7 New Summer Festivals Coming To Calgary

For the first time this summer, there will be a festival dedicated to lobster, a festival dedicated to a new music venue and a festival that's all about beach fun.

Brewery and the Beast is a festival dedicated to local and ethically raised meat. It's taken place in Vancouver and Victoria and this year it comes to Calgary for the first time.


Calgary is a city of summer festivals. There are the festivals you’ve been attending every summer since before you can remember — Folk Fest, Expo Latino and GlobalFest, to name a few. And then there are your new favourites, like Sled Island

Calgary’s festival repertoire continues to grow and this summer is no exception. There are at least seven new festivals to attend between now and September, each dedicated to something different. 

Bridgeland Cultura Festival

June 6

After more than a year of planning, Bridgeland gets its own street festival this summer. From 12 p.m. until 4 p.m., head to this historic neighbourhood to sample food from the restaurants and markets in the ‘hood, shop at local vendors’ booths and listen to live music. Don’t go home without having a beer in the beer garden. 

1 St. N.E., brcacalgary.org

JazzYYC Summer Festival

June 14 to June 22

JazzYYC has been planning a citywide jazz festival for a while now. This year marks the inaugural festival. During the festival there will be workshops, club shows and concerts in various venues across the city, including notable music venues like the Ironwood Stage and Grill and the National Music Centre. There are also several special events taking place, like a Sunday afternoon jazz walk and a film screening. 

Various locations, jazzyyc.com

YYC Lobster Fest

June 20 to 21

This new festival is all about the crustacean. Taking place on Father’s Day weekend, YYC Lobster Fest is two days filled with fresh seafood, live music and Village Brewery beer in the beer gardens. Your $25 ticket will get you one lobster, a side dish and a bib — it wouldn’t be a lobster festival without one. As well as being a tasty food festival, this is also a chance to raise money for a good cause. All proceeds support the Calgary Firefighters Burn Unit. 

Market on Macleod, 7711 Macleod Tr. S.E., yyclobsterfest.com

Kensington Beach in the City

August 1 to 2

Even though the Sun and Salsa Festival won’t be returning to Kensington this year, this popular BRZ won’t be without a summer street festival. And it’s going to be unlike any other summer festival in the city. Kensington is transforming into a beach. There will be games of beach volleyball, sprinklers, food trucks and even mermaids. And Slide the City will be running down 10th Street that weekend — for those who don’t know, it’s a 300-metre slip-and-slide and water party. There will also be movies screened throughout the entire month. 

Kensington Rd. and 10 St. N.W., visitkensington.com

Brewery and the Beast

August 23

For three years, Vancouver and Victoria have had a summer festival dedicated to meat. This year, it’s coming to Calgary too. This outdoor festival showcases local and ethically raised proteins. Sample meat dishes from 35 of the city’s restaurants and know that all the meat you consume comes from trusted local suppliers. A few of the participating restaurants include Ox and Angela, Bonterra Trattoria, Charbar and Raw Bar. Accompanying the meat will be craft beers, ciders, wines, housemade sodas and specialty coffees. Live music will be performed by The Electric Timber Company. Tickets cost $79. 

Pumphouse Park, 2140 Pumphouse Ave. S.W., breweryandthebeast.com

One Love Festival 

September 5

Music festival season doesn’t wrap up in August. In addition to music festivals dedicated to folk music, independent music, jazz music and blues music, for the first time, Calgary is getting a music festival that’s all about hip-hop. Artists include J. ColeNasTravis ScottRaekwon and Wale. Remaining tickets are from $109.95. 

Shaw Millenium Park, onelovefestival.ca

Bella Concert Hall Opening Festival

September 19 to October 3

To celebrate the opening of the Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University, which has its official opening in August, the venue is hosting the Bella Concert Hall Opening Festival. The opening festival has been in the works for about two years now. This one-off festival is made up of four, very different concerts, all of which showcase the acoustics, the ambience and versatility of the new venue. There will be everything from large-scale performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to solo performances. 

Bella Concert Hall, 4825 Mount Royal Gate S.W., 403-440-6821, mtroyal.ca

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