Back in March, almost right after Electronic Nation Canada's 'Digital Dreams' Music Festival was announced at Ontario Place, I had a conversation with TK, Arts & Culture Manager at Pride Toronto, about what it could mean for Pride Toronto's festival.
The concern on my end was how Digital Dreams, spanning 2 days (the Saturday & Sunday of Pride Toronto Festival weekend) and selling 23,000 advance tickets for each day, might affect attendance in the Church & Wellesley area – possibly hitting Pride Toronto's their vendors' bottom line for this year's festival after they'd just pulled themselves out of the red the prior year from their 2010 30th anniversary celebrations.
TK expressed to me a very positive reaction on how the festivals running at the same time, and presenting very different talent in very different environments (Pride within the downtown streets and Digital Dreams on M.C..A Flats, formally Ontario Place) would most likely create better attendance for both festivals and drive the city's economic benefit even higher.
I stepped back for a second to take in the thought and consider it closely – it was true that both festivals are entirely different, targeted at two very different markets of people, and the ones that enjoy both types of festivals would actually make the effort to attend both.
Now, After the fact – I was a prime example of that thought. I attended, and worked at, both festivals myself – and made room in my schedule accordingly to accommodate the decision – effectively spending more money in my weekend than I would have if I attended only one or the either.
[Lucas Silveira proposes to now fiancé Skye Chevolleau at Pride Toronto South Stage, June 29.2012]
Starting my festival adventures on Friday evening at a friend's house for pre-drinks, we ventured over to the Pride Toronto South Stage to take in the last bit of 'The Cliks' performance before 'Bif Naked' was to take the stage as that evening's headlining act. Nearing the end of their performance time, Lucas Silveira, the FTM transgender lead singer/guitarist for 'The Cliks', proposed to his girlfriend, Skye Chevolleau, who happily said 'yes, of course' in front of a packed stage of onlookers.
Once all of the 'awww', screaming congratulations, and some tears had subsided – one more song was performed by Luca Silveira before 'Bif Naked' started preparing for her performance.
[Bif Naked performs at Pride Toronto South Stage, June 29.2012]
What can I say about Bif? She's '.. proud, loud, and out of control!' And she's definitely proven she's '.. gonna be ok!' after battling and winning her fight with breast cancer, and a divorce from her previous husband by performing for us at Pride Toronto to promote her upcoming acoustic tour (announcing another stop in Toronto in August). Sounds like Bif's got her groove back.
After a good performance from Bif it was off to a few after parties before calling it an early night to be well rested for my own SERIAL SEAN DJ Set on the Central Stage Saturday evening.
First off, thank you to everyone who came out to hear me play and to everyone who had a hand in helping me prepare this year – it meant a lot to once again see familiar faces in the crowd and to perform/work with Pride Toronto for a solid 9th year!
[SERIAL SEAN performs at Pride Toronto Central Stage, June 30.2012]
After my performance and talking to some people who came out to hear me – it was time to rush off and drop my DJ gear before running back to Pride's Wellesley Stage for the tail end of Dirty Disco w/ DeKo-Ze & Jelo. The Dirty Disco party was moved to the festival's largest stage this year due it's overwhelming success and growth in previous years – but the performers still delivered, and I finally had a chance to meet long term twitter chatter Miss Raquel backstage!
Finished my Pride responsibilities for the weekend, I decided to stay out late with some friends, and slept in on Sunday for a couple hours before I was to check in on the waterfront for Digital Dreams Festival – I wound up arriving on site around 8pm and managed to tour the festival grounds before settling in at the main Dreams Stage to catch 'Designer Drugs', 'Major Lazer', 'Alesso', and 'Kaskade' before the festival shutdown for the night.
By far, my favorite set was Alesso, I'd never heard him before, either online or live, but I was definitely impressed by his energy, production value, and of course track selection – choosing a harder edged tech sound that got me moving all the way through his performance.
It took me a few days to recover from all of the excitement and to get back into the swing of things but Canada Day Weekend was definitely well worth the few days it took – The next weekend that'll be like that one will be Destiny Productions' World Electronic Music Festival (WEMF) during the August 17th to 19th weekend.
For further information about WEMF and to plan your adventure to it visit the official website at http://wemf.com