The Arts & Crafts: Field Trip music festival was probably one of the most eclectic and adventurous music festivals I’ve been to yet. Held in Fort York, the grounds were overflowing with wonderful activities to get involved with between shows, creating a truly cultural experience. Among the features were Absolut’s intricate bottle and light display, the Etsy Marketplace, Indie 88’s Refresh & Recharge Yurt, the tent of “Free Answers”, Fort York tours, an autograph tent, Artist features and multitude of delicious local food vendors and trucks. My personal favourite was the festival’s Day Camp and Mess Hall areas reserved for family-friendly activities such as the bouncing castle, along with a hula hooping field sponsored by Sugar Hoops. Really accentuating their family-friendly focus this year, Arts & Crafts succeeded in reverting all of its attendants to their lovely childhood memories.
A Tribe Called Red
One of the highlights of the festival was Saturday’s A Tribe Called Red who tore it up at the Fort York Stage! Combined with the beautiful weather, the band’s energizing sound lifted the crowd into an outright dancing spirit. Never having been to one of their shows, I found myself completely taken aback by their ability to wake up a crowd. Surrounded by all sorts of dancing – like you do when no one’s watching – I found myself carefree and lost in their music. Having created a palpable energy of excitement, the audience experienced the unforgettable music amidst old school movies and cartoons in the background and engaging hoop dancing on stage.
An up and coming Canadian electronic group, A Tribe Called Red, excellently ties in traditional First Nations music with urban tunes, chanting, drumming and dancing. Labelling themselves as “powwow step” the band is known for its unique sound, influenced by the likes of reggae, dubstep, electronica and First Nations music.
Many might recognize the band from their contribution to the Idle No More campaign and their vocality about cultural appropriation at music festivals. Nevertheless, A Tribe Called Red has become ever so relevant in the non-Aboriginal community with their continued growing success. The band released their self-titled album in 2012, followed by Nation II Nation in 2013. I look forward to being enchanted by these Ottawa natives again in the near future.
Hitting up several music festivals this summer is one of my personal favourite groups CHVRCHES. Known for their unique synth-pop, glo-fi, electronic music, the trio lit up Sunday evening despite the overcast Toronto weather. Beginning the show with “We Sink”, the band immediately captured the hearts and ears of hundreds at the Garrison Common Stage. Standout points of the show include Lauren Mayberry’s sweet banter, Martin Doherty’s serenade and Iain Cook’s wicked music synthesizing.
Ruling the stage like the beautiful pixie that she is, Lauren enthralled the crowd with her conversation, even mentioning that her witty humour wasn’t good enough so she would continue naming Canadian bands that she loved. Among her adored was singer- -songwriter Alanis Morisette, unfortunately the crowd and band’s begging for a cover didn’t succeed, but I have high hopes for the future. On another note, vocalist Martin also inspired the crowd with his passionate performance of “Under the Tide”.
A band that promises much more musical genius in the future, they will continue to make appearances in my “most played songs” on my itunes – and their Scottish Charm doesn’t hurt!
[Review written by: Eva Beylin]