This year, NXNE decided to shake things up a little and ended up (seemingly) changing anything and everything we knew about the festival. We don’t like change (too exhausting). Buuuuuuut, we’re also not one to miss a great party. So we said to ourselves, let’s not knock it ’till we try it, mmm k? And we command you to do the same. So, here we go.
First of all, despite everything being confusing as F**K at first glance, it ain’t that bad. There are various sections, which they are calling “lands” (very Disney World-esque) and they differ in location, schedule and ticket pricing.
1. Port Lands
Set up at 51 Commissioners St, this is where the bigger acts will be. You’ve got 2 days of all-day music, from 1:20pm until about 11:00pm, for which you can buy passes for one or both days.
2. Club Land
Resembling more what we’re used to from the festival: shows playing all around town, primarily at night, sometimes up until 4:00 am. Tickets are sold on a per-show basis.
3. Game land
Situated at the Yonge and Dundas Square, you know what the deal is here: Get. There. Early. NXNE is also going a bit beyond music this year, hosting live E-sports on location. Music loving Gamers, this is your new fav spot. Oh and yes, the shows are free.
4. Future Land
Here, it’s all about the conferences. One day only (Wednesday, June 15th) at Ryerson University and the cost per ticket hits $80. If this isn’t breaking the bank for you, check the entire schedule and location here.
It might be skinnier version of NXNE this year, but don’t be mislead, there is still a bunch of stuff to see and you won’t get to catch it all. One must therefore make wise choices and we’re here to help! Here are a few acts that sparked a little light in our hearts.
Wednesday, June 15th
TUNS @ 10:30pm | The Garrison
Thursday, June 16th
Punk fans unite: Bionic is getting back together with its original line-up and for one wild night only (HOLY!), followed by hardcore shoe-gaze slacker punk band Yardlets, comprised of members of BSS and The Stills. Make room for crazy-good riffs and unintelligible lyrics.
Friday June 17th
Frisky Kids @ 5pm | Dundas Square
Hailing from Montreal, Frisky Kids are relatively new but already known around the block for bringing an epic on-stage energy which transpires onto the crowd. You’ll be grooving in the sun, and lets face it, ain’t no better way to start a weekend. Am I right?
Escondido @ 9:30pm | Lee’s Palace
Sprussing for Nashville, TN, this alt-country duo, whose songs have been featured on shows from the likes of Girls and Sex Tape, will get you right down to a sexy, smoky groove.
Kevin Morby @ 10:15pm | The Great Hall
Formally part of The Woods and The Babies, Morby is now on his third (successful) solo effort, reminiscing all the good sides of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
The Brains @ 12am | Hard Luck
If rockabilly/psycho/punk is more what you’re vibing, these Montreal folks famous for their on-beat performances will shout the old-school right out of your faces.
Ghostface Killah @ 9:30pm + Schoolboy Q @ 7:30pm | Commish Stage
Ghostface Killah shaped, nay, revolutionized 90s Hip Hop along side RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (to name a few) as part of the infamous group Wu-Tang Clan. EVERYONE on the planet has heard of ’em. Needless to say this will be one heck of a Rap galore. #wutangforever
Saturday June 18th
Father John Misty @ 9:30pm + Mother Mother @ 6:40pm + Land Of Talk @ 2:20pm | Commish Stage
Has Father John Misty gone too cool to be cool? No way! Also, Land of Talk (whom we love!), Mother Mother (amazing unique melodies) are just great acts to catch under the sun.
Born Ruffians @ 8:10pm + The Zolas @ 5:30pm + HIGHS @ 3:30pm | Canal Stage
Pulling out the big guns with indie-rock, catchy beat machines, Born Ruffians will hit the stage with The Zolas, who will bring fresh indie pop to your happy hour. Highs is also on our list of what to watch out for. How will we ever manage.
Zeus @ 9pm | Yonge-Dundas Square
Another huge showcase here with rapper Zeus to end an evening of festivities in the large square.
Michael Rault @ 11:30pm + Kandle and the Krooks @ 12:30am | The Horseshoe Tavern
If you don’t know Michael Rault, it’s time. With its lo-fi 50’s and 60’s-inspired sound, it’s a show that will make you stomp your feet in a trippy vibe. And don’t miss Kandle and The Krooks right after; there’s no better way to hit the stroke of midnight than alongside her dark, moody and catchy songs.
The Black Fever @ 2:25am + Good Kid @ 12:45am | The Silver Dollar
Proposing something very English-y and UK-inspired, The Black Fever, although Toronto locals, will likely give you another kind of fever (#Hello), while the super, SUPER, fun boys of Good Kid will have you dancing (jumping?) to some lively, upbeat sounds, strongly recalling Bloc Party with a tiny touch of early The Strokes. Tempting huh?!
The So So Glos @ 11:50pm + Big Ups @ 11:00pm | Smiling Buddha
The good ol’ vibes of punk rock are pretty much a guarantee of an evening well spent. Brooklyn’s The So So Glos will serve you a burning dish of melodies and fast-paced rythms. In the same line of thought, Big Ups will also push the right buttons. Promise.
Acid Dad @ 11:15pm | The Great Hall
With a debut EP that was released at the end of February, you won’t need much to be convinced. Acid Dad is pretty much NYC-flavoured psych-punk that hits in all the right places.
Sunday, June 19th
Nails @ 10:20pm + Full Of Hell @ 9:30pm + God’s Hate @ 8:45pm + Eternal Sleep @ 8:00pm
For those of you wishing to end the weekend in a quiet, smooth way, check out Hard Luck‘s line-up consisting of peacefully-named bands (Sarcasm 101, just in case you didn’t catch that).
Monday, June 20th
Gatorade. Bagel. Sunglasses.
Good luck at the office. #Detox
About Caroline Royer
NUMTL Founder and Editor-in-chief, Caroline is an Ottawa-born Montrealer who has spent the better part of her life playing and listening to music. Otherwise, she is a diehard Sens fan, freakishly into architecture and industrial design and terrible at staying put for more than 5 minutes.