The Town of Huntsville has a deep musical history, steeped in local talent and filled with amazing venues. Cool, clear lakes, pristine forests and a history rich with art and culture has inspired generations of musicians to live and perform here. Things really heat up in the summer with everything from large festivals, grassroots concerts and intimate performances in downtown establishments. This is your guide to Huntsville’s summer music scene…check it out and choose your next musical adventure!
The Huntsville Festival of the Arts is in its 27th season of bringing great music, art and culture to the community. What began in 1993 as a celebration of classical music has grown into a year-round festival featuring a jam-packed summer line-up. Whether your musical taste flavours a romantic, folk-rooted country ballad or the driving rhythms of hip-hop, the Festival has pulled no punches in releasing this season’s line-up of concerts.
The Festival’s home base is the highly acclaimed Algonquin Theatre stage, but concerts are also hosted in several other local venues including Deerhurst Resort and the brand new Canvas Brewing Co. The 2019 season features the amazing talents of the Jim Cuddy Band and Bahamas, and returning favourites like Colin James and Jesse Cook!
- July 3 – Bahamas
- July 4 – Bahamas
- July 5 – Broadway After Dark
- July 6 – Kyung-A Lee
- July 11 – Bruce Cockburn
- July 12 – Taktikz Hip Hop
- July 13 – Huntsville: A Choral History
- July 14 – Huntsville: A Choral History
- July 18 – Danny Michel
- July 20 – Algonquin Outfitters Paddle on Comedy Festival
- July 20 – Algonquin Outfitters Paddle on Comedy Festival
- July 21 – Unforgettable: The Music of Nat King Cole
- July 24 – Jim Cuddy Band
- July 25 – Queer Songbook Orchestra
- July 26 – Movie on the Docks
- July 27 – Nuit Blanche North
- July 31 – Jill Barber
- August 1 – Lighthouse
- August 3 – Jeremy Dutcher
- August 4 – Remembering Ed Bickert
- August 7 – Soulsville: The Music of Stax Records
- August 9 – Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy
- August 10 – Royal Wood
- August 12 – More Barn! The Music of Neil Young
- August 13 – More Barn! The Music of Neil Young
- August 14 – Canadian Jazz All-Stars
- August 15 – Jesse Cook
- August 16 – Colin James: Up Close and Personal
- September 20 – George Canyon with Charlie Major
For a truly unique outdoor concert venue, take in a show at the Etwell Concert Series. The series features live blues performances by top Canadian and international artists in a secluded and private setting just minutes outside the town centre. The Spring Family hosts the annual series on their rural property, where you can revel in the natural surroundings with a pavilion for shelter from the elements. Enjoy the warm summer night as the sounds of the blues echo through the surrounding trees. Chairs and benches are provided, and shows run rain or shine. Admission is by donation ($20 suggested per person) with proceeds directly benefiting the artists.
- June 23 – Steve Strongman
- June 30 – Morgan Davis
- July 7 – The Glenn Marais Band
- July 14 – Sue Foley
- July 21 – Jack de Keyzer
- August 4 – Hogtown Allstars
- August 11 – Tobin Spring
- August 18 – Tri-Continental
- September 8 – Paul Reddick
- September 15 – Crowbar
- September 22 – Paul James
- September 29 – Matt Weidinger
- October 6 – Carlos del Junco
After a hot summer day, head downtown for a performance at Town Dock Park with the sunset as a natural backdrop. The Concerts on the Dock series takes advantage of Huntsville’s beautiful waterfront by showcasing a diverse mix of talented musicians playing mere metres from the cool waters of the Muskoka River. Come by boat or walk to the park, bring a lawn chair or blanket and a twoonie or two for the band and spend the evening grooving to local artists in this one-of-a-kind venue.
- July 3 – Nicole Lisa Craig
- July 10 – The Hillbirds
- July 17 – Northern Lights Steel Orchestra
- July 24 – Muskoka Concert Band
- July 31 – Jack Nickalls & Josie Robinson
- August 7 – Billy MacPherson
- August 14 – Veronica and Friends
- August 21 – Cameron of Lochiel Pipes and Drums
- August 28 – Luke Murphy
Hunters Bay Radio is Muskoka’s not-for-profit Community Radio Station offering up an eclectic music mix that has been widely accepted by listeners all over the region and around the world who love the variety and the fact that they never know what they will hear next.
Sticking to the eclectic music mix theme, HBR is presenting a series of free music shows on Sunday’s through the summer. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, head to River Mill Park for 7pm, and enjoy these shows from The Bay 88.7FM:
- Sunday July 7th: Papa John & Juan Barbosa
- Sunday July 21st: Sawyer Lance & Trixie Freebird
- Sunday July 28th: Tamica Herod & Friends
- Sunday Aug 4th: Doug McLean & Friends
- Sunday Aug 18th: Riley Towns & Bill Stewart
- Sunday Aug 25th: Billy Mac & Bazza
Debuting on the Huntsville music scene in the summer of 2019, the Muskoka Intimate Concert Series came about quite when two local music lovers realized they shared a dream of bringing intimate concerts to Muskoka. Scott Morrison and Buck Miller realized they enjoyed the same kind of music and discussed the idea of bringing folk, singer songwriter types of artists to Muskoka. Their goal is to deliver up close and personal shows where the artist and the patrons can really connect. They want people to come away feeling that they really got to know the artist and the stories behind their songs. Stay tuned for more shows to be announced!
- August 16 – William Prince
Looking for a musical break in the middle of your day? From July 8-26, take the chance to refresh your body and spirit with the Huntsville Festival of the Arts’ free musical series Music at Noon at Trinity United Church each day at 12:15pm. From vocal to instrumental, jazz to musical theatre; these incredible local artists will be sure to entertain.
- July 8 – Angie Nussey
- July 9 – Parres Allen
- July 10 – Daran McColls Trio
- July 11 – Parres Allen, Tracy Hoehner, Philip Morhead & Sherisse Stevens
- July 12 – Kim Barlow’s Clarinet Quartet
- July 15 – Huntsville Community Band
- July 16 – Samantha Snowden’s Jazz Band
- July 17 – Jack Gaughan & Friends
- July 18 – Briar Summers
- July 19 – Robert Attfield
- July 22 – Young Musician Concert 1
- July 23 – Young Musician Concert 2
- July 24 – Jillian Lee McDougall
- July 25 – Sister Dorothy
- July 26 – Kyung-A Lee, Patricia Morehead, Brenda Muller & Karen Richards
If you’d prefer to catch an intimate performance at a local pub, Huntsville has you covered!
On the Docks Pub has been a favourite Huntsville music venue for 25 years. With three levels of patios overlooking the beautiful Muskoka River, every seat in the house has a view! Their “no fry” menu is filled with classic pub fare mixed with fresh and delicious modern options. Plus, they have a dozen beers on tap and the staff is always friendly and welcoming. The Pub has live music every weekend, with performances in an intimate space where you can get up close and personal with the musicians. This is your chance to hear something new, support great talent and be part of a thriving local scene. Every Wednesday night is open mic night, where you can show off your own talent to family and friends.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Huntsville, The Mill on Main heats up with live music every weekend. The restaurant has two large patios that overlook River Mill Park and the Muskoka River and serves up a menu blending pub favourites (with a cottage country twist!), a seasonal selection of entrees and their incredible wood fired pizza. With Huntsville’s favourite musicians on tap, the Mill on Main is the perfect venue for a delicious meal served with a side of local live music!
If you decide to venture down Main Street on a Saturday night, and need even more music for your ears, the Huntsville Brewhouse is a must-stop. The extra-small batch brewing facility includes a full kitchen offering up delicious favourites like the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich and Big Shrimp Tacos. With live local musicians performing most Saturday nights, the Brewhouse is a new favourite to the downtown core.
Embracing Peninsula Lake, Deerhurst Resort is a year-round retreat for a Muskoka vacation or getaway to Ontario’s famous “cottage country”. Ideal for fun-filled family vacations, year-round getaways and meetings. This summer, Deerhurst is offering up a full schedule of live music. Stop by the Compass Grill & Bar on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or the Antler Steakhouse each and every Friday for incredible performances throughout the summer months.
Unique venues, top talent and the great outdoors – we’ve got it all! Plan an evening out or a week-long getaway to hear the classics or discover new sounds. Get up close and personal with local musicians, catch your favourite artist on the Algonquin Theatre stage or head outdoors and experience a great concert surrounded by nature. Whichever you choose, for summer fun and incredible live music, make Huntsville your destination.