33 Free Concerts to Catch at Yonge-Dundas Square This Summer
Chevrolet Indie Fridays are back at Yonge-Dundas Square and there’s something for every music lover. This year, YDS is hosting the concert series in association with SHED/Universal Music Canada. Chevrolet Indie Fridays highlights some of the best Canadian performers in various genres, giving a spotlight to some incredible music. Each show is free and will take place every Friday, so you’ll be sure to find your new favourite artist.
1) Janette King
Hailing from Montreal, this singer, producer and DJ will showcase her upbeat, soulful stylings. Having just released her latest EP, 143, King has been praised by critics across the country.
2) Logan Staats
Since becoming the first-ever winner of The Launch, Staats has been wowing audiences across the nation with his unique folk stylings. Here’s hoping he plays his #1 Canadian hit, “The Lucky Ones.”
3) Wake Island
Originally from Beirut, this electronic duo now splits their time between Montreal and New York. Blending Detroit techno with sounds of the Middle East, their original sound is all their own. Their upcoming album offers songs in English, French and Arabic, showcasing their unique perspective.
4) Keita Juma
He may have grown up in England, but Keita Juma has been a part of the Toronto hip hop scene for the past 10 years. His experimental approach to hip hop blends electronic and alternative sounds, most notably on his latest album Young Zen Mode.
5) Locals Only Sound
This artist project and producer collective was first conceived by Gray Hawken and Curtis Smith while they were in high school. Ever since, they’ve been lending their production talents to various artists while releasing music of their own. They combine their love for R&B and alt-electronic music to create their overall vibe.
With her warm, soulful sound, Surauchie has been creating beautiful R&B since 2017 when she released her debut EP Misguided. Lending from an old-school R&B sound, Surauchie still brings a modern vibe.
7) Cassie and Maggie
Straight out of Nova Scotia, these East Coast sisters are putting their own unique stamp on the Canadian music scene. While singing in both English and Gaelic, these award-winning artists take a modern approach the traditional sounds of Canadian Celtic music.
8) Devin Cuddy
Devin Cuddy is no stranger to the folk music world, having grown up watching his father, Jim Cuddy, gain international recognition for his band Blue Rodeo. Devin has been working hard to connect with audience members in the city, while carving his own path in the music industry.
Growing up in Victoria, B.C., Kandle first made a name for herself in the Montreal music scene. Since the release of her first album In Flames in 2014, Kandle has been gaining recognition throughout Canada for her unique pop/rock sound.
10) Kris Barclay
Kris Barclay has been performing his music for audiences over the past eight years, gaining a following of loyal country fans. With a carefree approach to songwriting, he hopes to connect with listeners on different levels.
11) Sons of Daughters
Hailing from Vancouver, this country duo moved to Nashville to hone their sound. Since then, they’ve captivated audiences with their unique harmonies and gritty edge.
12) The Beresfords
Having first burst onto the music scene in 2014 with their debut EP, this brother and sister duo has been making a name for themselves in Canadian country.
13) Common Holly
Born in New York, but raised in Montreal, Common Holly (AKA Brigitte Naggar) creates a textured, electro-acoustic sound that sets her apart from other singer-songwriters.
14) Skye Wallace
Having lived all over Canada, Skye Wallace has been inspired by the many genres and sounds that exist throughout the nation. This unique blend of inspiration has led her to create a powerful rock sound that is completely her own.
Having first met in 2014, Deelo and Julian Strangelove began making music in 2017 as the Canadian duo, Garcons. Strangelove was impressed with singer Deelo’s style and range, prompting them to create music together that lives outside a specific genre.
16) Caribean Acoustic Ensemble
This four-piece band brings together Kali Thurton, Danny Rebel, Ross Whiteman and Wayne Stoute who bring their unique backgrounds to create a unified sound.
17) Carol Brown
Brown has been performing since the 60s, having first started in her hometown in Jamaica. For the last 40 years, she’s been sharing her musical gift with audiences across Canada.
18) Moses Revolution
Growing up in Trinidad and Tabago, Anthony Moses Lewis has been sharing Soca and Calypso music with international audiences for the past 40 years.
Up-and-coming in the Canadian reggae scene, Reggadiction brings a refreshing new sound. Their Neil Young reggae tribute album has already received rave reviews.
21) Naya Ali
Montreal-based, Ethiopian-born, this MC first burst onto the scene in 2017 and has since been working hard to get her name out. She’s currently working on releasing her first full-length album.
Over the last few years, this Francophone rapper has been creating waves in the Quebec music scene. He has established himself as one of the top French Canadian rappers.
Afrofuturist B-boy and DJ, Shah’U first came to recognition in 2015 with the release of debut EP, launching his career in dance music worldwide. Since then, he’s been taking risks with his music, known for his wild remixes and original tracks.
24) DJ NDN
Known for his time in Tribe Called Red, DJ NDN's music draws attention to important political issues.
25) Korea town Acid
Based in downtown Toronto, this DJ and vocalist improvises her beat manipulation, creating an exciting and captivating set.
26) Myst Milano
Since 2016 this DJ/ rapper/ producer has become well known in Toronto for her high energy, thought-provoking sets
Born and raised in Toronto, LoLo has been making a name for herself over the last year as one of the top artists to watch. Her catchy production and relatable vibe have helped her rack up over 3 million streams on Spotify.
28) Madison Olds
Madison Olds is quickly becoming recognised throughout Canada as a talented acoustic singer-songwriter, with her single “Moments in the Mountains” getting lots of television and radio play.
29) Neon Dreams
This Halifax duo have been enjoying steady success since breaking onto the scene in 2014. Known for high-energy live performances and catchy, cross-genre music, this band’s upcoming full-length album is highly anticipated.
30) Aline Morales
Brazilian-born, Toronto-based artist Aline Morales has been wowing Canadian audiences for nearly a decade with her unique Brazillian folk sound.
This Mexican-Canadian sister duo, have been performing their music (both in Enlgish and Spanish) throughout North America for the last few years. Inspired by Latin American icons from the 70s and 80s, these sisters have been critically acclaimed for their work.
Fusing Afro-Cuban roots with jazz and folk, these performers hope to spread love with their original sound.
For more information on Chevrolet Indie Fridays, visit here.
Robyn Bell is a freelance writer in Toronto.