Sheep Dogs to headline the Sound of Music Festival

SoM 1 - Dave Bilton, photography volunteer

SOM attendees, photo by Dave Bilton, photography volunteer.


June 12 weekend will mark the 35th anniversary for Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival.

Every year Spencer Smith Park, located on the waterfront in Burlington’s downtown core, attracts roughly 200,000 people. The largest free music festival in Canada is the annual event that officially kicks off the beginning of summer for many people. “I’ve attended the festival for the past 6 years. I started going in high school. They have always had bands for different age groups, which has kept me coming back. They also always have well known Canadian bands,” said Burlington resident Emily Rennie, “I have a great time every year.”

Ten stages will be spread out through the waterfront park that will feature performances by 87 bands. Each year a well-known and respected Canadian band will headline the festival. This year Juno Award winning band The Sheep Dogs will take the stage the first night of the festival, June 12. Other Juno Award winning performers include rapper Classified, Colin James, band Monster Truck, Trooper and Sloan.

Along with musical performances the downtown streets with be filled with other forms of entertainment such as, free guitar workshops at Burlington’s Art Centre, dancers, Galaxie’s Rising Stars singing competition that grants the winner a $3,000 bursary and many interesting vendors selling one-of-a-kind pieces.

The festival’s executive director, Dave Miller, explains why the festival continues to attract people year after year.

“It is fun and safe and all about the music in a great setting and well run. We like the fact that we are the largest free festival in Canada. The festival has a significant impact on Burlington’s Arts and Culture, Community and Tourism with a side benefit of huge economic impact.” The year-long preparation for the festival is a combined total of 27,000 dedicated volunteer hours.

The festival’s committee chooses the lineup that not only includes well-known artists but local artists who want to perform with large touring groups. “Roughly 220,000 people attend each year that carries on the importance of Burlington’s Art and Culture community,” says Miller.

The festival will open Thursday, June 12 with a performance by Gentlemen Husbands and close Sunday, June 15 with Trooper. Shuttles will be running from Mapleview Mall to the downtown core every hour.