TURF VS. RIOT

How do this week­end’s two big Toronto mu­sic fes­ti­vals com­pare?

Toronto Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - IAN GORMELY

There are two mu­sic fes­ti­vals in town this week­end, TURF (Fri­day to Sun­day) and Riot Fest (Satur­day and Sun­day). Which one should you go to? Toronto Ur­ban Roots Fes­ti­val What is it: Now in its third year, TURF is or­ga­nized by lo­cal con­cert pro­moter Col­lec­tive Con­certs and takes over Fort York, Fri­day through Sun­day. What ex­actly “ur­ban roots” means re­mains a mys­tery for the ages. Tar­get de­mo­graphic: 30-some­thing mu­sic fans who wor­ship at the al­tar of Un­cle Tu­pelo’s No De­pres­sion. The Heavy Hit­ters: Ice­landic in­diefolk he­roes Of Mon­sters and Men, leg­endary U.K. reg­gae act UB40. You might also have heard of Wilco, Lucinda Wil­liams and the Pix­ies. Mu­si­cal out­lier: Conor Oberst’s rau­cous, po­lit­i­cally charged band De­sa­pare­ci­dos. Un­der-the-radar lo­cals: CATL, Choir! Choir! Choir! Bang for your buck: $3.79 per band based on the $189.50 three-day gen­eral ad­mis­sion pass. Riot Fest What is it: Toronto edi­tion of a Chicago-based mu­sic fest, Riot Fest, held at Downsview Park Satur­day and Sun­day, finds a mid­dle ground be­tween Warped Tour and Lol­la­palooza’s alt-rock cir­cus in­car­na­tion. Tar­get de­mo­graphic: 30-some­thing mu­sic fans who wor­ship at the al­tar of At the Drive-In’s Re­la­tion­ship of Com­mand. The Heavy Hit­ters: A re­united Alex­ison­fire, Ran­cid per­form­ing their clas­sic 1995 al­bum and Out Come the Wolves. You might also have heard of Weezer and the Prodigy. Mu­si­cal out­lier: Staten Is­land hiphop le­gends Wu-Tang Clan. Un­der-the-radar lo­cals: Safe to Say, the Dirty Nil. Bang for your buck: $2.88 per band based on the $149.98 two-day gen­eral ad­mis­sion pass.

Ver­dict Although Riot Fest gets points for some ex­clu­sive book­ings, TURF’s lo­cal roots and ex­tended se­ries of re­lated club shows gives it the ul­ti­mate edge.

IGOR VIDYASHEV/KEY­STONE PRESS FILE PHOTO

Iggy Pop and the Stooges head­lined Riot Fest in Toronto last year. Big names for 2015 in­clude Ran­cid, Alex­ison­fire and Weezer.

EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IM­AGES FILE PHOTO

Eu­gene Hutz per­formed last year with Go­gol Bor­dello at the TURF fes­ti­val. Of Mon­sters and Men, UB40 and Wilco are among the main play­ers this year.

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