Published on May 30th, 2013 | by Noelle0
NXNE 2013: Setting Toronto Alight From June 10-16
North by Northeast! It’s not just a small gust of wind blowing, but a veritable tornado of a music festival. From June 10th to the 16th, thousands of bands and artists will be traveling to Toronto as the festival known as NXNE takes the city by storm. NXNE began in 1995, based on the ideas behind SXSW. Since then, each year, NXNE has hosted an incredible diversity of talent, and grown ever larger. This year, over 1,000 bands will be taking over the city along with 30 films, 150 comedians, 65 interactive sessions and countless art installations. NXNE may be the underdog in the fight against the behemoth that has become SXSW, but over the past 19 years, it has certainly gained a lot of momentum and stands defiantly apart.
Last year I stumbled upon NXNE unexpectedly, finding myself in Toronto to see Radiohead, when I found out the Flaming Lips were playing a free show. This also happened to be the first year that folks from TrulyArts and TrulyNet attended. Before long, fellow concert goers and friendly Canadians had explained to me the magnitude that is NXNE: dozens of shows happening on any given night in darkened clubs, with plenty of like-minded musically-curious people, and entertainment everywhere you look. Literally, last year there were shows in venues as varied as garage roofs, cruises in the bay of Lake Ontario, beaches and, of course, the infamous Yonge-Dundas Square.
Yonge-Dundas Square, if you are unfamiliar with it, is essentially the Times Square of Toronto and plays host to the headlining shows each year during NXNE. This year, highly anticipated headliners include The National, Dan Deacon, Social Distortion, Big Boi, Braids, Mickey Avalon and Wintersleep. And those are just the headliners playing YDS. At over 50 venues scattered across the city, over a thousand other bands will be performing- day and night- throughout the week-long festival. Artists like Buke & Gase, Supersuckers, Mikal Cronin, St. Lucia, Joey Bada$$ and countless others. You really have to check out the site to see for yourself – you’re bound to stumble across plenty of bands you’d likely make that special trip for. As previously noted, NXNE will also be populating Toronto with tons of film showings, art installations, comedy acts and interactive sessions. The interactive session schedule- think TED talks- looks solid, with Etsy and YouTube big names amongst topics like Grant Writing and Community Building.
On the film side of things, NXNE will be showing short films, music video premiers, documentaries and everything in between. When mapping out your week of activities, make time for the world premiere of Authentic: Young Rival’s Journey Through Canada, which follows the indie rockers as they tour across our neighbor to the North. Or, for something on the shorter side, check out the theatrical debut of the music video Silver Trembling Hands by The Flaming Lips. Another film to look for is The Rolling Stones – Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965, which is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the Rolling Stone member.
Lastly, if you’re looking for some laughs, NXNE has got you covered with over 150+ comedy acts, from Canadian Comedy Award winner Debra DiGiovanni to up-and-comers like Alex Pavone. For a full list of artists, the schedule, news, and ticket information check out the NXNE website. Tickets and passes are available now, ranging from $20 for Spotlight show tickets and $25 for a film festival pass to the $275 Priority Pass that gives you front-of-the-line access to everything. We look forward to covering the shows, the talks, the art, and more- live from Toronto in just a couple of weeks!