MyHamilton logoAdd the perfect soundtrack to your summer at one of these must-visit music festivals in Hamilton.

Local, national and international music takes centre stage throughout our City of Music – from picturesque waterfront parks to epic block parties.

Plan your getaway to Hamilton with this this run-down of some of our favourite music events.


June 21-22
Gage Park

FrancoFEST at Gage Park

The free two-day festival returns to celebrate the vibrant francophone community with music, dance, and visual arts. Historic Gage Park plays host to this one-of-a-kind, family-friendly show and activities. The lineup includes acts by pop jazz group Amelie & Les Singes Bleus, Bossa-nova artist Diogo Ramos, and many more.


June 21 – 23

Visit for a celebration of arts in all its forms in the picturesque community of the lively Westdale neighbourhood. This family-friendly festival features jazz, classical, folk & world music, art exhibits, artisan vendors and various activities. Headliners include Susan Aglukark, David Clayton-Thomas and John McDermott.

The National

June 22
Pier 8

On the heels of the recent album release, The National appear in this one of a kind outdoor concert and festival, at Hamilton beautiful Pier 8 right on the waterfront. Supporting acts are an all-star line-up of Canadian talent – Alvvays, Hayden, Jennifer Castle and Hannah Georgas.

Soaring Spirit Festival

June 21 – 23
Pier 4 Park

Experience and engage with our Indigenous communities in a beautiful waterfront park setting. Featuring a Native Art and Food Fair and Indigenous speakers and performers. Saturday and Sunday feature a mini Pow Wow setting, celebrating drumming and dancing.

It’s Your Festival

June 29 – July 1
Gage Park

This long-running festival (2019 will mark its 50th year) is located in Hamilton’s beautiful Gage Park. Featuring a midway, craft vendors and food options, It’s Your Festival is a family festival that features children’s music as well as popular headliners like Jully Black, Lowest of the Low and The Pursuit of Happiness.

The Strumbellas at RBG

July 6
Royal Botanical Gardens

Popular Canadian six-piece The Strumbellas appear at the Royal Botanical Gardens arboretum with special guests Dan Mangan, Donovan Woods & Dizzy. While enjoying the music, take the opportunity to tour is the largest botanical garden in Canada.

Because Beer

July 12 – 13
Pier 4 Park

Hamilton Music Festivals

Beer enthusiasts can sample hundreds of craft beers and ciders while listening to live music in the ideal summer setting at Pier 4 Park. Festival-goers will also enjoy food vendors and a combination of unique artists.

Festival of Friends

August 2 – 4
Gage Park

Experience three days of music at one of Hamilton’s most celebrated music festivals, located in Gage Park, a beautiful urban greenspace featuring play areas, greenhouses and gardens. This free festival has been running since 1976 and features both national and internationally known artists, art, and crafts.


Sept 13 – 15
James Street North

The city’s biggest urban arts festival transforms our downtown into an epic block party. For three days, the streets around James Street North are closed to traffic and open to a diverse mix of art, fashion, performance, talks, crafts and food. Stages feature local and international performers (Arkells, Passion Pit and Spoon having performed in recent years). Expect a good dose of great food, amazing art and fun people watching too.

Brott Music Festival

Various venues

Maestro Boris Brott is internationally renowned for his work in classical music and beyond. His festival presents classical and orchestral music in a variety of venues throughout the city and is considered the biggest non-profit orchestral music festival in Canada.

Core Entertainment


Not a festival per se, but year-round, Core Entertainment brings world-class entertainment to Hamilton’s major music venues – FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall and The Studio. This summer you can see everything from Ciqrue du Soleil to Def Leppard!

Around Town: Hamilton Music Venues

Various venues

Music is part of the fabric of the city, and it can be found year-round at our many music venues. When visiting Hamilton, be sure to check out who’s playing at some of our favourite live music spots including: The Casbah, Absinthe, Mills Hardware, This Ain’t Hollywood, Zyla’s, the Artword Artbar, and the Music Hall at New Vision United Church.

James Tennant Jamie Tennant is the Program Director at CFMU 93.3 FM at McMaster. He has written for various publications including Chart Magazine, TV Times, SOCAN Words and Music, Hamilton Spectator and Hamilton Magazine, where he was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2009. Jamie also appears as a regular guest and contributor on Cable 14. His first novel, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill, will be published in fall 2016. Follow him on Twitter. His blog, Music in the City, explores how Hamilton music got to where it is and where it’s going. Discover artists and scenes you know and love, as well as those that might have been off your radar…until now.