July 30 – August 1
Pitch a tent and stay on tune at the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival’s summer jam! In place of the usual festival, this year’s celebration runs from July 30 to August 1 and it’s all about jammin’. That means flat-bed trailer concerts, workshops on banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle and bass, and knee-slapping jam sessions with local bands, as well as $10 breakfasts at the Pioneer Museum. Camping space is limited though, so make sure to get your tickets as soon as possible.
A Festival Heavyweight
July 31 – August 2
Coming in at over 70 pavilions strong and representing more than 90 countries and cultures, you know it, you love it… it’s the Edmonton Heritage Festival! After going online in 2020, one of Edmonton’s most beloved summer festivals is back in Hawrelak Park for a weekend of food, music, dance and all of the multicultural diversity that has earned us the nickname “Festival City.” Note that although entrance to the Edmonton Heritage Festival is free, visitors will need to RSVP through the festival website and provide tickets with timed entry upon admittance.
Classic Cars as Far as the Eye Can See
August 3 – 7
Classic cars and rock n’ roll are a match made in greaser heaven, and you can visit cloud nine by visiting the Rock’n August Car Show Festival. Hosted throughout St. Albert, the five-day festival includes a 50/50 lottery, raffles, barbecues, pancake breakfasts, a street dance and, of course, row upon row of gleaming chrome.
The Hill at Home
August 5 – 8
Edmontonians might have to wait a little longer before they can dance the night away on the slopes of Gallagher Park but, in the meantime, they can still bring Folkfest home. For the second year in a row, Edmonton Folk Festival presents the Hill at Home, a reimagined version of the Folkfest you know and love, complete with legendary throwback performances, virtual sing-alongs, restaurant guides and an online shop.
Just Add a Little Lime
August 6 – 8
Carnival has traditionally been an opportunity to celebrate before the austerity of Lent, but coming out of the bleakness of the pandemic, Edmontonians have a whole other reason to party. This year’s edition of the city’s own Caribbean Carnival has been dubbed the Cariwest Virtual Lime, and, true to its name, the hybrid celebration is set to feature in-person elements like food trucks, parades and a circus-themed extravaganza, as well as a virtual live show and movie screening.
August 6 – 22
Edmontonians headed out for a walk might be pleasantly surprised to stumble upon some unexpected harmonies this summer, all thanks to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the month of August, the ESO is on the move, with scheduled outdoor concerts in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Fort Saskatchewan, Devon, Stony Plain and Beaumont. Concerts are pay-what-you-can and seating is limited, but make sure to bring a blanket or seat along with you.
Back Together Again
August 7 – September 5
It’s time to log out of Zoom and get back together again for live concert experiences. The Together Again Concert Series has nine concerts with over 20 acts to see live, including Serena Ryder, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Our Lady Peace and Dean Brody. Enjoy the show from a reserved private table or face the music on the stage-front dance floor at two special shows in September. And don’t miss the one-night only Rockfest headlined by Tom Cochrane with Red Rider.
Party in Purple City
Purple City, it’s time to party. The 2021 UT + DT Music Festival features an all-Edmonton lineup including Calvin Love, Cayley Thomas, Creeasian and Billie Zizi. Shop vintage and handmade goods at the vendor market while the music moves you. The festival is one day only so don’t miss the action at Hawrelak Park.
Together We Fringe
August 12 – 22
Together we laugh, cry, share deep-fried food and spend a week in August running around Old Strathcona catching as many Fringe Festival shows as possible. Yes, that’s right — the Fringe Festival is back as a scaled-down, hyper-local festival featuring live and virtual performances. Head to the Fringe Grounds and celebrate 40 years of fringing with this unique festival experience.
Open for Folk
August 12 – 14
If you find yourself craving live music at Gallagher Park this summer, the Edmonton Ski Club has you covered with their Winter in Summer Music Festival. Taking place on the usual site of Folkfest, the three-day festival will be headlined by Edmonton-based indie pop trio Scenic Route to Alaska, as well as feature performances from artists such as Whale & the Wolf, Kane Incognito, the Royal Foundry and more.
Paddle to the Medal
August 12 – 14
Dragon boat racing traces its roots back over 2,000 years to the lakes and rivers of southern China and, since 1996, the Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival has kept that tradition alive, rain or shine. Occurring every year on the third weekend in August, the festival brings together teams of 16 to 20 paddlers for a nautical mix of culture and competition, with a healthy dose of food and games on the side.
Laugh Till You Cry… Then Laugh Some More
August 13 & 15
Catch up on lost laughs and howl through the night at the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival. Boasting world renowned names Chelsea Handler, David Spade, Nikki Glaser, Donnell Rawlings and Shaun Majumder, this lineup has more heavy hitters than the 1988 Oakland Athletics. Part of the show proceeds will also go towards supporting Boyle Street Community Services, Hope Mission and the Centre for Arts and Music.
Table to Farm
For many of us, rummaging through the bulk bin is the closest we’ll ever get to harvesting our own food, let alone seeing what it takes to get it onto the store shelves. Alberta Open Farms Days gives you a chance to change that this August by spending a day at a local farm or ranch learning about sustainable farming, common agricultural practices and exactly what it takes to get quality foods off the farm and onto your plate.
Same-Day Summer Vibes
Since the advent of shipping container homes, they have been used to house everything from swimming pools and saunas to restaurants and food trucks. Now you can add live music venues to that list, courtesy of Night Vision and the Backyard’s latest summer collab. The outdoor event will use colourfully painted shipping containers to house a bar, kiosk and washrooms, rounding off the beach party vibes with performances from artists like Dane, Good Information, Dead Friends and more.
Not Too Furious But Fast as Ever
If you’re a child of the Fast & Furious generation, you probably have a soft spot for custom cars. Unreasonably powerful, gaudily designed and wholly impractical, they’re emblematic of a time when MTV was your babysitter and having underglow lights meant that you were someone in the world. Those souped-up monstrosities will also be on display this summer thanks to Driven Edmonton, an aftermarket car show that brings together the finest custom cars from across Western Canada. Head over to the Kingsway Mall parking lot and check out some whips that will have you drooling to get behind the wheel — even if they’re not street legal.
August 14 – 15
It’s hard to not get excited about any sort of “-palooza,” but doubly so when it’s one about barbecue! Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, Porkapalooza is a world-class cooking competition that sees chefs from across the province compete for the crown in brisket, ribs, pork, chicken and overall categories in a meat-up for the ages.
Under the Dome
Modern cuisine meets space age dining with more than a hint of local flavour at the Geoscapes outdoor dining experience. Situated at Snow Valley Ski Club and featuring intimate geodome seating, the summer-long experience will showcase top local chefs like Eric Hanson, Lindsay Porter, Mai Nguyen, Troy Griffiths, Tony Le, Calvin Teufeld and Shane Chartrand. Visitors can also drop in at the neighbouring cocktail bar, The Botanist Garden, if they’re in the mood for a more spontaneous evening and aren’t able to book a reservation.
Live Jazz, Breathe Jazz
August 16 – 20
Anyone who has heard classic rock in a packed arena or grimy hip-hop in a sweaty basement knows that some music was made for certain venues. When it comes to jazz, nothing beats a cozy spot full of familiar faces and unpredictable sounds, but if visiting your local jazz club isn’t an option, why not try your living room? The Edmonton Jazz Festival is giving you a chance to do just that with this year’s virtual festival, although you should still keep an eye out for in-person events from the Edmonton Jazz Festival Society over the summer.
Land, Sea and High-Intensity Cardio
August 17 – 22
Alberta has the distinction of being one of those few places on earth where terrains collide —a unique mixture of mountains, forests, prairies and lakes that makes it the perfect place to experience nature… or host a triathlon. The World Triathlon Championship Finals will be taking full advantage of those landscapes this year, hosting 300 elite athletes right here in Edmonton at Hawrelak Park. And for all of those athletes who don’t have their sights set quite as high as the podium, there will also be community events for all ages and abilities.
Brews at the Zoo
Are you a night owl? Up for a beer with some bears? Hang out at the Edmonton Valley Zoo after hours at the ZooBrew Beer Carnival. There’ll be performances, craft beer and, of course, many adorable animals. Grab a drink and stroll through the zoo under the moon.
Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane… Yup, that’s Definitely a CF-18
August 21 – 22
Watch the skies come alive with the roar of supersonic fighter jets at the Alberta International Airshow. Previously known as the Edmonton Airshow, the two-day event at the Villeneuve Airport will feature performances from military acts like the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 demo team and a real-life air-refueling demo, as well as civilian acts like Yellow Thunder and Bill Carter.
Reggae Pon di Avenue
Alberta Avenue is often regarded as the most international block in the city, which makes it the perfect host for the Edmonton Reggae Festival Society’s Reggae on the Ave. Head down to 118th Avenue and celebrate reggae artists from across the province and around the world — no plane ticket necessary!
Music can make us laugh, cry, stop and reflect, or dance like nobody’s watching. Music can also help us heal, and that’s exactly what it will be doing at the Stand as One Indigenous Concert Series at the River Cree Resort and Casino. With a lineup of all Indigenous country music artists — including names like Buddy Gouchie, Shane Yellowbird and three-time Juno award winner, Don Amero — the concert series is geared towards promoting Indigenous mental wellness, with part of the proceeds going to support the First Nations Health Authority.
Slim and Trim
August 27 – 28
As festivals gingerly take their first few steps back into normalcy, the Edmonton Blues Festival is giving us a sampling of what could have been with Blues Fest Slim. The festival has been scaled down to just four artists this year, all of whom were originally scheduled to perform at last year’s festival. That said, you can still expect a weekend of good times, great company and the dirty ol’ blues. Seating is limited though, so make sure to get your tickets early.
Put your paws in the air and party with some pups at Muttstock. This free music festival is for the pups (and their humans, too). Watch live music, take part in dog-friendly activities and have a tail-waggin’ good time. All proceeds raised go to rescues and non-profits.