Summer in Montreal is synonymous with festivals. This lively city, often referred to as the cultural capital of Canada, blossoms into a vibrant hub of music, art, and outdoor events when the sun comes out. Between June and September, you’ll see promising local talent and renowned worldwide superstars alike, with stages popping up all over town. Montrealers’ joie de vivre is reflected in the diverse range of summer festivals, each offering a unique blend of genres and cultural influences – and attracting crowds from around the globe.

From the iconic Montreal International Jazz Festival, to the multicultural rhythms of Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, experience the best the city has to offer with our summer 2024 guide to Montreal’s top 8 music festivals (in chronological order). 

Piknic Électronik

Piknic Électronik is a quintessential Montreal summer tradition that gathers electronic music fans together in an idyllic natural setting. Held every Sunday from May to October at Parc Jean-Drapeau, the event features an impressive roster of local and international DJs across various genres of electronic music, from house and techno to footwork and Afrobeats. Piknic offers a laid-back outdoor atmosphere where attendees can dance, picnic, and enjoy scenic views of the Montreal skyline. Pack your lunch or grab a bite from the food trucks on site.

Dates: Sundays, May 19 – October 6, 2024
Don’t miss: BLOND:ISH, Acid Arab

Suoni Per Il Popolo

Suoni Per Il Popolo, an avant-garde music festival held in Montreal each June, showcases experimental, improvised, and underground music. Organized by the non-profit Société des Arts Libres et Actuels (SALA), it features an eclectic mix of genres, including free jazz, noise, and avant rock/folk, in intimate venues.

Dedicated to artistic innovation and collaboration, SALA is “committed to create more awareness about Montreal’s thriving independent music scene, not only nationally and internationally but also locally between divergent artistic communities.” The festival also includes public workshops and a strong emphasis on Canadian content, aiming to promote national talent as well as social and political awareness. 

Dates: June 12-23, 2024
Don’t miss: Laura Krieg, Backxwash

MURAL Festival

Although MURAL primarily focuses on its mission to “make street art more accessible,” the festival is also known for explosive musical performances and block parties. Every June, Saint-Laurent Boulevard transforms into a pedestrian-only open-air gallery with live mural painting, art installations, and concerts, drawing both locals and tourists to witness creativity in real-time. 

MURAL features a music lineup of both local and international artists, with genres of all kinds including pop, RnB, indie rock, and hip-hop. Beyond the performances, the festival also hosts workshops, panel discussions, and other interactive activities, allowing attendees to engage on a deeper level with the artists and their work.

Dates: June 6-16, 2024
Don’t miss: Moonshine, UNIKORN

Francos de Montréal

Celebrating music created in French, the Francos de Montréal is a must for fans of francophone culture. The festival showcases both emerging and established artists performing French-language music in a wide range of genres, from folk to hip-hop. The Francos 2024 edition includes 150 shows taking place in the Quartier des Spectacles, both indoor and outdoor, many of which are free.

With a mission to promote French-language music, expand its audience, connect its community, and help develop artists from every corner of the francophone community, it’s the perfect occasion to dive into the cultural heritage of la francophonie.

Dates: June 14-22, 2024
Don’t miss: Pomme, Pierre Kwenders

Montreal International Jazz Festival

One of the largest and most renowned jazz festivals in the world (now 44 years strong) the Montreal International Jazz Festival takes over the city every summer with millions of guests hailing from far and wide to witness jazz legends and up-and-coming names.

This year’s edition offers over 350 concerts, most which are free, and a star-studded lineup including André 3000, Norah Jones, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Orville Peck, among many others.

Dates: June 27 – July 6, 2024
Don’t miss: Charlotte Day Wilson, Dominique Fils-Aimé

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique

Celebrating African, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures, the 38th annual Festival International Nuits d’Afrique will bring its diverse rhythms and sounds to Montreal this July. The long-standing festival presents over 700 artists from more than 30 countries, performing genres such as Afrobeat, reggae, salsa, samba, calypso, and soukous in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. The festival includes outdoor concerts, workshops, and dance performances, promising a program that’s “even more lively, exciting, daring, varied, and full of emotion” than ever before!

Dates: July 9-21, 2024
Don’t miss: Bombino, Les Aunties 

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

Osheaga no longer requires an introduction, now recognized internationally as Montreal’s premier music and arts festival – and Canada’s biggest. Today’s major artists as well as popular emerging acts will grace Parc Jean-Drapeau this August, offering festival-goers a chance to see both legendary musicians AND discover their new favourites. The 2024 headliners are particularly eclectic – SZA, Green Day, Melanie Martinez, The Smashing Pumpkins, Reneé Rapp, Hozier, and many more standouts will take Osheaga’s six stages, offering something for all music tastes.

Dates: August 2-4, 2024
Don’t miss: Chappell Roan, No Waves

Fierté Montréal (Montreal Pride)

Last but not least, Fierté Montréal (Montreal Pride) will wrap up the summer season in style with its iconic parade, drag shows, concerts, and parties thrown across the city. Though always a fun celebration, Pride is an occasion to remember queer history and the trailblazers who fought for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community during the 1969 Stonewall Riots that sparked the movement’s origins.

Dates: August 8-18, 2024
Don’t miss: Lucky Love, Tranna Wintour

Be sure to check out our other music-themed lists such as Top 10 Movie Soundtracks for Your Nostalgic Summer Playlist and Top 10 Podcasts for Music Fans and Industry Professionals.

Written by Maryse Bernard
Illustration by Holly Li