Hillside Festival 2023
Friday: Gates open at 4:30 PM, Programming starts at 5:30 PM
Saturday: Gates open at 10:00 AM, Programming starts at 11:00 AM
Sunday: Gates open at 9:00 AM, Programming starts at 10:15 AM
Festival closes at 11:00 PM on all days
Get your wristbands at the Gate Tent
The Gate Tent in the mainland parking lot is your point of entry to Hillside. There you will receive your wristband after parking your car or getting off the free shuttle bus from downtown.
Wristbands or laminates are mandatory to get into Hillside. There is no wristbanding along the causeway to the island.
If you are camping in the park, you will need to go to the Gate Tent before heading onto the island.
All performers and media must check in at the Delta Hotel to pick up their festival ID and package, whether they are staying there or not. All volunteers must check in at the Gate Tent to receive their wristband.
Arriving by car
There is a parking charge of $10 per day or $25 for the weekend, which helps subsidize the cost of the shuttle buses. Mainland parking is in the fields beside the Gate Tent. Please slow down and be ready to purchase your parking pass. Note that cash will not be accepted. Park, then walk to the Gate Tent to exchange your ticket for a wristband.
If you missed the parking pass people, you can purchase a parking pass at the Gate Tent. Don’t forget to return to your vehicle and put the pass on your dashboard.
Please don’t leave your vehicle idling. Park in temporary parking, not the Emergency lane, and get your wristband at the Gate Tent. Please remove your car from temporary parking after checking in. If you drive to your campsite first, you’ll still need to go to the Gate Tent to gather your wristband.
Getting to the island
Hop on the free shuttle bus to the causeway or walk down the Green Path. Please show your wristband to the Welcome Crew as you cross onto the island.
Arriving by bus
Hillside provides free shuttle bus service to patrons and volunteers using Guelph Transit.
The bus leaves downtown Guelph from Guelph Central Station, Platform 14 every half hour—see the weekend schedule below.
Hillside ticket holders: Exchange your ticket for a wristband at Guelph Central Station before boarding, then stay on the bus all the way to the island entrance.
To purchase, pick up tickets, or register as a volunteer/vendor: Exit the bus at the Hillside Gate Tent to get your wristband or badge, then take a shuttle bus or walk to the island entrance by following signs from the Gate Tent to the Green path.
FYI: Wait times for the bus may be long at the end of the night due to limited space in the conservation area and the number of people at the festival. Please plan accordingly.
Toronto shuttle bus
The Hillside Toronto Shuttle bus is back! The Toronto shuttle to and from Hillside leaves the Dufferin Mall at 3 pm on Friday, July 28th and leaves Hillside Festival camping (off the island, by Main Gate) on Monday, July 31st at 10:30 am sharp. Cost for the round trip is $35 plus HST. This is the only bus that takes you directly from Toronto (Dufferin Mall) to the Hillside Festival at Guelph Lake Island. All other buses from Toronto just take you to downtown Guelph. This one also takes you back to Toronto on Monday morning.
Arriving by bicycle
Park your bicycle in Henry Kock’s Bike Lot on the island, a fenced-in area where volunteers can help you find a sawhorse to which you may lock your bike. They can also provide mechanical support in the way of tools. The Bike Lot includes a small area for checking unlocked bikes. You are encouraged, however, to bring a working lock, as the festival cannot assume responsibility for missing bicycles. Before you fly down the causeway to the Island Bike Lot, please pick up your wristband at the Gate Tent on the mainland. Slow down at the island entrance to show the welcome crew your wristband.
Join the organized bike ride
The Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association partners with Hillside to conduct organized bike rides leaving from the bike lot area of the festival at night. The rides are led by trail patrollers to help ensure safe passage back to downtown. The distance covered is roughly 10 km. Please email [email protected] if you have questions.
Every night, the ride from Hillside to Guelph departs at 11:15 pm from the Bike Lot. Roads will be used for the entirety of the ride back to St.
The law requires the following for cyclists, as per the Ministry of Transportation: a bell or horn, front and back light (or front and back reflector tape), and functioning brakes. Also, please wear a helmet for your safety.
You may be glowing inside after a fantastic day of music at Hillside, but if your bike isn’t lit up, no one will see your inner light. It’s one of those odd things we tend to forget if we cycle in the city: out here at Guelph Lake, it gets dark. Really dark. So, pick up a set of uber-cool, snap-on bike lights at the Info Booth.