All throughout the next week, Color contributor Aidan Johnston will be blogging daily from the NXNE Festival in Toronto. Make sure to check back everyday for great photos, stories and reviews from around the festival!
“Check 1. Check 1, 2. CHECK”—The ritualistic echo from Roadies practicing in front of their mirror has begun to reverberate on the outskirts of Toronto. Meanwhile, throughout the heart of the city, late night food vendors prepare for their busiest week of the year. Shwarma shops double their preparation of garlic sauce, hot dog stands feverishly restock relish, and poutine spots order enough potatoes to risk another famine. NXNE is coming...
The week-long music showcase has arrived with a posse of 780 bands and an extended 4am last call at bars, sending Toronto into a frenzy that makes you wonder how other metropolis’ can even function with regular liquor licensing hours. For the next few days, every inch of venue space will be filled with bands, parties, screenings and panels, and I'm getting prepared just in case a chip-run to 7-11 results in me stumbling upon one of the festival’s many ‘secret shows.’ And if a friend says they’ve been getting a lot of ‘new perspective’, I'll understand that their not talking about a fresh outlook, but a new band from Brooklyn.
Music is launching a full-scale takeover and one to which I’m gleefully submitting. With acts running the gamut from bandcamp hopefuls to more “Oh yeah, that’s my grammy award on the mantle” established artists, this event is as grand in diversity as it is in scale. But which bands are destined for the year-end Top 10 lists? Who will be on your local cafés playlist, solidifying that they’ve ‘made it’? And what hologram artist will beam in this time for a one-off performance? Only time will tell, but trust in me to be your NXNE correspondent, biking, cabbing and crawling my way across the town to deliver coverage that's as unofficial as an after-party.
Stay tuned for the next 7 days, as Aidan will be bringing new music to your ears and introducing you to your next favourite band. If you're in Toronto and are planning to attend, check out this interactive map of venues across Toronto and plan your nights with the 'Schedulizer' here.