Summer can be a busy and confusing time. With so many music festivals in your area, some in the downtown cores hosted by multiple sweaty bars and others a corporate-sponsored Woodstock in a distant field soon to be covered with cracked plastic beer cups, you may find the choices overwhelming. You may be asking: “What summer festival is right for me? What will best suit my tastes and preferences? How can I make sure the $180 I’ll be paying for admission for one day is well spent?”
Rest assured, you’re not alone. You can be guaranteed everyone else is discerning yet cheap, just like you. But help is on the way! Here are some lesser-known summer music festivals that are guaranteed to meet your budget and satisfy your thrill-seeking ways.
Deep under the mighty Canadian Shield, in the abandoned Earthterracom mega-mine complex stretching between Lake Superior and Lake Athabasca comes Googaloowissenshaft, a twelve day jaunt for the hottest indie bands willing to travel twenty miles underground to play an hour set. Each stage is named after a mineral extracted at the cathedral to Canada’s resource economy. No matter how long your stay is or how much oxygen you have left, you should swing by the Asbestos stage for subdued sets by touring acts from countries still importing the poisonous fibre from Canada for insulation. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can trek to the ends of the fairgrounds and emerge at Fort McMurray, where you’ll find the Ethical Oil sponsored alternative stage, Tarslam! Get tickets in advance for Bitumenticore, the only power-metal sextet who released an album last year promoting the Northern Gateway Pipeline ostensibly for satanic reasons.
Not one for stuffy holes? At the banks of the mighty Mackenzie River just outside of Fort Simpson lies a mid-winter music fest held entirely in snow and ice enclosures called Jones’ Quincy (in no way affiliated with or approved by legendary record producer Quincy Jones). This week-long festival takes place entirely in the dark with twelve stages inside stadium-sized snow forts, building on the ancient temporary dwellings of western arctic Inuit. Now, hipsters with enough disposable cash to be helicoptered or ice road trucked in can have a “really amazing experience” in “authentic Northern living” while watching Coldplay #killingit after having learned a couple phrases in #tlingit from touring Alaska Panhandle 9-piece, the Clam Garden Congress, who will be opening for them.
Homestead! The Dominion Lands Act Comedy and Music Festival
Stoked on Canada but wondering if you should be? Luckily, Heritage Canada and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs recently approved a change to the treaty system that will roll their annual reaffirmation into an opportunity to collect sonic gifts from the CBC radio portfolio. The first annual Homestead! The Dominion Lands Act Comedy and Music Festival brings Canadians together with status- and non-status Indians to stages across Treaty 1, 2, and 9 lands to share the mutual emotions brought to us by a history of colonialism: skepticism, distrust, confusion, and guilt. Feel uncomfortable with your fellow signatories as you listen to the same Serena Ryder songs playing on CBC 3 all day. The organizers hope this new event will start some kind of reconciliation for Canadian history, or a least a doubt that every choice pre- and post-confederation was all for naught.
Coors Light Iced Tea Presents: The Summermunch Pringles Propeller Skyparty
Like spending time at festivals but hate being stuck in one place the whole time? You’re in luck! 2014 is the first year of the Coors Light Iced Tea Presents: The Summermunch Pringles Propeller Skyparty, an Anheuser-Busch InBev, Sony Music, and Unilever vertical marketing strategy/music festival hovering 100 feet over 22 North American cities all summer long. The airborne fairgrounds stretch across ninety acres and are held aloft by over sixty dirigibles and a forced-air circulation system burning 500 megatons of Clean Coal per day. When the air-barge lurks across the GTHA and then to the Windsor-Sarnia-Georgian Bay corridor between August and October of this year, it might be a good idea to buy a wristband for the duration of its stay just to escape the amount of flammable soot its exhaust ports will be spewing onto the cities and towns in its wake. Come to catch the contractually required Animal Collective reunion and cherish the memories forever as this festival permanently alters the ecosystems of South-Western Ontario. Oh the humanity!