June means summer, and summer in Toronto means festivals galore!
With so many exciting events happening nearly every day, summer should really last six months longer! (You hear me weather gods?! Let's get organized and sort out nine months of gorgeous weather so I can do everything this city has planned...)
In June alone we've got Bestival, NXNE, Luminato, Pride, and the return of ROM Friday Night Live. Each of those festivals could keep you busy for weeks so here's a little rundown to help you prioritize your social calendar.
Until June 26
Friday Night Live is back! Every Friday night from now until June 26th, the Royal Ontario Museum is opening its doors and inviting the best local musicians, DJs, food trucks, and bartenders to get the party started throughout the museum's many galleries. Who wouldn't want to sip a cocktail, learn about planet Earth, and dance the night away next to some dinosaur fossils? For full details check out this post from FNL's last incarnation.
Bestival is one of Toronto's most eclectic music and arts festivals. Escape to the Island for two days of music and creative expression. In addition to the usual live bands and DJs you can also expect body painting, kitting and crochet lessons, meditation, a costume parade, and more! "Brilliant and bizarre" outfits are the style trend of the weekend, and "glitter and sequins are encouraged". As for me, I'm most looking forward to seeing Florence + the Machine, and Owen Pallet perform live. For info and tickets click here.
NXNE is known for being one of Canada's best music festivals, but it's also a great place to check out film screenings, art installations, comedy shows, and panels. If you're sick and tired of spending every music festival lost in the crowd, then NXNE has got the perfect afternoon planned for you! On Sunday June 21st local live karaoke band "Good Enough" will be performing in Yonge/Dundas Square and anyone can sign up for the chance to sing their heart out on the festival's biggest stage. Live karaoke will run all afternoon from 12pm-5pm, but all singing spots will be booked in advance. Click here to find out more and get your name in the line-up!
Luminato is another festival that encompasses just about every art form and fosters interdisciplinary creativity. At Luminato you can expect to experience music, visual art, dance, theatre, film, performance art, food, literary arts, and talks on all of the above! I'm excited to check out Contemporary Color, a performance art piece created by David Byrne of Talking Heads and featuring popular artists like Nelly Furtado and St. Vincent. It's said to be a fusion of sports, music, dance, and pep rally spirit which showcases 10 high school colour guard teams from across North America. For details and tickets click here.
Toronto Pride Week is one of the world's largest celebrations of diverse sexual and gender identities with an estimated attendance of over 1 million people! The week-long festival features live entertainment, a street fair, discussion panels, countless parties, and plenty of events to raise awareness and promote human rights. Be sure not to miss the famous Pride Parade on June 28th! For full festival details click here.