Your Guide to the Roots North Music Festival

Your Guide to the Roots North Music Festival

The Roots North Music Festival returns to Orillia and Lake Country this week, offering over a dozen music venues to check out over four days and a mix of paid and free live performances!

If you’re wondering how best to experience all that this iconic lake country music event has to offer, we have you covered! Check out our guide to experiencing the Roots North Music Festival.

The Main Stage

Headliners hit the stage at the historic St. Paul’s Centre in downtown Orillia on Friday and Saturday evenings. Main stage performances are an annual sellout, so grab up the final few wristbands (just $65 for the entire weekend!) at now. Performers include:

  • The Redhill Valleys

    Friday at 7:30 p.m.
    This Hamilton-based music group balances earthy harmonies, rootsy guitar licks, and timeless lyrics to form what audiences are calling “Americana alt-country music.” This powerhouse troupe is well-recognized amongst the country music scene, winning first place in the American Songwriter Magazine lyric contest and earning nominations for “Best Group” and “Best Roots Artists” at the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards for three years in a row.  

  • Bleeker

    Friday at 8:45 p.m.
    Orillia-born rock group Bleeker offers a fresh new vision for Canadian alt-rock. Juno and Canadian Radio Music Award-nominated, this group brings a stadium-sized spirit during their live performances with modern anthems that promise to get you out of your seat.

  • Spencer Burton

    Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
    Solo country singer-songwriter and member of indie rock band Attack in Black, Spencer Burton is known for his introspective and poetic lyricism, earning a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination and critical acclaim amongst the folk-country world. 

  • Julian Taylor

    Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
    Referred to as “a unique and important voice on the Canadian roots and folk scene” by The Globe and Mail Canada, Toronto-born singer-songwriter Julian Taylor expertly blends roots rock with folk, soul, and jazz, formulating magnetic live shows that are never the same. Recipient of the Solo Artist of the Year Honour at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, two Juno award nominations, and a Polaris Music Prize nomination, Taylor is an electrifying musician that can blend decades of music like no other.

  • Begonia

    Saturday at 9:00 p.m.
    Pegged as Canada’s breakout alt-diva, Begonia’s mesmerizing live performances and eclectic pop music styles have brought her critical acclaim. The artist’s accolades include a Juno nomination, two Polaris Prize nominations, multiple #1 CBC Radio songs, a listing on NPR’s Artists You Need to Know, and her newest album, Powder Blue was named one of CBC Music’s Best Canadian Albums of 2023.

Wristband holders have access to every headliner performance, along with the Roots North’s concessions bar, where local craft brews from Quayle’s Brewery will be on sale. Can’t make it for every performance? Don’t worry, Roots North is a one-of-a-kind, music-obsessed festival that encourages wristband swapping so every fanatic has a chance to take in a show.

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Art Market and Artist Merchandise

The Roots North Art Market is always a highlight during the festival, taking place onsite the main stage at St. Paul’s Centre where all visitors are welcome – wristband or not – to explore what unique, handmade items local artisans have for sale.

Select merchandise from performing artists will also available, along with one-of-a-kind Roots North Music Festival memorabilia, some of which you even get the opportunity to design and create on-site.

Free admission is available to the market from 6 to 10 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

The Roots Crawl

For fans, Roots North’s celebration of home-grown Canadian music is authenticated during the festival’s four-day-long music crawl, where pop-up performances take place at a variety of small business-owned restaurants, cafes, shops, and breweries. From brunch to cocktail hour, record stores to galleries, festival goers can choose from a wide variety of unique venues featuring both paid and free performances. Here’s what’s on the schedule:


  • Fare 
    Food & Drink | Waterfront
    Ft. Chris Lemay at 5:30 p.m.




Plan Ahead

Stay safe! Book nearby accommodation and transport before you head out.

Abby Taxi: Orillia and Lake Country, Toronto Pearson Airport
Orillia Taxi Services: Rama, Orillia, Coldwater, Cumberland Beach, Oro-Medonte, Washago
All Canadian Taxi: Rama, Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara
Uber: Orillia

Visit our destination pages to help you continue to plan your festival weekend:

Orillia | Rama | Ramara | Severn | Oro-Medonte

Photography supplied by Roots North Music Festival, not for redistribution.

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