EVENT REVIEW: Electric Island Labour Day Weekend | EUPHORADIO
This summer Toronto’s Electric Island concert and picnic series on September 3rd and 4th were faced with a few challenges due to the weather and Toronto Island being waterlogged for most of the summer. On labour day long weekend, the last event of the summer was billed as a two-day weekender back on island at Hanlan’s point. Nothing compares to the overall vibe and what the island has to offer. There might just be something magical about Hanlan’s point- the crowd was overjoyed and eager to be back in there!
A few surprises were in store for this homecoming, namely The Art section which was an area with two different activity rooms and a rooftop lounge with a great view of the entire festival grounds. The front of the station was covered in monochrome designs that people could walk up to and draw with a marker, be creative and unleash their inner artist essentially making it a big communal colouring wall. On the inside there were two separate rooms, one with laser pointers at your disposal for your artistic needs enabling you to express yourself creatively on the walls in the ceiling. The other room was the audio/visual room surrounded by a graphics screen and a table in the middle of the room with Pioneer DJ showcasing some of their up-and-coming products where you could manipulate sound and make your own beats by placing blocks strategically on a round table with a digital board that you could touch tap through menus and pick different options: manipulating the tempo, sound samples and beats. Definitely makes for a unique experience shared between a group of people, and you could really create and explore with the different audio components and make a one of a kind jam! There were inflatable couches for festival goers to relax making it perfect stop to take a break, if the grass did not strike your fancy.
Tucked into the middle of festival grounds there were different promotional booths placed with free samples of alcohol including Strongbow cider, Snapple spiked and Hires root beer vodka. If you happened to like any of the samples they had to offer you could make your way to one of the bars located throughout the ground. There was a free water station on the festival grounds giving people an option to fill their refillable containers. There were different food trucks to choose from BBQ to tacos on both days. The two music stages were located at opposite ends of each the festival grounds and the sound was well isolated between them.
Main stage had very minimal but yet effective décor, covered in metallic silver trimming outlining the entire stage and large circular disks positioned on either side was really a nice touch. Paired along with that was stunning DJ booth, itself surrounded by angled mirrors making the stage look edgy and aesthetically beautiful to the eye, especially when reflecting the light show. Of course main stage is where most of the festival goers were choosing to jam as there was plenty of room to dance.
The garden stage was a little gem towards the back of the island there was some hanging lights the sheltered stage had a large sun emblem in the background accompanied by some red and silver streamers hung behind the DJ, that blew around in the wind and glistened in the sun shine. This place was very special – drawing a smaller crowd than the main stage over the course of the two days keeping the vibe on the dancefloor more intimate and exclusive.
Now for the music! On day one we were welcomed to the festival by the sounds of Sonny Fodera at the Main stage. Playing memorable classic dance floor beats and insanely catchy hits that feature charismatic vocals that also had the crowd singing out Robin S – ‘Show Me Love’, a classic tune. It was nostalgia at its finest, making for certified high energy dance floor set! He played a wide range of vocal tracks really getting the crowd moving and grooving with characteristically heavy house bass line ended off his set with Gershon Jackson – ‘Take It Easy’ (Sonny Fodera & Mat.Joe Remix). Super-fat, well-mixed sounds put in all the right places.
The crowd loved this red hot duo from UK as they played one of those sets where it’s not about how many elements were used have but rather how well they used them. They played a variety of deep house gems which were subtle, but called for attention with different overall bass stabs and beautifully placed arpeggiated synths. A track that really stood out within their set was Moda – ‘Retro/Grade’. But they also played their hits including ‘Cold Heart’
Claude began his set with a Dirtybird classic ‘Barrump’ The crowd went wild- jumping, dancing and grooving to The big bird of Dirtybird. When he started you could tell the attendees were eagerly waiting all day to hear some dirty bird tunes. At one point Claude dropped some drum and bass into the mix which was defiantly a crowd pleaser showing us his well-rounded versatility as an artist. He dropped ‘The rain break’ at one point was very fitting seeing as the rain held off for day 1 luckily enough but mother nature wasn’t so forgiving to us the following day.
On day 2 Yotto played a signature Anjunadeep melodic set causing a stir of emotions from within the crowd. He’s making a headway the past year and he showed exactly why he’s beloved by fans. It was a liberating, heartfelt and memorable set and definitely put on a great stage presence.
The Black Madonna
The Black Madonna began her set with a couple of disco tunes capturing the beautiful moments of the sunshine and moved on to down some quirky and funky techno and acid house. Her performance perfectly captures the essence of her personality—fun and playful with her expressive stage presence and dancing, showing everyone why she is a world class DJ. She warmed everyone’s heart as she layered killer vocal track after killer vocal, enlightening existing fans and surely creating new ones.
Mall grab filled up the Garden stage and, just throwing down all the hits at the garden stage. So a smaller dancing space made it packed with a large portion of the attendees. Mall grab has an infectious energy that carries through into his music. Everything is in exactly the right place at the right time and all the grooves were perfect. He played Josh Wink – ‘Talking to You’ creating tremendous energy that went along with those 303 basslines! Despite the rain during his set, he was one of the most beloved acts at the garden stage of the festival and people did not clear the floor.
Dixon sets are a story, beginning with minimal elements building on towards the deeper tech sound he is known for taking the crowd through a journey starting with some slow feeler tracks then really picking up the pace, with vocal sample punctuates throughout his set and wins over the crowd with sensual synths and tribal percussion. It started to rain a bit heavier during his set and people brought out their ponchos and rain gear. Some dancers got together and stretched out a tarp so that others could dance freely under- a very cute moment on the island. The Innervisions boss played Radio Slave – ‘Trans’ not to long before his set came to a stop. Due to predictions of an approaching thunderstorm the event had to be cancelled earlier for safety reasons.
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Dixon playing at Electric Island day 2 on the labor day weekend. Whenever Dixon plays he takes you on a journey, starting his set off very slow and melodic tracks. It was a nice to be able to see him back in toronto from his performance last year at the island, unfortunately his set was cut short and he ended up closing out the festival due to the weather conditions. #dixon #euphoradio #labordayweekend #cntower #eletricisland #music #rainorshine #themfeels #dancing #music #innervisions #toronto
Luck was not on our side and people were quickly directed towards the ferries. The festival organizers did the best that they could giving the circumstances. Electric islanders were met with disappointment but everyone was very understanding of the situation and quickly made their way to exit the island and left on a high regardless. The organizers set up two after-parties free with the wristband – Coda played by Sven Vath . Soul Clap and Mall Grab continued the party at One Loft. All in all, it was an incredible time even though that the weather took a turn for the worse. The lightning did provide an amazing spectacle from natures fireworks!
Labour day weekend was filled with lots of smiles, good vibes a little bit of mud, quite a bit of rain and a variety of quality electronic music giving a place for you to enjoy yourself. The island had everything you could ever want, including, killer good music, art installations, a unique vibe among all of the beautiful people. Embrace , Foot work and Platform did such a fantastic job organizing this two day and event and having everything come together smoothly despite the weather condition. Out of all the electric islands this was the best one yet. You don’t want to miss out on the fun next summer, hopefully the weather will be more promising. Sayonara till 2018 Electric Islanders!
Written By : Nicole Sternbauer
Tags: Euphoradio, Electric Island, Toronto, Hanlans point, Pioneer Dj, Strongbow, Snappled Spiked ,Hires root beer, Garden stage , Sonny Fodera, Gershon Jackson, Dusky, Claude Von Stroke , Dirtybird , Yotto, Anjunadeep, Black Madonna, Mall Grab, Josh Wink , Dixon, Innervisions, Radio slave , Sven Vath , Soul Clap, One loft , Coda, Embrace, Embrace, Platform, Acid house, house music, techno, Electronic music, Festival, The rain break, Show me love, Robin s , Moda, Retro, Grade , Take it easy, Talking to you, Summer time,