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article imageBestival Toronto promises music, magic, and mayhem

By Bryen Dunn     Feb 17, 2015 in Entertainment
Toronto - Bestival UK has confirmed that their trademark triumvirate of music, magic and mayhem will be heading to North America, taking over Toronto Islands on June 12th and 13th, 2015 for the first ever Bestival abroad.
Bestival UK has been going for strong for the past 12 years, winning a multitude of awards. The original boutique festival attracts 50,000 fans each year. It's known for its creative vision and eclectic music programming of both emerging and established artists, including previous headliners such as Stevie Wonder, Florence & The Machine, The Cure, Kraftwerk, and the world’s greatest electronic DJs.
Bestival curator Rob da Bank says: “We have waited 12 years to decide to launch another Bestival outside of the UK and it took Toronto and Toronto Islands, to make us take the leap. So, the waiting is over and we are so excited to be launching in North America in June, with a classic Bestival line-up waiting to thrill, intrigue and party. We cannot wait!”
Bestival UK is held on the Isle of Wight, so it makes sense the organizers would want to somehow replicate this as part of their expansion across the Atlantic. Bestival Toronto will be set on Hanlan’s Point Beach on the shore of Lake Ontario. The organizers press release goes on to state, "It's one of the most picturesque spots we could find in North America, the familiar sense of adventure and escapism that getting on a ferry and crossing water gives you, made it impossible to resist." Perhaps part of that sense of adventure and escapism might have something to do with Hanlan's being a clothing optional beach.There's also promises of "amazing music, insane sideshows and magical happenings."
The statement also advises party-goers to expect to be "enchanted by immersive experiences that will transport you to untold new paradises, and prepare to be dazzled by a UK/Canadian soundclash of artists bringing together the most exciting music of all persuasions from brand new acts to legends alike." Overall, the point to be taken is that Bestival is promising big things for festival goers in the city, but is Toronto ready for such an event.
Music fans may recall Virgin brought a version of their UK V Festival to the city a few years back, which lasted all of a year, before moving to the Molson Amphitheatre, then moving out of the city entirely. The city also had it's second edition of Riot Fest last year, another one brought up from stateside, where rumours abounded that more promotional tickets were distributed than paid admission. Toronto also once had Lollapalooza in the early days, before they pulled out, yet it continues strongly each year in Chicago. It should also be noted that the individuals behind Bonnaroo in Tennessee have also just recently announced they will be launching the Wayhome festival just outside Toronto this summer as well.
Which raises the questions, does Toronto not have home-grown promoters who can stage their own large-scale events, and does Toronto have enough music fans (and money) to support so many events in that short period of time that we call summer up here in Canada? This is where the partnership with upstart Canadian promoters Embrace Presents and SFX Entertainment come in. Both have been doing great work in the city bringing in some amazing talent, Embrace more the mid-range indie/alt acts and SFX more the electronic programming.
However, fans will have to wait to find out what all the fuss is about, as none of the line-up or other programming details have been announced as yet, nor have ticket prices. Those who trust their instincts and the promises of an amazing time this summer can register for pre-sale tickets at the Canadian website.
With both Bestival and Wayhome debuting this summer, in addition to Toronto's already existing music festivals, the city is on its way to becoming even more magnificently musical!
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