NXNE raises the bar in 2010, 2011 festival dates announced [PSA]
Toronto, ON – Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham summed up a year of incredible growth for North by Northeast (NXNE) while speaking with AUX TV last week saying, “It’s gone from being a little Toronto festival to an amazing destination festival.”
NXNE’s 2010 lineup of musicians featured a sampling of Canada’s best musicians, such as Japandroids, Besnard Lakes, and Elliott Brood, and also the newest and most exciting acts from the U.S. and the U.K. – including Les Savy Fav, Man or Astroman, Cold Cave, Surfer Blood, Thee Oh Sees, Comanechi and Turbogeist with visiting musicians representing 15 countries, from the Netherlands to Malta. During the 7-day festival running June 14-20, 2010, more than 250,000 fans saw over 650 acts on 50 stages, including a 40% increase in attendance at Yonge-Dundas Square, NXNE’s premier festival location.
In his preview piece for Metro Canada, Toronto journalist Cam Lindsay noted the shift in the festival’s focus: “As more than 650 acts prepare to play dozens of downtown venues this week, NXNE re-brands itself as an exhibition for some of the most buzzed about bands in the world.”
The combination of outstanding artists, a sold-out Interactive conference, high-profile film premieres, and an expansion from five days to a full seven days of programming made this the biggest and most successful festival in NXNE’s 16-year history. The highlights for many were the free concerts at Yonge-Dundas Square, including mainstage shows from X, Mudhoney, K-os, Sloan, De La Soul, Phenomenal Handclap Band and the Raveonettes – and a blistering 90-minute set from punk-rock icons Iggy and the Stooges for 25,000 lucky fans who thronged the heart of downtown, shutting down Yonge Street and packing the main intersection in Canada’s largest city for the biggest free rock concert in Toronto in the last 40 years.
The NXNE Film Festival spread over four days and five cinemas to screen 40 of the most fascinating music-themed films, including rock & roll vampire flick Suck, and the Canadian premieres of acclaimed features This Movie Is Broken and Stones in Exile. The Film Festival drew record crowds, with a 50% increase over 2009 attendance.
The NXNE Conference built on the best elements of previous years, including the Town Hall state-of-the-industry debate, music-lifestyle trade show NXPO, and the Day Stage, showcasing up-close live sets from festival bands. New for 2010 were the NXNE Record Show and the “FM USA” Music Meeting, an in-depth examination of American radio.
The first-ever NXNE Interactive (NXNEi) sold out a week ahead of the event. The three days of workshops, panels, and keynote addresses drew enthusiastic responses from participants and presenters. An expanded event is already in the works for 2011.
Beyond NXNEi, 2010 marked the festival’s total immersion in the online world: NXNE reached over 5,000 Facebook fans, with almost 4,000 Twitter followers watching closely for announcements about secret shows and special guest appearances. Over 10,000 people downloaded new NXNE mobile apps for iPhone and Blackberry.
Finally, the 4th annual NXNE “Put The Boot In” charity soccer match benefiting Right to Play quadrupled its fundraising take to $12,000. Musicians, media, and celebrities marked the end of the festival with a hard-fought contest at BMO Field decided on penalty kicks with the 3-2 win going to the “The World” team over “The Rockers.”
Over 700 NXNE staffers and volunteers fueled the festival. NXNE 2011 is scheduled for June 13-19, 2011, and artist submissions open in October 2010.
Visit NXNE year-round at http://www.nxne.com.