The 30th season of Budweiser Stage opened this past weekend.

My first show at one of my favourite venues was in the sophomore season of 1996. Back when it was named Molson Amphitheatre, I caught the Allman Brothers and had my first experience of a welcomed lake breeze cooling down a hot summer night. Two nights later, I caught a fine Steely Dan show. Setlist.fm, where I try to track all the shows I’ve attended, tells me I’ve seen 37 artists at Bud Stage. Digging deeper through the concert list, there were many more I wish I had attended. David Bowie on the Area: 2 tour in 2002? Dolly Parton in 2005? Tom Petty in 2006? What I would now give to see those then. But among my faves that I was lucky to see were Richard Thompson in 2016, Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Festival in 2018 and the many times I saw my childhood idols, Rush. Looking at this year’s lineup, it’s not just FOMO that will have me out a half dozen times or so. It’s the amazing artists that are helping to make the 2024 series the best yet. Have a look here for the complete list.

Despite Blue Rodeo playing the storied venue a staggering 24 times (and will be returning for a 25th on August 24th), Canada’s favourite grandpa, Neil Young kicked this iteration off before returning on July 8. This year boasts 70 shows spanning all modern genres including many Canadian performers. One of these artists performed twice during the inaugural year, once headlining and a second time for the groundbreaking Kumbaya Festival that seemed to feature every Canadian artist of 1995. Can you guess the artist? The answer will be revealed at the end of this post.

Each year since being named Budweiser Stage in 2017, Live Nation has tweaked and improved the venue bit by bit. Last year’s addition of a proper water station near the front gates was welcomed and needed. Many would love to see a second one on the west end of the venue. The variety of food and beverage options has increased over the years. This year, for imbibers, the venue has partnered with Aperol Spritz and local distillers, Spirit of York. For us teetotalers, more non-alcoholic options will be made available including mocktails and juices from Well Juicery.

This year, Sarah McLachlan celebrates the same anniversary as the Budweiser Stage for her Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour, first performed back in ’95. Bookending a fantastic career, her show on June 19 makes it her 17th. After 30 years of being the bellwether of summer’s open and close, this year continues an exciting trend of amazing shows at a beautiful music venue. With such a diverse roster of artists, music lovers from Toronto and abroad are counting the days to their first shows of the year.


Aron Harris
Aron Harris is ADDICTED Magazine's music editor as well as a contributor. As a graphic designer, writer and photographer, you can find his work all over ADDICTED. He also geeks out over watches, pizza, bass guitars and the Grateful Dead.
Aron Harris

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