I could hear the bass as soon as we loaded onto the Ferry, and it got louder as we got closer to the gates. People were strutting to the lines and bobbing their heads before they had legitimately arrived. I got there in time to catch the end of Nitin‘s set around 4:30 p.m., which was pretty much when the pouring rain came down on us. The crowd screamed in excitement and the groove kept coming regardless. He played some techno and chill house.
The event itself was extremely organized. The staff was super friendly and talkative, while the police officers were seen standing around everywhere and casually bobbing their heads to the beat. I checked out the food trucks, and found some tasty smoothies and fresh cut fries. People had blankets set up in the grass for the picnic-feel festival while others found it really easy to walk their way through the crowd to the very front without pushing or shoving. The atmosphere was perfect for the long weekend.
My Favorite Robot came up to the stage next and opened with a progressive ambient introduction. The vocals were soothing although hard to hear at first, but it only got clearer and better as they continued. Throughout their set, more people continued to pour into the festival.
I took another walk around and found Beer Pong tables set up for people to play, as well as a lounge area with comfy cots that were never crowded and almost always available when we felt like relaxing. There were lots of performers doing acrobatics and poses I couldn’t even imagine attempting. As well as Hoola-hoopers and glovers who were scattered among the crowd. I didn’t see a single “neon bro” the entire day, as I’m guessing they were all pooped from the Veld weekend.
After My Favorite Robot’s set, Mayoral Candidate and former Member of Parliament Olivia Chow came to the stage and gave us a powerful speech about how amazing our festival is and how she hopes to have Toronto overthrow Berlin and be named the top city of music and culture in the world.
We are unique, we are special… our grandparents came from all over the world… and we partied and we lived in harmony! It is so stunning that we can party like this and we need to thank the promoters, the organizers… even the bar folks, we thank them! With your passion you stopped the rain! With your passion and commitment, Toronto can overtake Berlin as the Music city Centre! – Olivia Chow
Her speech got everyone riled up for the next act, Bob Moses, whom I unexpectedly really liked. Originally from Vancouver/NYC, Bob Moses really knew how to mend their talents of alternative rock and alternative electronic. It was funky, earthy, and fresh. I had never heard a sound quite like theirs. By then, the rain had stopped and the guitar would echo off the island, trying to find its way to the city. I feel like they could have played for the rest of the night and I would have continued to stand there satisfied and sway until they stopped.
Maya Jane Coles came on around 8 p.m. and the crowd was significantly more rowdy and excited with her presence on stage. I could tell she was all good vibes as she had her personal friends and family on stage with her, and the moral support easily rubbed off onto her set. She played a lot of UK garage and chill/deep house tracks, nothing commercial sounding or identifiable. The best part was that it didn’t even matter. Nobody was waiting for a specific song to be played; we all enjoyed everything. I had never interacted with a crowd so grateful and appreciative until Electric Island.
Maya Jane Coles played til the end, as headliner Seth Troxler didn’t show up to the festival, which was a disappointment for many people who came mainly to see him. It was slightly ironic as Troxler is known for overstepping his opinions and critiques of other artists, but it’s clear he needs to focus on himself and stick to his commitments before stating harsh opinions of commercial DJs. He stated on Facebook the day after the festival,
I would like to offer deepest apologies for everyone who turned out to see me in Toronto last night, only to discover I was stuck in NYC. Personal problems meant that I had to stay in New York, so sorry I missed a gig I’d been looking forward to for months. I will be returning to Toronto for a make-up show. – Seth Troxler via Facebook
The view was fantastic, the weather didn’t matter, the vibes were great, the people bonded, and the music never stopped. My first experience at Electric Island reminded me a lot of the vibes from OSHEAGA in Montreal, which was scarily similar as they both take place on an Island that overlooks the beautiful city.
I hope you’re ready for the last Electric Island this summer, as it takes place Labour Day weekend on Monday September 1st on Toronto Island. This is the final instalment for the 2014 event. The licensed concert and picnic series will feature artists Tale of Us, Jamie XX, Hot Since 92, Terence Kissner, Gera, Members Only, and Simon Jain. Early bird tickets are only $35 which includes your ferry ticket! It’s quite a deal, especially in comparison to other festivals in the area. You can buy tickets here.
If you attended this Electric Island, check out our photo album and see if you can spot yourself!
Serafina Thoma – EDM TOR