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Looking around the room I could not turn my head 30 degrees without my eyes finding another friend’s shit-eating grin. On the second Friday in August, concert promoter and resident of Georgetown, Jordan Brown opened the doors to Joy Fest 2014, the first annual festival celebrating the lives of three young people that were dreadfully cut short earlier this year.

In early March 2014, Alysia Graham, Jordan Boyer and Katie Charron, all in their early 20’s were killed in a house fire near Dovercourt Rd and Dupont St in Toronto along with the house cat. See full story here:

On August 8th their friends got together to commemorate their lives through the one undeniably universal human connection: music. 15 bands and four DJ’s loaded their gear into Georgetown’s Nashville North, an assortment of genres from ska to pop punk to hardcore to EDM (thankfully no country) illuminated the hall as the community raised a glass and moved their feet for the three people not fortunate enough to make it there.

Most of the day ran without a hitch as bands and audience members enjoyed afternoon beers in the patio and backyard shenanigans with volleyballs and supersoakers. Many of the bands on the bill were close friends and it showed, as they crowded the stage when their peers were playing and goofed along the sidelines to help keep the energy high. The day went on and everyone got more and more drunk, little attention was paid to the scheduled timing and more thought power was focused towards having fun. Of course, two concertgoers had to dampen spirits just a little by being drunkenly violent; they were escorted off the property by authorities. Unfortunately for the electronic music fans, the DJ’s were not allowed to play as the owner of Nashville North shut the concert down with no notice shortly after midnight. “I wasn’t told a specific reason. Which really sucks because it was ARYAY’s first time in Canada and he didn’t get to play the festival,” Brown said, however the community continued to support the cause. “One of my friends was kind enough to let him spin [at their place].”

Brown says that at the peak of the day the concert hall saw 482 people, more tickets were sold as people bought without intentions to go but wanted to support the cause. The proceeds will donated in consideration with the victim’s parents to where they see fit.

Overall, the day was quite a success. I could not find one person visibly or verbally having a terrible time. Friends were reuniting over cigarettes and as the sun went down fire pits on the patio lit up.  Brown had booked a number of hotel rooms at the Best Western around the corner for the out of town musicians and friends to stay the night, where we continued the party long into the early morning.

Words and interviews by Griffin Elliot

Filmed and edited by Joel Thomson