A weekly feature that highlights the 10 best music happenings in Toronto. Here’s what’s on this week, Aug. 1 to 7.
Boots & Hearts A major modern country blowout, featuring ten-gallon talents Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes and many more. July 31 to Aug. 3. $99.99 per day (passes sold out; children under 12 free). Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ont., bootsandhearts.com.
Smokey Robinson Never mind using a GPS device to find your way to the casino, just follow the tracks of the Motown hit-maker’s tears. Aug. 1, 9 p.m. $39.40 to $68.65. Casino Rama, Rama, Ont., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
5 Seconds of Summer The Aussie rockers not only open up for English boy band One Direction (Aug. 1 and 2, Rogers Centre), but also give a free noon-hour show this Friday in the parking lot at MuchMusic headquarters (299 Queen Street West). Aug. 1 and 2, 7 p.m. $53.85 to $115.95. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Irie Music Festival An island music happening counts Caribbean soca queen Alison Hinds (Friday), Jamaican reggae star Richie Spice (Saturday), soulful singer Etana (Sunday) and Messenjah member and Bob Marley enthusiast Errol Blackwood (Monday) as its nightly headliners. Aug. 1 to 4. Free. Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., iriemusicfestival.com.
Island Soul A four-day free affair includes events of Caribbean music, food, dance and film, including Saturday’s screening of the Jamaican music documentary Legends of Ska (Studio Theatre, York Quay Centre, 5 p.m.). Aug. 1 to 4. Free. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen St. W., 416-973-4000 or harbourfrontcentre.com.
Bear’s Den The British alt-roots outfit does gentle instrumentation, light harmonies and elegant melodies. Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons would be proud to call them their sons. Aug. 2, 7 p.m. $16.50. Mod Club, 722 College St. W., ticketfly.com.
Veld Music Festival The unavoidable Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea, cast for a cameo appearance in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7 action film, is Sunday’s headliner at a a two-day fest of electronic dance music. Aug. 2 and 3, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. $239.50 to $299.50 (two-day pass; no single-day tickets). Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Rd., veldmusicfestival.com.
OVO Fest The Toronto-bred U.S.-based rap star Drake hosts an annual homecoming event that has reunited Hey Ya!-hitmakers Outkast as Sunday’s headliner and Drake himself as a featured performer on the event’s second day. Who else plays is anybody’s guess, but if Beyoncé and Jay-Z show up on Monday, no one should feel surprised. Aug. 3 and 4, 7 p.m. $66.50 to $174.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Bobby Long All scratchy voice and crunchy guitar, the New York-based English artist is a rock-Americana balladeer in the vein of Tom Petty. Aug. 6, 8 p.m. $12. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042 or thedrakehotel.com.
Emma-Lee The supple-voiced siren kicks off her month of Wednesday supper-hour shows. Aug. 6, 6 p.m. PWYC. Cameron House, 408 Queen St. W.416-703-0811.
Devin Cuddy Band The son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy launches his winningly bluesy album Kitchen Knife, produced by the Rodeo’s Greg Keelor. Aug. 8, 10 p.m. $8. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 416-598-4226.
Toronto Summer Music Festival To Aug. 12. Various venues, 416-408-0208 or torontosummermusic.com
Summerworks Music Series Aug. 8 to 14. Various venues, summerworks.ca
Alanis Morissette Aug. 15. Casino Rama, Rama, Ont., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca
Edgefest 3: Our Lady Peace, Sloan, I Mother Earth Aug 16. Echo Beach, 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca
Greenbelt Harvest Picnic: Bruce Cockburn, Gord Downie & the Sadies, Ray Lamontagne Aug. 23. Christie Lake, Dundas, Ont., harvestpicnic.ca
Sam Roberts Band Aug. 30 and 31. Key to Bala, Bala, Ont., thekee.com
Muskoka Sound Music Festival: Shad, Serena Ryder, Hawksley Workman Sept. 12 to 14. Huntsville, Ont., muskokasound.ca
Sandbanks New Waves Festival: The Hylozoists, Bry Webb, Cuff the Duke Sept. 13. Sandbanks Provincial Park, Prince Edward County, Ont., sandbanksnewwaves.com
Johnny O’Neal Oct 2 to 4. Jazz Bistro, jazzbistro.ca