Music festival season opens on P.E.I.

There is no shortage of music festivals to enjoy on P.E.I. this summer. So break out the dancing shoes — or the cowboy boots — and tell the boss you won't be in on Monday.

Here are just a few of the musical offerings this summer on P.E.I.

The Cavendish Beach Music Festival draws tens of thousands of concert goers each year. (John Robertson/CBC)

There is no shortage of music festivals to enjoy on P.E.I. this summer. So break out the dancing shoes — or the cowboy boots — and tell the boss you won't be in on Monday.

Here is a partial list of new and old festivals you won't want to miss.

Festival of Small Halls

The Festival of Small Halls showcases Island culture with music, dancing and storytelling in rural community venues. (P.E.I. Mutual Festival of Small Halls)

This festival clearly has a winning formula — it's been named Music P.E.I.'s event of the year for the last four years.

One of the good things about this festival is that it goes on for several days in several locations across the province — including churches and community halls — so if you can't make it on a particular night, there are other opportunities.

This year's festival kicks off this weekend and runs to June 23.

There are more than 70 performers listed on the website, featuring a who's who of P.E.I. talent that includes Music P.E.I. award winners Dennis Ellsworth (songwriter of the year), Meaghan Blanchard (album of the year) and Rachel Beck (new artist, pop album of the year).

New to the festival this year are three artizan events: loom knitting, soap making and paper art.

More info at the festival website

Indian River Festival

St. Mary's Church in Indian River is known for its acoustics — and you can experience them for yourself during two open stage events. (Getty Images)

This is another festival that begins this weekend and runs until Sept. 15, encompassing more than 25 events. Most of the performances take place at the historic St. Mary's Church in Indian River.

There are dozens of artists on the lineup, including Rose Cousins, The Once, Saskatoon Children's Choir and the David Myles Trio. You can also include yourself to that lineup — there are free open stage events on June 27 and Aug. 31.

More info at the festival website.  

P.E.I. Jazz & Blues Festival

The jazz and blues festival is in its 15th year and runs from June 27 to 30 at various venues in Charlottetown including Confederation Landing Park.

Headliners including Myles Goodwyn of April Wine fame, Jimmy Rankin and Jenn Grant.

On June 29, Catherine MacLellan will perform a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

More info at the festival website

SunDaze Camping, Music & Art Festival

Grammy Award winning artist T-Pain is scheduled to perform at SunDaze on Aug. 23. (Submitted by SunDaze Camping, Music & Art Festival )

SunDaze bills itself as the first of its kind on the East Coast. The multi-genre festival will take place at Route 6 Ranch in Oyster Bed Bridge on Aug. 23 and 24.

The SunDaze Fest is all about "good vibes, good times and enjoying what's left of summer on P.E.I.," according to the festival website.

Performers include two-time Grammy winner T-Pain, X-Ambassadors, Cheat Codes and DJ Jazzy Jeff, of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fame.

Did we mention it was 19-plus?

There will also be comedians, live paintings and many other musicians, according to the festival's website.

More info at the festival website

Cavendish Beach Music Festival

The Cavendish Beach Music Festival attracts big names — and big crowds — every year. (John Robertson/CBC)

This concert, now in its 11th year, continues to draw some of the biggest names in country music and this year is no exception with Carrie Underwood taking the stage.

If you like big names and big crowds, this festival is for you. It generally draws more than 20,000 country music fans a day, though police estimated 27,000 attended last year's performance by Luke Bryan.

This year's festival runs from July 5-7.

More info at the festival website.

P.E.I. Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival

This photo is from the first P.E.I. Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival held in Dunollie in 1986. It's been popular with campers ever since. (P.E.I. Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society)

This festival has a new venue this year — the Dundas Fairgrounds.

The long-running festival began in 1986 in Dunollie and spent the last 23 years in Rollo Bay.

Campers can set up right on the festival grounds. The gates open July 1 for campers, and though the music doesn't officially start until July 5, bring your banjo — there will be an open mic set up for anyone who wants to perform.

More info at the festival website


Rachel Beck is scheduled to hit the stage at Cloggeroo on Sunday, Aug. 11. (Rachel Beck Music/Facebook)

Cloggeroo, which runs from Aug. 9-11, is another festival popular with the camping crowd. A shuttle is available from the campground to the main stage in Georgetown's West Street Park that stretches along the scenic Brudenell River.

Billing itself as "the Island folk festival," artists include John Connolly, The Fabulously Rich as well as Shrimp Daddy and the Sharpshooters.

More info at the festival website

Stompin' Tom Festival

The Stompin Tom Centre in Skinners Pond has become a popular tourist attraction since opening in 2017. (Laura Meader/CBC)

This festival takes place at the Stompin' Tom Centre in Skinners Pond in honour of the P.E.I. music legend.

It runs for nine select days until Sept. 28. Matt Minglewood, as well as Kim Albert & Faces kick off the festival June 8.

Other artists scheduled to perform during the summer include Joel Plaskett, Lennie Gallant, Jimmy Flynn, J.P. Cormier and the Ellis Family.

More info at the festival website

If you're looking for a one-day music festival, check out the Rock the Boat Music Festival in Tyne Valley on Saturday, Aug. 3.

On the lineup are Big Wreck, The Road Hammers, Honeymoon Suite, Haywire, The Ellis Family Band and Soul Filter.

More info on the festival website.

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