This weekend marks the 15th annual Wavelength Festival and the celebrations are well underway. For those of you not in the know, Wavelength is a non-for-profit that aims to highlight all the exceptional talent Toronto has to offer, that often goes overlooked. They're about the weird stuff and help foster the scene and arts community. Not to mention the festival runs Valentines Day weekend, when often some good music and good people are what we need the most. Respect.
The past couple of weeks have been full of rad events at Huntclub where they've set a Pop Up, featuring tons of packed showcases and some free talks worth checking out. There's also a sweet $3 pre-party Thursday the 12th (tonight) featuring Speedy Ortiz, WISH & HSY (RSVP now) at The Garrison. The festival kicks off Friday night at Sneaky Dee's with a bunch of local acts covering other local heroes. Saturday, the festival takes over the Polish Combatants' Hall with my babes ginla and Lowell. Things close up Sunday with a bang. Fresh Snow, New Fries, Mozart's Sister and more, not to mention the 4am last call. You can check out the full line up and all the sweet deets over at this link.
And as we celebrate this 15th Wavelength Festival, we also look back and go HOLY SHIT FUCK YEAH WAVELENGTH RULES! In honour of this here Wavelength 15, I thought what better time to look back on one of my fondest Wavelength memories and some photos from the final ALL CAPS! Island Festival. Thrown by Wavelength , ALL CAPS! was held annually at Artscape Gibraltar Point on the Toronto Island from 2009 - 2013. While I sadly only made it to the final year, it lives forever in my heart. A great weekend of memories soundtracked by choice tunes, ALL CAPS! stands next to Sappy Fest and Iceland Airways in my top 3 best festivals. What SXSW has in hype and VIP blah blah blah, ALL CAPS! matched in CHILL VIBE, good people, awesome music and then some. It was also the only time you were technically allowed to camp on the island. The festival was also "technically" Saturday & Sunday but if you got a camping pass you could come Friday night which was when (sorry if this is too cheesy) the magic begun...
Riding the ferry out of the city towards the island at sunset was stunning. Like... crazy beautiful. Like... so pretty. Like... my heart was exploding. Just melting really. It was mid-August and the perfect mix of warm wind. Talk about setting the scene for the weekend.
Upon arriving on the island it was totally tent times. Set up them tents. I was super excited.
So very hype.
After settling in and linking up with friends/making some new ones via tent help set-up, we went down to the beach where Lemon Bucket Orchestra were welcoming us with some crazy sounds. Horns! Accordion! Gypsy punk tunes man. Say what you will, it's some fun stuff.
Their set ended and off went fireworks. ALL CAPS hadn't even officially begun, but that doesn't mean you can't start things with a literal bang. Like, ARE WE IN A MOVIE WHY IS THIS ALREADY SO CUTE?
Classically, the dude with a guitar around a campfire is annoying and maybe kinda sucks, but seeing as a bunch of the bands playing the festival were also camping on the island, the late night campfire sing-a-longs till sunrise were actually great. We drank. The campers got to know each other. We were all friends by the morning.
Benefit of camping of the island? Waking up & already being on the festival site. Biking around and adventuring. Going to the beach. Swimming in the lake. Hanging out with babes.
Justine is a true hippy & is allowed to wear flower crowns.
The first official ALL CAPS set that I caught on Saturday was Toronto duo Most People. The electro-indie dance dudes released their self titled debut in the winter of 2012, stream it from their bandcamp yo. They're actually playing Wavelength 15th this Friday, covering Broken Social Scene. Neat!
Local electronic pop experimentalists ev re whun followed. They make the kind of stuff that is both chill and hype at the same time. Check out their new track "Namazu" to hear what I mean.
Vancouver post-pop indie-rock kids beekeeper slammed it down. Fun fact: Devon (playing on the left above) interviewed me on his old podcast The Exploding Sandwich back in 2010. I'd link you to it but it's probably super embarrassing...
Shotgun Jimmie played to some amazing fans who came dressed in homemade Shotgun Jimmie shirts and drunkenly sang-along to every song.
We joined in. Enthusiasm is contagious!
My dear friends Alex and Kathleen are great dancers and so good at having fun.
Giant Jenga break. I love giant Jenga.
Hooded Fang kept the dancing vibes going.
By the end there was a nice lil mosh pit.
The Blow closed up the mainstage that night with a bunch of fun weirdness.
So many moves and crazy crowd surfing .
She ended her set by taking off her pants and dancing but not in like a "sexy" way more of a wild toddler taking control way. It was amazing. We all headed down to the beach where DJ Eytan Tobin did it up.
There was more campfires and the most magical Cher dance party.
Another late night. Another sunrise.
After waking late on Sunday, I was more than happy to stumble down to the beach & enjoy Eons.
The waves crashed along the shore as they played.
It was lovely calm Sunday.
We watched the sunset.
Catl rocked out.
Rich Aucoin closed up the festival with his trademark interactive good times. So much crowd surfing. Parachute popcorn. Posi vibes x a million. Way too fun.
ALL CAPS all in all? All love.
Taking the ferry back to the city that night it almost felt unreal.
Thanks for the memories Wavelength! Looking forward to making more. See you this weekend!