Electric Island Labour Day Weekend 2016
Electric Island has grown to become one of Toronto’s most talked about outdoor music festivals of the season. You couldn’t have asked for better weather on this past Labour Day weekend, as the 2016 finale took place on September 4th and 5th on Hanlan’s point, Toronto Island. Not having attended many Electric Islands myself, I was very open and optimistic to what this experience had in store. With a killer line up for both days on the weekend this was certainly not an experience I’d want to miss out on.
Getting to the festival was a little bit more time consuming then I would have liked it to be, but that was to be expected seeing as it was the long weekend and Toronto Island was a high traffic area to be dealing with. I was surprised that Embrace generally kept the same lay out as the previous electric islands this year. While being able to explore the whole venue and walk around, it was evident they did an outstanding job in creating a really good atmosphere and environment. From multiple different food vendor options, interactive ping pong table, free water station, picnic tables to chill on, it all created a very distinguished laid back picnic and festival vibe.
The labor day weekend Electric Island was also extra special with the addition of the Panasonic stage: a focus on Toronto locals being able to display their talents. The line up was very attention grabbing and the artists had bumping high energy sets. We are proud to see Euphoradio artists Funk x Rish, Maddmon, and Holloh play the Panasonic stage over the Electric Island weekend. Each artist had an hour time slot where they could show case their skills. I think more people on the second day figured out where the second stage was because there was more of a crowd gathered around. Panasonic stage might have been over shadowed by the main stage, but I think it was still a wonderful thing to see some of the crowd were taking time away from the main stage to check out and support their local music artists in the community. After seeing the Panasonic Stage pop up at other festivals this year such as Time Fest and Deadbeats, it was only fitting Electric Island was next up to bat.
The main stage was beautifully done this year; epic sound production, eye catching lights, beautiful floral arrangements, and geometric décor adding to the stage visuals. It’s always a treat to witness the very talented Justin Martin from Dirtybird Records perform, and luckily I was able to be at the main stage for the start of his performance. The San Francisco DJ/producer always brings amazing vibes to the stage. He dropped tracks from his new sophomore album Hello Clouds while getting the crowd dancing and grooving. I noticed the dance floor started to fill in and get jam packed thumping to the dirty, bass-driven funk that Martin was laying down. The Dirtybird label has a unique sound that the crowd most certainly enjoyed. It’s never a disappointment when Martin’s on deck.
Nicole Moudaber was up after Martin and was holding her own among the stacked lineup day one had to offer. The female Lebanese-Nigerian music producer and DJ definitely stuck to her roots on stage. Her set was full of hard-hitting techno which fit the setting really well as the sun disappeared during her set, making it an overall great dancing atmosphere as the crowd calmed down a bit prior to martins set. This gave the crowd a chance to rest up before the closing set.
The highly anticipated duo Claude VonStroke – producer and owner of the Dirtybird record label – and classic DJ/producer Green Velvet took to the stage to close out Sunday. I’ve have had the pleasure of seeing another Get Real set earlier this year so I was highly intrigued to see how this set was going to unfold. Throwing down some classic tunes, the crowd defiantly loved the vibe these two were bringing to the table; you could tell they were feeding off of one another. I’m always blown away at the production Electric Island puts on. Without a doubt, Get Real put on a strong memorable set, closing out day one.
D A Y 2
Fatima Yamaha (a.k.a. Netherlands musician and producer Bas Bron, co-founder of Magnetron Records) played Electric Island’s for first live set of the day on the main stage. Dropping his well known track “What’s a Girl to Do” towards the tale end of his set was a nice cherry on top to his performance. Being able to hear his very distinct electro instrumental sound was a wonderful experience and added some variety comparatively to the artists from the previous day.
After Fatima Yamaha, I looked forward to seeing Guy J. He threw down a very melodic, uplifting set. Never having seen Guy J before, I had zero expectations of his music. As a DJ/producer and the founder of Lost and Found Records, he did an incredible job of creating a musically thrilling set that was chilling at times. By the time his set came, the crowd started picking up as more people started to fill in a little bit later on the Monday.
The third live performance in the day which was such a joy to listen to was done by ÂME Frank Wiedemann. He was representing ÂME (co founder of Innervisions) unfortunately his partner Kristian Beyer was absent but that didn’t musically make a difference since Wiedemann threw down a house and techno filled set pleasing to mind, body, and soul. The sound was overall very enjoyable and kept the crowd moving & grooving during the warm sunny day.
Next up was Dixon, the vice president of FC Magnet Mitte, owner of Innervisions Recordings. With his performance and brilliant mixing, you could tell the crowd was highly invested into his set. He definitely had the crowd he deserved as people gravitated to his music as the day turned into night. He captivated some really deep feels and at this point in time I really had thought Electric island had really done an outstanding job in picking out such a spectacular line up but there was one more performer to hit the stage before Electric island came to a close.
For the last performance of the day Loco Dice took to the main stage. The German DJ and electronic music producer perfected the final performance at Electric Island on Monday night. I thought the Get Real set day one was a spectacular set but Loco Dice blew their set out of the water and went above & beyond any expectations I might of had for the season finale. Loco Dice put on an impressive set, dropping some heavy hitting beats for the rest of the evening. The light production and large scale display he demonstrated on the main stage confirmed just exactly why he was selected as the final performer to close out the 2016 Electric Island season.
Overall it was outstanding fantastic weekend on the island. Platform, Embrace, Footwork, and Way of Acting came together to host and organize a very successful event. The line up, performers, dancers, production, location, and the crowd all came together to make one big amazing unforgettable experience. We will just have to sit and wait patiently for next year when Electric Island can roll around again and we can enjoy what the music festival has to offer and see what in store.
Nicole Sternbauer – Euphoradio