Festival season is officially upon us, and there is no better way to kick it off then with Field Trip. The Festival’s fifth birthday took place in the heart of the Six in the shadow of the CN Tower at Fork York. It is immediately apparent when entering the grounds that this festival is unlike any other.
One of the best parts of the festival is clear from a quick glance at the lineup this year. As an All-Canadian radio station, we were very impressed with the festival’s focus on great Canadian and Toronto-based artists. In case you missed it, here is our Radio Humber Recap on the great Canadian music highlights from the weekend:
Day One kicked off with Nova Scotia natives Walrus greeting the slowly collecting crowd. As people began to shuffle in, the Manitoba men of Royal Canoe brought in the afternoon sun with bright indie pop. Matt Mays gathered a crowd at the Garrison stage with his mellow vibes, opening with his 2012 hit “Indio” that had everyone singing and swaying. Later on, A Tribe Called Red brought the stage down with their signature high-energy electric DJ set with absolutely captivating dancers. The entire crowd was vibrating with their energy, in a set that became an instant festival highlight. The night closed with the headliner Broken Social Scene which closed the day with a legendary set. Feist joined them as a guest, as the multiple artists filled the stage in waves. Once the brass section joined, the entire crowd was floored by their talent and didn’t stop dancing.
Despite weather scares, Day Two turned into a beautiful (albeit muddy) day. Toronto’s own Jaunt eased the crowd into the day with their chillwave electro-pop beats. They were followed by the Edmonton brother-sister duo Tennyson who played electronica looped lullabies for the sleepy Sunday crowd. Meanwhile TOBi brought some relaxed soul to the Fort York stage. Hannah Georgas followed, rocking out in a romper on the Garrison stage. She played a lot of new music that had the crowd waking up and dancing along. Timber Timbre brought their Psychedelic folk vibes to the Fort York Stage. Humber Jazz alums BADBADNOTGOOD closed off the Fort York Stage with a show-stopping set, and then welcomed Charlotte Day Wilson to the stage for a few final songs as the stage filled with smoke. The crowd was star-struck and left in a sunny Sunday haze.
Lastly, Feist lived up to her new album’s name by giving the entire crowd at the Garrison stage pure pleasure. The crowd was completely packed anticipating the arrival of the Canadian queen who had given a brief preview the night before. She appeared in a hot-pink dress and played tunes that had the entire audience speechless. She played off of her new album Pleasure but also indulged the audience by taking us in a time machine to a few of her old hits. The crowd roared when she closed the set with her 2007 smash hit, “1 2 3 4”. She engaged and asked everyone to sing along as she ran off stage and left the entire audience in awe of her presence.
The music was amazing. However, this festival is so much more than the music. One of the most impressive things about it is how family friendly it is. Firstly, kids under 12 get in for free. Secondly, they have an entire Day Camp set up for kids. Here they feature kid-friendly programming and even pre-teen bands that are sure to be the headliners of the festival one day. They also have craft booths, playgrounds, and a field full of hula-hoops (although I have to admit I was a frequent attender of this station and it wasn’t JUST for kids ok.) All generations are running around at this festival, creating max relaxed summer vibes all weekend long.
There were also many local organizations who were supported by the festival. When you go through the main entrance, you are greeted by the friendly faces of Cycle Toronto who provided free bike valet services the entire weekend. Other local organizations were supported by the festival, including the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund which provided educational information and dreamcatcher making workshops.
Another highlight of the Festival was the Food Trucks. A few Toronto classics showed up including the Caplansky’s truck which served up some serious smoked meat all weekend long. Toronto’s own Food Dudes who were popular for their deep fried Mac and Cheese Balls and their fresh Captain Crunch fish tacos. Curbalicious also showed up, serving its ever innovative and delicious culinary creations. I had the honour of trying their famous Butter Chicken and Naan Nachos and they were one of the highlights of the food at the festival.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend. The weather held out and the overall experience is unlike any other festival. The Field Guides helping everyone around and the people working at the water station were the true heroes of the weekend.
Thanks, Field Trip! Can’t wait to see what adventures you plan for us next year!