The Shortlist

Live music is back baby—in person, the real thing!—and NEXT has Best Bets across Canada.

LIDO Pimienta posing

No. 1

Lido Primienta at the Calgary Folk Festival

Sat., July 24, 8:55 pm MDT
Summer Serenades concert series
Tickets from $150 for tarp plots of up to 4 people
Prince’s Island Park, 698 Eau Claire Ave. SW


Let’s folk it up! The Calgary Folk Music Festival’s socially distanced Summer Serenades is one of the first in-person concert series to run in Canada since COVID began, and we can’t wait to feel the energy of live music pumping through speakers again.


Top Canadian artists fill a packed bill from July 22 to July 28, including Dan Mangan, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Whitehorse, Jim Cuddy, Charlotte Cardin and more. Polaris-winning Lido Pimiento’s performance— layering African and Indigenous folk rhythms from her native Colombia with electronic influences—along with her shimmering tracks and confetti canon aesthetic, is a must-see.


Tickets will sell out fast, but if you don’t cop one in time, catch all streams for free at


Primp posing

No. 2

Rock 'n Roll Pride Online

Sat. July 31 and Sun. August 1
Virtual festival
$17 – $22


Rock ’N Roll Pride is a new music festival featuring two nights of multi-genre, original music from some of the coolest independent queer artists the country has to offer.


The local rock, metal, punk, grunge and indie scenes are uniting to bring a mega-bill stacked with can’t miss talent—highlights include indie songstress Kylie V, surfy rockers Primp and midwest-emo-inspired Club Sofa on July 31, and the extraterrestrial vibes of Elle Wolf on Aug. 1. Find showtimes, lineup details, and more on Instagram at @raincityartistadmin.

Dave Chappelle

No. 3

Just for Laughs Festival

Free, plus ticketed shows
Livestreamed + in-person


Montreal’s legendary comedy fest Just For Laughs will feature Kevin Hart, Dave Chapelle, Cassie Cao, Mario Lopez and many more unannounced big-ticket acts in their brand-new festival format, starting July 26. JFL 2021 will include small club shows and an outdoor street festival in its home city of Montreal, as well as satellite shows in NYC and L.A., a livestreamed industry-insider awards show, and affiliate events featuring rising stars and veterans alike.

Roy Woods posing with hoodie

No. 4

Roy Woods The Palace Theatre

Thurs. July 15, doors at 8 pm MT
Live concert
Palace Theatre, 219 8 Ave. SW,
$25 /


Don’t miss Brampton-born rapper and OVO Sound artist Roy Woods lighting up the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Calgary during Stampede week. Raise your BPMs to the beat of the bass and feel the vibrations through your fresh new sneakers at this event produced by 10 at 10—leaders in producing the best in music, arts and Black culture in Canada.

Jim Cuddy

No. 5

Jim Cuddy Band Drive-In

Thurs., July 15, 7 pm EDT
Drive-in and virtual event
In person $199; live stream $20
Cityview Drive-In, 20 Polson Ave. Toronto


Canadian music legend Jim Cuddy brings his solo band to Toronto’s lakeside CityView Drive-In (July15) before heading west for the Calgary Folk Festival. (July 23).


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