T. O. Notes

NOW Magazine - - CONTENTS -

34

Fate of Riot Fest Toronto up in the air The fu­ture of Riot Fest Toronto is look­ing un­cer­tain fol­low­ing a merger be­tween the an­nual mu­sic fes­ti­val’s lo­cal co- pro­moter and Live Na­tion Canada.

For the past four years, Cal­gary- and- Ed­mon­ton- based pro­moter Union Events has co- pre­sented the Toronto edi­tion of the in­de­pen­dent rock/ punk/ hip- hop- fo­cused fes­ti­val with the event’s Chicago- based founders. ( Riot Fest started in Chicago in 2005 and later ex­panded to Den­ver and Toronto. Or­ga­niz­ers part­ner with lo­cal co- pro­mot­ers when stag­ing the fes­ti­val out­side Chicago.)

How­ever, the com­pany’s Toronto of­fice was shut­tered last week af­ter Live Na­tion ac­quired Union’s fes­ti­val port­fo­lio, which in­cludes Cal­gary’s X- Fest and Chas­ing Sum­mer and Ed­mon­ton’s Sonic Boom.

A spokesper­son for Live Na­tion told NOW that the deal ex­cludes Riot Fest Toronto, “which will not be pro­moted by Live Na­tion Canada.”

Reached by NOW, Riot Fest’s Chicago- based founder could not con­firm whether the Toronto edi­tion would go for­ward this year, since or­ga­niz­ers are still ex­plor­ing their op­tions.

“We wish Union Events the best of luck in their new ven­ture,” Mike Petryshyn said in a state­ment. “They’ve been great part­ners and have be­come our close friends. We are still sort­ing through the fu­ture plans for Riot Fest in Toronto but would like to thank the fans for their sup­port th­ese past four years.”

The last Riot Fest Toronto took place at Downsview Park on Septem­ber 19 and 20, 2015, and at­tracted 20,000 peo­ple per day. The lineup in­cluded Motör­head ( it ended up be­ing their fi­nal show in Toronto), Alex­ison­fire, Weezer, Ran­cid and Tyler, the Cre­ator.

Dates and early- bird ticket info for this year’s Den­ver and Chicago edi­tions of Riot Fest have been an­nounced al­ready. Mean­while, the 400 shows cur­rently booked by Union Events across the coun­try for 2016 will go ahead as planned be­fore the com­pany’s tour­ing busi­ness tran­si­tions to Live Na­tion Canada.

Union Events founders and co- man­ag­ing part­ners Har­vey Co­hen and Nhae­lan McMil­lan, as well as “other key mem­bers of the Union Events team,” will join Live Na­tion Canada. Live Na­tion’s spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment on the num­ber of Union staffers laid off as a re­sult of the merger. Ri­hanna re­leases video shot at the Real Jerk If you’re a Drake and/ or Ri­hanna fan, you were prob­a­bly ex­cited at the news that the two were spot­ted at one of Toronto’s best- known Ja­maican restau­rants shoot­ing the video for RiRi’s new sin­gle, Work. It’s the first sin­gle off her NNNNrated record Anti.

Ac­cord­ing to the CBC, Drizzy is a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor at the Real Jerk on Ger­ard East in Riverdale, pop­ping in for take­out. Ri­hanna’s con­nec­tion to T. O. runs be­yond her friend­ship with the city’s most suc­cess­ful rap­per: the video for her very first sin­gle, Pon De Re­play, was shot in Toronto.

In the new video, Ri­hanna and Drake es­sen­tially turn the restau­rant into an af­ter- hours spot. Toronto- based di­rec­tor X was be­hind the cam­era and also helmed a se­cond, more in­ti­mate video for Work that plays im­me­di­ately af­ter the first. NXNE plots move to the port lands Or­ga­niz­ers of the an­nual NXNE mu­sic fes­ti­val are scal­ing down and re­lo­cat­ing from the city cen­tre to a pro­posed site up the street from Sound Academy in the port lands.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter from Ward 30 ( Toronto- Dan­forth) coun­cil­lor Paula Fletcher and Ward 15 coun­cil­lor Josh Colle ( Eglin­ton- Lawrence) to the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, the fes­ti­val wants to trans­form 155 Cherry into a con­cert venue and pro­duce two days of shows on June 17 and 18 that will draw 10,000 peo­ple.

The an­nual fes­ti­val – which is the sis­ter event to the SXSW con­fer­ence and fes­ti­val in Austin, Texas – pre­vi­ously hap­pened over five days and took over Yonge- Dun­das Square with free out­door shows in ad­di­tion to tick­eted gigs at clubs.

The city coun­cil­lors are ask­ing that the city des­ig­nate the fes­ti­val as a “cul­tural event of mu­nic­i­pal sig­nif­i­cance” and sup­port a NXNE stage in the port lands as a way to “spur tourism and cre­ate jobs.”

“The Toronto Mu­sic In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil was es­tab­lished to shape plans to po­si­tion Toronto as a lead­ing live mu­sic tourist desti­na­tion and pro­mote and foster Toronto’s vi­brant mu­sic clus­ter,” states the let­ter, dated Fe­bru­ary 10. “One way to achieve th­ese goals in­cludes sup­port for events such as Toronto’s North By North­east ( NXNE) Fes­ti­val.”

The let­ter also asks the gen­eral man­ager of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and cul­ture to re­port to the com­mit­tee on the sup­port the city of Austin gives to SXSW and de­ter­mine if com­pa­ra­ble sup­port can be of­fered to NXNE. Cage 292 be­comes Vinyl Col­lege and Spad­ina venue Cage 292 ( 292 Col­lege) is un­der new own­er­ship and re­brand­ing as Vinyl on March 10.

“We have taken over that ad­dress [ as] new own­ers,” says Tracy Lynn, a spokesper­son for Vinyl. “No af­fil­i­a­tion to the Cage. As for changes, renos are be­ing done and [ we’re adding] a dif­fer­ent sound sys­tem.”

The new space opens the week­end of the HiFi Mu­si­cal Ad­ven­ture, a new three- day in­die mu­sic fes­ti­val tak­ing over the Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket area from March 10 to 12.

The fes­ti­val also takes place at the Sil­ver Dol­lar, Han­dle­bar, Su­per­mar­ket and the Old Lau­rel and fea­tures more than 60 bands. The acts span a va­ri­ety of gen­res, but all are lo­cal and new­com­ers – aka “baby bands” – in the scene. Wrist­bands are $ 10.

hi­fimu­si­cal­ad­ven­ture. com. Dead­mau5- signed acts catch a bu5 Artists signed to home­town EDM hero dead­mau5’ s Mau5­trap la­bel are hit­ting the road on their clev­erly ti­tled Mau5hax Bu5 Tour. The trek kicks off in Toronto on Thurs­day ( Fe­bru­ary 25) at Uniun night­club and fea­tures pro­duc­ers and DJs At­t­las, Matt Lange, Rezz, Steve Duda and “a spe­cial gue5t.”

The tour also hits Hamil­ton, Mon­treal, New York, Philadel­phia, At­lanta, Mi­ami, Or­lando, Tampa and Tal­la­has­see and wraps with a se­cond stop in Mi­ami at the Win­ter Mu­sic Con­fer­ence in March. Along the way, the crew will pro­duce new mu­sic us­ing a one- of- a- kind mo­bile record­ing tour bus and stop at dead­mau5’ s Toronto home for a spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Tick­ets for the Uniun gig are $ 50 via Tick­et­mas­ter. More info at mau5­trap. com/ shows.

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