Kingston festival roundup (part 1)

By Lexy Correa

Welcome to Kingston, Ontario, a city known for its rich history, charming architecture, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Throughout the year, Kingston plays host to a variety of festivals and events that showcase the city’s unique character and spirit. From music and theatre to food and drink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In this festival guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most exciting and noteworthy festivals that will take place in the city in June and July.

Spring Reverb

Various locations | June 1 – 4, 2023

Spring Reverb is a four-day festival that promotes, develops, and showcases Kingston’s music scene. From intimate club shows to larger concerts at historic venues, Spring Reverb offers a diverse range of musical experiences for fans of all genres. In addition to the musical performances, the festival also includes artist Q&A talks, film screenings, and workshops, creating a multi-faceted experience that celebrates the city’s creative spirit.


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FOLDA: Festival of Live Digital Art

Isabel Bader Centre | June 7 – 10, 2023

FOLDA is an innovative and exciting event that brings together artists, performers, and creators from across Canada and beyond to showcase their talents and engage with audiences in new and exciting ways. One of the unique aspects of FOLDA is its focus on live digital art, which refers to any performance or production that utilizes digital technology in real time. This includes interactive installations, virtual reality experiences, live-streamed performances, and online gaming.

YGK Craft Beer Festival

Fort Henry | June 10, 2023

YGK Craft Beer Festival is a can’t-miss event featuring craft beer, food, and music. Attendees can sample a wide variety of craft beers from more than 20 local and regional breweries. With everything from IPAs and stouts to sours and ciders, there is something to satisfy every palate. The festival also showcases live music from local bands and features food from some of Kingston’s best restaurants and food trucks.

Princess Street Promenade

Downtown Kingston | June 10 and August 5, 2023

During the Princess Street Promenade, a section of Princess Street is closed to traffic for the ultimate outdoor shopping festival. Local businesses set up stalls and displays outside their stores, showcasing products and services for pedestrians. Enjoy live music, free samples, giveaways, kids’ activities, and great deals throughout the day. The festival provides an opportunity for people to explore downtown Kingston, discover new businesses and experiences, and connect with each other in a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Kingston Pride

Kingston Pride

Various locations | June 12 – 18, 2023

The Kingston Pride Festival is a celebration of diversity, inclusion, and acceptance. It provides an opportunity for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to come together and celebrate in a safe and welcoming environment. One of the highlights of the Kingston Pride Festival is the Pride Parade, which takes place on June 17. This colourful and festive parade, featuring floats, performers, and participants of all ages and backgrounds, is a powerful symbol of love and acceptance. The festival also features a range of other events, including concerts, drag shows, film screenings, and workshops.

Skeleton Park Festival

Skeleton Park Arts Festival

Skeleton Park | June 21 – 25, 2023

The Skeleton Park Arts Festival is a free, community-driven event that showcases a diverse range of local artists and performers. The festival features live music, dance performances, theatre productions, poetry readings, a vendor market, and more. Celebrating creativity and community, Skeleton Park Arts Festival provides an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and enjoy the arts.

Artfest Kingston

City Park | July 1 – 3, 2023

Artfest Kingston is a must-visit event for anyone who appreciates the arts and is interested in exploring the creativity of the region. The festival features more than 150 exhibitors selling a wide range of artwork, from paintings and sculpture to pottery, jewelry, and textiles. Artfest also provides the opportunity for visitors to connect with the artists, learn about their creative process, or even commission custom pieces.

Kingston Buskers Rendezvous

Downtown Kingston | July 6 – 9, 2023

The Kingston Buskers Rendezvous is a one-of-a-kind street performance festival that takes place in the heart of downtown Kingston. This festival brings together a diverse array of performers from around the world to showcase their unique talents and entertain crowds of all ages. Expect to see circus acts, comedians, musicians, and acrobats. Catch their performances on the streets, in parks, and on stages throughout Downtown Kingston, bringing energy and excitement to the city’s already vibrant streetscape.

Kick and Push Festival

Various locations | July 22 – August 19

One of the defining features of the Kick and Push Festival is its commitment to innovative and experimental performances. The festival is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional theatre and performance, and for bringing together artists from a range of disciplines to create unique and unforgettable experiences. The Kick & Push Festival tells old stories in new ways and new stories in old places, giving audiences a glimpse into cultural and historical spaces.