Winnipeg: The Next Rave Destination of Canada

Winnipeg: The Next Rave Destination of Canada

by: Desa Desautels


When you think of Canadian cities known for their vibrant music scenes and thriving nightlife, Winnipeg may not be the first to come to mind.

However, this prairie city is poised to become the next rave destination of Canada.

With its unique blend of music culture, an emerging electronic dance music (EDM) scene, and a growing community of passionate music enthusiasts, Winnipeg is primed to be on your festival bucket list.


1. Diverse Music Culture

Winnipeg boasts a rich and diverse music culture that draws from a wide range of influences. This melting pot of musical genres creates an environment where creativity and experimentation thrive.

Whether it's hip-hop, indie, rock, or electronic music, the city's music scene is a testament to its inclusivity and openness to different styles.

Having different music festivals for all of these genres really helps diversify the audiences but at the same time, bring everyone together.

For example, Winnipeg Folk Festival has been around for decades and brings together everyone who loves folk music with its many stages, headliners such as Vance Joy, The Barenaked Ladies as well as Elle King.

But despite it being a "Folk" festival, they have nighttime stages that include different genres like street music, jazz and even EDM.


2. Emerging EDM Scene

The electronic dance music scene in Winnipeg is on the rise. Local DJs and producers are gaining recognition on the national and international stages.

For example, Winnipeg based DJ, Andrew Lampa is taking on the music scene by storm and is gaining popularity on music services like Spotify faster than he can produce music.

Events like the annual MEME (Manitoba Electronic Music Exhibition) Festival and various club nights dedicated to EDM are gaining popularity.

Winnipeg's EDM enthusiasts are dedicated and passionate about the genre, and they're attracting attention from DJs and artists from around the world who come here frequently and play sold out shows.

3. Unique Venues

Winnipeg is home to an array of unique venues that provide the perfect backdrop for rave events.

From repurposed warehouses to intimate underground clubs and outdoor spaces, the city offers a wide range of options for event organizers to create unforgettable experiences. The gritty, industrial charm of some of these venues adds to the overall mystique of the rave culture.

Even unlikely venues like the Assinaboia Downs, a horse racing track gets turned into a massive rave festival around 3 times a year and brings in some of the biggest DJ's.


4. Supportive Community

The key to any thriving music scene is a dedicated and passionate community, and Winnipeg has just that.

Ravers, DJs, producers, and event organizers work together to create a welcoming and supportive environment for electronic music enthusiasts.

This tight-knit community encourages both newcomers and veterans to get involved and be a part of the movement.

Winnipeg even has a PSA service (Project Safe Audience) where volunteers gather to hand out candy, ear plugs, condoms, narcan and do drug testing, and more all for free to keep the Winnipeg EDM community safe.

Winnipeg even has many Facebook groups that help out the EDM community with its many users all wanting to help out and spread the word on events, tips, tricks and helping answer questions that one might have.

5. Music Festivals

Winnipeg is no stranger to music festivals, and these events have played a pivotal role in the city's growing reputation as a rave capital.

In addition to MEME Festival, the city hosts various other music festivals that feature electronic dance music as a significant component.

These festivals serve as a platform for local talent to shine and for attendees to immerse themselves in
a weekend of electronic music.

Summer Of Sound is the biggest EDM festival in Winnipeg, bringing in thousands of attendees and bringing big names as well to perform. More festivals have also been created to host thousands all year round including Together Again, that was
invented after the COVID pandemic and Winnipeg's first EDM Festival after the pandemic and Frost which is an indoor music festival during the colder months.

Some of the bigger names that have come to play these festivals have been Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Loud Luxury, Wax Motif, Felix Cartal and even Nostalgix in the recent years.


6. Accessibility and Affordability

Compared to other major Canadian cities, Winnipeg offers a more affordable and accessible option for both event organizers and attendees.

Lower costs mean that smaller, independent organizers can thrive, and ticket prices remain reasonable for a diverse demographic, ensuring that raving in Winnipeg is not an exclusive affair.

Some raves hosted by the famous Always Dale's for example offer tickets to shows at popular venues for as low as 5$. Bring Your Love offers 4 day camping for just over 200$ which includes 4 days of music, your camping, art installations, workshops and more.

There are even frequent events at the downtown venue called The Exchange Event Center that often does free shows, hosting Felix Cartal, Borgore, Nostalgix, Vinai and more big names.

There are a number of affordable shows going on every weekend and they usually bring in a large audience which helps solidify the fact that Winnipeg is an affordable city.


In conclusion, Winnipeg's rise as the next rave capital of Canada is driven by its diverse music culture, the emergence of its EDM scene, unique venues, a supportive community, a growing number of music festivals, and its accessibility and affordability.

With all the ingredients in place, Winnipeg is set to become a shining beacon on the Canadian rave scene.

It's time to keep an eye on the prairie city as it takes its place among the top rave destinations in the country.

Get ready to experience the heartbeat of the music underground in the heart of Canada!


About the author: Desa Desautels

Desa Desautels is a Winnipeg raver, only starting her rave journey in 2019 while working for the biggest EDM event in Manitoba as a Stage Technician. Since then she's still been working in the rave scene doing photography, videography and marketing for every major rave group in the city and now has started her DJ journey this year as Dj Double D after her childhood nickname.

She'll help out the community whenever she can, including writing blogs, making posters for events and helping set up and tear down events.


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