Five Must-See Acts at Ontario's Highlands Music Festival 2024

See Donovan Woods, Kevin Morby and more in Palmer Rapids, ON, from September 26 to 29

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Jun 15, 2024

Highlands Music Festival is a four-day festival at a summer camp that offers a slightly different format from the typical folk festival.

The event takes place in Ontario's Haliburton Highlands from September 26 to 29, at Palmer Rapids' Camp Walden — a long-running camp that has hosted summer programs for kids since 1970.

These campgrounds will be turned into a music festival for the event, which, compared to other fests, will feel a bit more like summer camp. For one thing, the capacity is limited to a maximum of 500, with camp-style meals and basic accommodations provided as part of its one-price-fits-all ticket.

The goal is to evoke the intimacy of 1960s festivals, when many events were relatively stripped-down compared to the mega-festivals that are so popular today. With three stages and an impressive lineup of Canadian and international performers, it's a unique opportunity to get face-to-face with artists in an intimate setting while surrounded by the gorgeous Ontario wilderness.

There are over 17 unique performances set on all three stages. Tickets for Highlands Music Festival are available now, and Exclaim!'s five must-see performances can be found below.

Georgia Harmer
A true artist's artist, Georgia Harmer — yes, of that Harmer family — was a stand-out favourite back when we asked Canadian musicians about their favourite albums of 2022, as both Tim Baker and Dan Mangan shouted out her genre-spanning folk rock debut Stay in Touch. Check out her set to find out what some of Canada's foremost musical talents already know.

Nora Kelly Band
We've known Nora Kelly's talent for a few years now, which is why we had her as part of our Class of 2022 concert series. Since signing to Mint Records for 2023's Rodeo Clown, audiences have been discovering the vulnerable grit of the Montreal band's alt-country tunes.

Kevin Morby
From Brooklyn buzz band the Woods to the woods of the Haliburton Highlands, Kevin Morby is one of the indie underground's most respected singer-songwriters — a true "if you know, you know" talent whose folk rock tunes are constructed with classic craftsmanship and avoid sounding overtly nostalgic or affected.

Donovan Woods
He's become one of Canada's most respected songwriters, notably catching the ear of country megastar Tim McGraw, who recorded Woods's song "Portland, Maine." Highlands is a unique opportunity to see the esteemed artist in intimate, stripped-down surroundings.

Jonah Yano
Jazzy Toronto songwriter tells deep, complex stories — both in the lyrics of his songs, which explore family history and the memories of his grandparents, and in the crossover jazz beauty of arrangements created with BADBADNOTGOOD on last year's portrait of a dog.

Tour Dates

Latest Coverage