NXNE 2016 – the festival of many lands – June 13-19
There is the Port Lands, Club Land, Game Land and Furture Land. With no radius clause, no application fees for performers and specifically curated performances, NXNE is heading back to it’s roots with some twists.
Each event is individually ticketed and features some unique line ups with special help from local promotion company Collective Concerts (owners of The Horseshoe Tavern and Lee’s Palace).
There is a strong emphasis on Hip Hop with acts such as Schoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah and Tenor Saxophonist Kamasi Washington who has played with Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg and Flying Lotus.
“The world is looking at Toronto right now for hip-hop — we are literally one of those moments,” he says. “Liverpool in the ’60s, Detroit in the ’70s, Manchester in the ’80s, Seattle in the ’90s — Toronto right now is a musical epicentre. And I don’t see a huge reflection of that in what I’m seeing booked around me. And I saw that with total respect for the colleagues in the business. I think we’re going to really highlight this moment in time in Toronto.” Told festival Director Michael Hollett to Exclaim in March of this year.
Title sponsor Budweiser is predictable but there are some other not so common ones such as Express 111 Fifth Ave. NYC, Daniels WJ Poperties and Travel Texas, in conjunction with NXNE’s long standing partnership with SXSW no doubt.
Overall the entire festival is looking like one giant experiment. Where should you go and how do you get in?
Things you need to know:
Located in a parking lot near the building formerly known as Sound Academy, the exact address for Portlands is 51 Commissioners Street off Cherry Street. There will be live music (approx. 8 acts per day) June 17 & 18 until 11pm. There will be art installations, craft beer options and food trucks. TTC will have extra buses on, UBER has agreed to some special Valet services and there is a huge parking area. The price is $99.50 GA or $64.50 each day. VIP options are also available.
2. The conference is only 1 day
Known as Future Land, the conference portion of the festival takes place on June 15 at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication & Design (Ted Rogers School Of Management 80 Gould Street). There are sessions throughout the day but the main speaker is Nolan Bushnell founder of Atari and Chuck E Cheese. The focus of Future Land is to bring awareness to musicians about the gaming industry and the many potential money making avenues within that industry. Tickets are $80 and there are no delegate passes.
3. The are still club shows
There is still an impressive list of club shows going on, in what’s been labelled Club Land. Tickets range from $13.50 for up and comer indie acts to Jazz/Hip hop cult crossovers like Kamasi Washington who are selling for $29-$49. Who’s playing when and where?
4. YDS is still a thing
Known as Game Land, the website claims that YDS will be “the biggest E-Sports event ever in Canada.” What the heck does that even mean? Well…from June 16-18 there will be live gaming on the big screen and some lucky fans will have a chance to play against Celebrity Gamers. Who exactly are these Celebrity Gamers? We still don’t know, but Damian Abraham from Fucked Up is scheduled to be there. There will also be unknown bands playing at certain times throughout the day. This might be a good chance to discover some hidden gems.
5. There are no wristbands
“We don’t want people stuck on the sidewalk with a pass.” explains festival director Michael Hollett on a phone call with The Scene. “When we did Future Islands at The Tattoo in 2014, a lot of people who paid for wristbands were unable to get in, due to capacity. We don’t wanna misrepresent who we are and what we are offering. So this year each event is ticketed. Which means if you buy a ticket, you are going to get in.”
Still no word on whether or not there will be some secret all access badge available to insiders.
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for a chance to win a pair of passes to Port Lands.