Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) always promises a good time. It’s a late in the summer kinda happening that brings only the best in folk rock artists and deliciously sound foodies to its three daylong festival at Fork York and Garrison Commons. This past Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18, 2016 fete was all about the likes of homegrown veterans, honouring our locals while still mixing it up with some international flare to keep our musical vernacular fresh.
Day 1 gave us The Hives, Skinny Lister, Jake Bugg, Modern Baseball, Dropkick Murphys and Explosions in the Sky. A mix you cannot happen upon anywhere else in our fair city on any given day. The Hives annihilated our hearing. Skinny Lister kept it folk rockabilly. Jake Bugg gave us some teen dream boat vibes. Explosions in the Sky, let’s face it made the audience collectively swoon in good measure. A true crowd highlight.
TURF always provides bang for one’s buck. You get variety of musical nuances and at the same time will be sure to leave with new bands that you can’t wait to tell your friends about. Well, that is after you first pop it all over your social media accounts.
The drinks were flowing from the likes of Tropical Temptations and Smoothe Operator. The foodie in you could easily be filled with affordable yummies from Mustache Burger, 50 Pesos and Kung Fu Dawg.
The layout at TURF this weekend was all about easy accessibility. Even in the rain on Saturday, fans were seen dodging raindrops as they caught LUSH as they said hello from a long absence from Canadian shores and whilst checking their schedule to see what was next on in their rainy day schedule.
The crowd was diverse, eclectic, suits mixed with boho types with the common thread of having a hang ten chill vibe. Everyone gets along and is up for a giggle over a pint or two. Who knew the Gardiner Expressway could evoke so much rad energy?
A crowd that could not only make Gord Downie proud was seen paying homage to the Tragically Hip’s legacy as Dwayne Gretzky played song after song from their illustrious catalogue. It was an emotional hour or two. Fans hugged one another while kids played on the grassy hill. TURF brings us together every year as we break bread with one another under the Gardiner Expressway and reminds us how transformative and healing music can be with good people, great tunes and a harvest moon overhead.