By Taylee Buttigieg (@truetayls)
Photos by LCPR
I’ve had the pleasure of attending many festivals around the globe, but one of my favourites happens right at home in Toronto. Since 2013, Electric Island has grown and improved each year and 2019 is turning out to be no exception! The once tiny picnic style festival held at Hanlan’s Point Island, Toronto featuring local DJs has become one of the city’s most highly anticipated techno events. The 2019 lineup is bringing in headliners such as Claude Von Stroke, Hot Since 82, and Dusky spread over 5 dates through the Summer months (May 19th, June 22nd, August 10th, plus the two-day finale August 31st and September 1st).
The season opener kicked off festival season with strong main stage acts from Dubfire, Âme, Bedouin, DJ Minx, Jonathan Rosa and Carrera and Tavares. The small but mighty Moog Audio stage which hosted the Canadian record label Rawthentic brought some serious heat that kept us dancing all day from Caleb Callloway, DJ Deeon, DJ Sneak and Carlo Lio B2B Nathan Barato who closed out the Moog Audio stage.
In addition to an ever-growing roster of phenomenal musical talent, more vendors arrive each year. From pizza to tacos or the great Canadian poutine, there’s a flavour to satisfy any craving. After enjoying a tasty lunch to keep our bodies fueled, we headed over to the vendor booths where you can try free samples (who doesn’t love a free drink?). May 19th’s Island offered attendees Hires Root Beer and Vodka as well as a few flavors of Spiked Snapple; Watermelon and Peach. I always love to browse through the collections of merchandise brought in by vendors offering art, clothing, jewellery, bags and more. One of my favourite booths was offering upcycle clothing with a little festival flare!
After attending nearly every installment of Electric Island over the past 5 years, I’ve learnt you have to be prepared for anything at an outdoor festival in Canada. Despite the dreary Spring weather Mother Nature blessed us with this past weekend, the crowd was in high spirits and many stuck out the rain for the entire evening. Around 6pm, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds for about 30 seconds and the crowd began to cheer as if their favorite DJ just came to the stage. A true Canadian won’t let a little rain ruin our fun!
Whether you’ve been soaking in the Island vibes for years or plan on attending Electric Island for the first time this summer, take in a few words of advice from a seasoned vet:
EI Pro Tip #1: Take the water taxi to the island and return to mainland by ferry.
You can board at the docs on either side of Harbour Front centre or the bottom of Spadina Avenue on Queens Quay. It’s cheaper than the ferry and MUCH more enjoyable! The ferry is free for all on the return. Keep in mind that peak water taxi time is about 4:00PM so plan to head over before or afterwards to avoid a long wait in line.
EI Pro Tip #2: Be prepared for ALL weather.
Toronto weather is always a gamble no matter what season. A bright and sunny June day can quickly become wet and muddy without warning, especially on the island. You don’t want to wear sandals to this event. Keep your feet and back comfortable in sneakers (waterproof if possible). Pack a poncho. 8/10 times, it’s gonna rain; welcome to Canada.
EI Pro Tip #3: Pack a roll of TP, tissues or wipes in your bag.
As exceptional as Electric Island is, this tip is KEY for just about any event with portable bathrooms… don’t get caught having to drip dry in the porta potty at the end of the night.
EI Pro Tip #4: Dress in layers.
A summer afternoon on the island may reach 30 degrees, but once the sun goes down and you’re making your way home on the ferry, that breeze can be chilly! Pack a sweater or pants to change into for the evening.
Each of these tips came in so clutch this weekend, keep them in mind when you’re preparing for the next Electric Island.