Header photo by Ian Johnson
For many Manitobans, warm weather means one thing: music festivals. But beyond perennial favourites like the Winnipeg Folk Festival and Dauphin’s Countryfest are lesser known gems that draw in visitors to towns and communities across the province for weekends of toe-tapping and audible enjoyment. These small-town festivals offer the chance to see performances (often from local talent) on a more intimate scale, set against prairie backdrops that exude rural Manitoban flair. This year, we challenge you to attend one or more of these small town music festivals in Manitoba. 🎶
Prairie Wind Music Festival in Cypress River
June 2 to 4, 2017
Cypress River is the ‘little town with the big sound’ during the 6th annual Prairie Wind Musical Festival. This community-centric festival brings acts in from across the country while also highlighting local talent, with Joey Landreth (of Juno-winners The Bros. Landreth) taking the stage as this year’s headliner.
Back 40 Folk Festival in Morden
This one-day festival in Morden is a treat for the senses. From performances by local musicians to songwriters circles to yoga and food; it’s easy to spend the entire day on festival grounds at the Back 40 Folk Festival. This year’s lineup includes acts like Joey Landreth Trio, Sweet Alibi and Al Simmons (who is always a hit with the kids).
Real Love Summer Festival in Teulon
July 28 to 30, 2017
After three incredibly successful years, it’s no surprise that Real Love Summer Fest is back again. With a growing fan base, this three-day music extravaganza has secured a new location in Teulon, Manitoba, with promises of beautiful scenery and shaded camping in the forest. This summer, watch performances by acts such as Widowspeak and The Radiation Flowers, wander through art installations from local artists and take in the experience that is Real Love.
Rainbow Trout Music Festival in Roseau River
August 18 to 20, 2017
Although the lineup hasn’t been released yet, you can safely bet that the Rainbow Trout Musical Festival will be one of the best of the summer. Set on the banks of Roseau River (south of St. Malo), the festival focuses on local music of all genres – from rock, to hip-hop, to folk to reggae and so on. The festival is known for its pristine festival site and its down-to-earth and friendly atmosphere.
Harvest Sun Music Festival in Kelwood
August 18 to 20, 2017
This sunny Kelwood music festival is focused on one goal: to showcase Manitoban musicians, growers and makers. With a truly grassroots vibe, the Harvest Sun Music Festival offers plenty of activities for people of all ages – from the group of indie music fans to the young family looking to spend a day outdoors. This year’s lineup includes The Route 10 Collective, The Noble Thiefs, Roger Roger and Carly Dow.
Harvest Moon Festival in Clearwater
September 15 to 17, 2017
If there’s any festival that seems to get outstanding reviews year after year – it’s the Harvest Moon Festival in the stunning Pembina Valley. This fall festival is rich in music, locally-sourced food and hands-on workshops. While the 2017 lineup has yet to be announced, you’ll want to purchase your tickets as soon as they go on sale as this festival tends to sell out quick.