvsn and Zaki Ibrahim grace the main stage.
They can’t help but be overshadowed by the epic collaboration of Toronto rap pioneers Michie Mee, Maestro and Dream Warriors sharing the stage for the first time. DJ Ron Nelson, this week’s NOW cover star and the promoter who booked them all at Concert Hall back in the 80s, will be on the decks.
July 3 finishes the festivities off with performances by Weeknd-affiliated rapper Belly and a celebration of Toronto’s rich reggae history with the Kingston All-Stars.
The party spans the city, as Mel Lastman Square offers its own July 1 festivities with a full day of genre-spanning performers including Inuktitut genre-benders The Jerry Cans, Montreal party-starters Busty and the Bass and hip-hop collective The Lytics.
Wavelength gets a block of programming at the July 1 Canada Days show at Humber Bay Park West, with The Magic and Most People. They play alongside golden-voiced indie folk singer Basia Bulat. Other highlights include contemporary gong ensemble Pantayo, Cree/Dené/Métis crew IsKwé and a lot more.
Finally, over at Scarborough Civic Centre on July 1, dancehall duo Bonjay plays alongside showcases of young talent from arts organizations Scarborough Arts, Unity and RISE Edutainment.
Visit toronto.ca/Canada150 for the complete schedule.
NXNE Club Land curator series: Above Top Secret, Charlotte Cornfield, Jerusalem in My Heart, Blunt Chunks at Various venues. $20 Curator Series wristband. nxne.com. June 19-22.
Pride: Abra, kiiara at Various venues Lineup additions. Free. pridetoronto.com. June 21-25.
Khotin, Gene Tellem, Yohei Saka, Softcoresoft, Frankie Teardrop, Carmen, Work in Progress at Smiling Buddha 10 pm. $15-$20. eventbrite.ca. June 24.
Junction Summer Solstice Festival: Tuns, Sam Cash, Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party on Dundas West, from Keele to High Park Noon-midnight. Free. thejunctionsummersolstice.com June 24.
Unceded: Our Home On Native Land with Mob Bounce, Narcy, Boogey The Beat, Yes Yes Y’All at Harbourfront Centre 10:30 pm. $15-$20. harbourfrontcentre.com. June 30.
Canada Days: Buffy Sainte-Marie, dvsn, Charlotte Day Wilson, Basia Bulat, Belly, Michie Mee, Born Ruffians, Kid Koala, Honey Jam All-stars at Nathan Phillips Square Free. toronto.ca/canadadays. June 30-July 3.
Canada Day: Appollonia, Jamie Kidd, Mike Gibbs, Sean Roman at Sunnyside Pavilion 4 pm. $25. activate.electrostub.com. July 3.
Mauno, Ghostkeeper, Germaphobes, Castle If (DJ set) at The Baby G 9 pm. $9 -$13. ticketfly.com. July 5
Absolutely Free, Castle If, DJ Doomsquad at The Brandscape doors 8 pm. $15 adv, $10. eventbrite.ca. July 8.
Feast in the East 63: The Cosmic Range, LAL, Saxsyndrum at Prairie Drive Park 5 pm, all ages. Free. July 8.
Chris Webby at Lee’s Palace doors 9 pm. $20. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com. August 2.
London Grammar at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $32.50-$40. ticketmaster.ca, livenation.com. August 3.
Gordi at Drake Hotel doors 8 pm. $13.50. ticketfly.com. August 6.
Latin Heat: Jacob Forever, Qva Libre, Alain Daniel, El Micha and others at Rebel 6 pm. $75. amicientertainment.com. August 13.
Fresh Fest: Mavado, Alkaline, Jahmiel at Woodbine Mall Outdoor 5-11 pm. $45-60. ticketgateway.com, ticketmaster.ca. August 19.
Pallbearer, kayo dot at Lee’s Palace doors 7 pm. $20.50. ticketfly.com. August 30.
A. Chal at Mod Club Doors 7 pm, all ages. $22. ticketmaster.ca. September 2.
Partner at Horseshoe doors 9 pm. $10.50-$13. ticketfly.com. September 8.
The Lowest of the Low at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $25-$35. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca. September 9.
The Weeknd at Air Canada Centre 7:30 pm. $39.75-$175.75. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca. September 9.
INVSN at Velvet Underground doors 7 pm. $17. ticketweb.ca. September 13.
Orphaned Land, pain, Voodoo KungFu at The Garrison doors 7 pm. $27.50. ticketfly.com, rotate.com. September 13.
Tank & The Bangas, Sweet Crude at Adelaide Hall doors 8 pm. $18.50. ticketfly.com. September 19.
The Head and the Heart at Massey Hall doors 7 pm, all ages. $48.25-$63.25. On sale June 9. masseyhall.com. September 26.
Glass Animals at Massey Hall 8 pm. $36-$46. masseyhall.com. October 2.
Lucy Rose at Drake Hotel doors 8 pm, all ages. $22.75. ticketmaster.ca. October 9.
La Femme at Lee’s Palace doors 7 pm. $20. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca. October 24.
Ben Folds at Phoenix Concert Theatre doors 7 pm. $45-$60. ticketmaster.ca. October 24.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile at Massey Hall doors 7 pm. $39.50-$52.50. ticketfly.com. October 31.
Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene at Air Canada Centre Second show added. Doors 6:30 pm. $26-95. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca, livenation.com. November 3-4.
HIM at Rebel doors 6 pm. $45-$65. On sale June 16. rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketmaster.ca. November 13.
Daniel Lanois at Danforth Music Hall doors 7 pm. $39.50-$49.50. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca. November 15.
Alex Claire at Mod Club doors 7 pm. $20. ticketfly.com. November 16.
Live at Massey Hall: Whitehorse, Terra Lightfoot at Massey Hall 8 pm. $18.95-$49.50 masseyhall.com. December 8.
Nightwish at Massey Hall 8 pm. $50.40-$166.90. On sale June 20. masseyhall.com. March 21, 2018.
Harry Styles, Kacey Musgraves at Air Canada Centre 8 pm. $41.75-$121.75. On sale June 16. ticketmaster.ca. June 16, 2018.
Get more Toronto show listings here.
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