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Time Festival – Fort York, Toronto – August 6, 2016



By Calvin Barr
Photos by Daniela Tantalo 


Have you ever gone to a big musical festival far and away, only to realize after arriving that it takes half an hour to get to the bathroom, mosquitoes are the dominant species, and that you confused camping with glamping? Don’t get me wrong, some people live for that. But if it’s not your thing, Time Festival makes for a unique, relaxed, and innovative alternative.

Centered around the Fort York National Historical Exhibit, it was ideal for locals or visitors hopping off the GO train. Simultaneously offering a parkland and the majesty of the Toronto skyline, attendees were able to show up at their leisure and fully enjoy the music, worry free.

Decorations throughout the space created an earthy, diverse, stimulating vibe, while the two stages were set at opposite ends of the lot, allowing crowds to pool and preventing the sets from interrupting one another. The noon-to-midnight line-up featured a spectacular range of indie and alternative stars, such as KID, Broods, and Everything Everything, as well as R & B and House giants, including Run with Jewels, Joey Bada$$S, and Chrome Sparks (to name a few).

The sound system on the Main Stage was set up to accommodate varying ranges between instrumentals and vocals, depending on a group’s performance style. The bands easily kept the crowd enthused, having the facility to make seamless transitions as drastic as dreamy and melodic ballads to thunderous, string-splitting screamo. Maintaining the down-to-earth ambiance of the event, several artists connected with the audience by discussing meaning and sentiments behind their work, drawing the crowds into states of awe or peace. The Overtime Stage, on the other hand, kept the crowd jumping and fist-pumping with a non-stop barrage of rap battles, electronica anthems, and hip hop. The plus thirty-degree weather did nothing to keep them quiet.

In the addition to plentiful green space for relaxing, the site supplemented additional comfort with a free tobacco and alcohol lounge, including umbrellas, lounge chairs, couches, power outlets and phone charging stations. The event also thrived on showing off the vibrancy of Toronto’s distinctive flavors. Food vendors were primarily local and offered a wide variety of options, such as Brazilian food, Jerk Chicken, and Homemade Mac and Cheese. Local jewelers and clothing lines came out to show their unique collections, and there was even a general store to support the guest’s needs.

Perhaps the strongest point of Time was that one does not have to be a hardcore indie, alternative, hip hop, or house fan to have a great time. The atmosphere is versatile and open to that point that attendees can lie out on the grass, dance by the stage, or relax with old or new friends with no pressing agenda. It’s an event for enjoying the moment, instead of planning the next one.