The CBC Music Festival kicked off the summer with a bang over the weekend and highlighted all the amazing local talent the nation has to offer! Featuring performances by Hey Rosetta!, Alvvays, Tokyo Police Club, Whitehorse, and many more, the day was packed with great music and good times.
Maestro kicked things off and got the party started with an energetic performance for the early birds that made it to the festival just as it was starting. As people began piling into the festival grounds, Maestro got the crowd excited and set the bar high for the rest of the day’s performances.
Tanya Tagaq hit the Main Stage next and gathered quite the crowd to watch one of the most unique performances of the day. The fully improvised set combined traditional throat singing with elements of modern music for a performance full of raw energy and emotion. It’s safe to say that Tanya Tagaq’s set was one of those rare moments where you witness authentic, passionate artistry manifesting before your eyes.
Meanwhile, John River began playing at the Second Stage and dazzled the crowd with his charisma, energy, and good humour. For those who had never seen the rapper before, it’s clear that they were instantly hooked as the audience began dancing and letting loose throughout his set.
Whitehorse took over the Main Stage with their bluesy, grassroots tunes that were the perfect soundtrack for a hot summer day. The duo played some songs from their recently released EP,such as “Nadine” and “My Babe” as well as a number of their own original tunes. Switching between drums, keyboards, guitars, and vocal loops the duo commanded the same amount of presence as a full band which only speaks to their creativity and versatility as musicians.
Tokyo Police Club were up next and brought the party to the festival with their catchy indie rock tunes. Infectious hooks, upbeat tempos, and an energetic stage presence kept the good vibes going throughout their set. Playing hits like “Not My Girl” and engaging with the crowd, Tokyo Police Club showed their fans some love and kept the crowd pumped throughout the whole show.
Zaki Ibrahim took over the Second Stage and put on a show like no other. Joined by some stylish back-up singers and clad in matching space leggings, Ibrahim brought true festival vibes to Toronto. Powerful vocals, sassy choreography, and Ibrahim’s inviting presence got the crowd dancing and grooving along in no time.
Alvvays hit the Main Stage and the crowd was buzzing with excitement. Hitting the perfect balance between light-hearted indie and catchy pop beats, Alvvays played a show that set the perfect mood for the festival. As the crowd jumped and bobbed along to the music, it was clear that Alvvays were one of the fan favourites of the day.
Fresh off the release of her latest album, Megan Bonnell was charming the crowd with her heartwarming tunes over at the Festival Tent. Infectious hooks and relatable lyrics make Bonnell’s music so accessible, but it’s her soft vocal tone that captivated the crowd and drew the interest of festival goers who kept piling in to watch her set.
The Franklin Electric began their set at the Second Stage and played a captivating show full of a diverse set of tunes. Ranging from heartfelt ballads to upbeat folk numbers, the Montreal based group effortlessly commanded the attention of the large crowd that had gathered around the stage. In no time, everyone was swaying and singing along to the music.
Meanwhile, the sun was beginning to set around the festival grounds, creating a beautifully serene view.
Headliners Hey Rosetta! took over the Main Stage to close the festival with an amazing show. Set up amidst a unique stage of light bulbs that flickered and lit up between songs, the band began to play their set as the crowd continued to grow. Although the audience was packed, it felt like an intimate show as everyone from the festival came together to watch the band. Offering a mix between softer heartfelt tunes and driving upbeat numbers, Hey Rosetta! were the perfect end to an unbelievable day.
The CN Tower and the lake also offered a beautiful view for those who chose to enjoy the music from afar.
Aside from amazing music, the festival also offered arts and crafts and hosted a number of unique vendors.
And that’s a wrap for this year! Thanks to CBC Music and all the talented artists for the incredible experience. See you next time!
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I’ve been involved in music my whole life and have developed a passion for helping out or working in the industry any way I can. I’m interested in helping talented artists gain the recognition they deserve in this crazy business. I am currently studying Communication Studies at York University in Toronto, and working at a local theatre doing marketing and communications, as well as helping out a local festival called Rock the Coliseum. Indie, alt-rock/pop, and metal are my favourites but I’m open to all music genres! If I’m not at a show, I’m doing yoga, grabbing coffee, or looking for some craft beer.