9 Festivals to Hit This August 2019 in Kingston

By Jordan Whitehouse

Four music festivals keep the rhythm alive this month, while the Princess Street Promenade, Kingston Women’s Art Festival, and The Kick & Push Festival make their return.


Photo via The Kick and Push Festival Facebook

The Kick & Push Festival

Until Sunday, August 11, 2019


Back for its fifth year, this unconventional theatre fest features award-winning Canadian and international works across eight downtown venues. The point is to challenge what theatre is or could be, so don’t be surprised if your seat isn’t in an auditorium. Take “Tales of an Urban Indian” for instance (pictured), the story of an Indigenous man who grows up on the reserve in British Columbia and in Vancouver. It’s staged on a moving city bus that visits locations matching those of the play’s plot. 

Prices vary

Princess Street Promenade

Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm

Princess Street

Kingston’s main drag will be closed to traffic between Ontario and Division Streets once again this August for this bi-annual street fest. Local businesses, community groups, and restaurants will replace all of those wheels with activities that have, in the past, included everything from robot demonstrations to a climbing wall to pop-up food events. 


Photo via Wolfe Island Music Festival Facebook

Wolfe Island Music Festival

Friday, August 9 – Saturday, August 10, 2019

St. Margaret’s Hall, Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island’s yearly indie music fest is heading completely inside this year. “It is going to be a hall party!” says the festival’s artistic director Virginia Clark. “Lots of fun and super intimate with a great mix of local artists with some Canadian legends.” The Sadies (pictured), NQ Arbuckle, and Emilie Steele will be there on Friday, while on Saturday the lineup includes Born Ruffians, Ice Cream, Charlotte Cornfield, and Jim Bryson. Local food vendors will be there too, as will MacKinnon Brothers Brewing, Collective Arts Brewing, Oasis Juices, and Top Shelf Distillers. 

$40 – $65

Photo via Little Caesar Press

Emerald Music Festival

Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11, 2019

Amherst Island

The other island-based music festival this month happens on Amherst Island on a 100-acre beef farm facing Lake Ontario. Expect a range of musical styles at this one, including country, Celtic, bluegrass, and 50s rock ‘n’ roll. Sixteen bands will take to the stage over the three days, including Saturday’s headliner Little Caesar & The Consuls (pictured), a rock ‘n’ roll dance band that once included Robbie Robertson and, decades ago, shared the stage with The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones.  

$15 – $50 

Photo via Flickr CC

Kingston Sheep Dog Trials Festival

Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11, 2019

Grass Creek Park

More than 7,000 people are expected at this three-day sheep corralling competition that attracts visitors and handlers from all over the globe. Dock Dogs Worldwide and Kingston Police’s K-9 team will be there to perform, too. Plus, bring your own dog to the trials, and let them loose on the canine adventure lure course and in the doggie playzone. There will be a marketplace onsite as well, where you can pick up anything your furry friends might need. 

$8 – $15/day

Photo via Downtown Kingston Facebook

1000 Islands Poker Run

Friday, August 16 – Saturday, August 17, 2019

Confederation Basin

More than 80 powerboats from across North America will be on Kingston’s waterfront this August. Get up close to them at the docks on Friday night while enjoying the live music, and then head back on Saturday for the big race. The boats will take off at 10 am, dashing to five checkpoints throughout the 1000 Islands where drivers draw a playing card at each. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run. Saturday night’s festivities will include more live music in Confederation Park.


Photo via MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Facebook

Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival

Sunday, August 18, 2019, 11 am – 10 pm

MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company, Bath

This big ol’ field party is back for its fifth year at the MacKinnon bros’ brewery just outside of Bath. The live music is the big draw, which this year includes rockers The Beaches, Fast Romantics, Brother Elsey, Chris Koster, and eight other acts. But there will also be lots of craft beer of course, plus food trucks, brewery tours, and games for kids and adults (giant Jenga, anyone?). Check the website for the shuttle bus details from Kingston. 


Photo via Kingston Women’s Art Festival

Kingston Women’s Art Festival

Sunday, August 18, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm 

City Park

What started in the late 1970s as a small fest with about 50 artists has grown into one of the biggest art fests of the year in the city. It now features over 200 female artists working in everything from sculpture to photography, a full day of music and dance, a silent auction, a children’s activity area, local food vendors, and over 4,000 visitors. After expenses, all monies raised are donated to organizations that support women and children who live in Kingston and the surrounding area. 


Limestone City Blues Festival

Thursday, August 22 – Sunday, August 25, 2019


Over 100 hours of live blues music will be pulsating from downtown parks, clubs, and street stages once again. The big headliners this year include New Orleans-born Kenny Neal (pictured), who recently won the Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year Award at the Blues Music Awards (Saturday, Springer Market Square); Kansas City’s Danielle Nicole, who won the Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year Award at this year’s Blues Music Awards (Friday, Princess Street Stage); and Australia’s Lachy Doley, who’s been called the “Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ” (Thursday, Confederation Park).  

$20/all-access bracelet 

Clear some space this month for Kingston concerts!

10 Can’t-Miss Concerts this August 2019 in Kingston