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TURF Review: Day 4 (Sunday July 7, 2013)

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For the very first edition of TURF we had a blast.  We may have come home soaked to the bone and full of a musical buzz but for well-seasoned festival going Canadian girls like us – TURF was a perfectly organized and rocking event.

My photographer and I attended the 4th and last day of the festival on Sunday July 7th.  It started off beautifully sunny with me even getting a sunburn during Yo La Tengo’s set.  The sunshine slowly turned into a rain soaked day.  That didn’t dampen our and the other attendees spirit.  People danced in the rain and mud in the gorgeous green field at Fort York.  Who needs Glastonbury?

Our first band visit was with Yo La Tengo.  They are an American indie rock band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984.   Their hot set in the summer sun offered the audience quite the shoe gazing experience.  There was even a cheeky commentary on our Toronto Blue Jay’s.  We loved the soothing, mellow and foot tapping grooves.

Yo La Tengo was not the only Beggars Banquet band on TURF’s Sunday night roster.  Kurt Vile And The Violators and Belle and Sebastian also held down the Fort.

We also discovered the sounds of Whitehorse as the skies got progressively darker above us.  The harmonizing bluesy folksy rock from Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland (a married couple) reminded us that festivals are indeed about finding new music.  This couple stated they recently moved from steel town Hamilton to Toronto.  We hope Toronto gives them lots of opportunity to dazzle new followers.

Other bands sprinkled into our day included of Xavier Rudd and Cat Empire.  New music to chase down.  The crowd was enthusiastic to these bands world beats.

Even though we were in the crowds to absorb Neko Case’s set – all we did absorb was water.  It was a pretty intense set as we watched 20 something’s dance and flail in the mud.  Neko’s music did indeed provide a nice soundtrack to the rainy moment that lasted close to an hour.

In reflection it was lovely to see at TURF that the crowd was nicely made up of young families, 20 something hipsters, new hippie tribes, urban professionals and lots of young children.  People were eating, drinking and looking after one another. The pricing on food and beverages was reasonable.  The festival staff – were polite and very friendly.  The set up was clean – the muddy pools of water aside. The vibe felt very Woodstock.  Simple.  Not a lot of fuss and a lot of space to mill about.  For a first time festival – TURF did it right.

Upon conclusion, it was well worth the wait for Belle and Sebastian.  The crowd was ready for these Glasgow alterna popsters.  Perfect timing for a visit to Toronto as Belle & Sebastian are set to release ‘The Third Eye Centre’ – a collection of rarities, collectibles and non-LP tracks from the last decade – on 27th August 2013 on Matador Records. The album will be available to buy on CD, download and as a double heavyweight vinyl in deluxe heavy gatefold packaging.  The nineteen tracks are taken from the Glaswegian band’s most recent three albums – ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’ (2003), ‘The Life Pursuit’ (2006) and ‘Write About Love’ (2010). The album can therefore be seen as the follow-up to ‘Push Barman To Open Old Wounds’ (2005) – a compilation of the Belle & Sebastian singles and EPs released on Jeepster Records.

Belle and Sebastian always the cheeky Glaswegians were all about crowd participation, an impromptu Scrabble game, a handpicked audience member sing-along and loads of chances to dance in the mud with our mates.

Torontians continue to demonstrate to the City of Toronto that we are indeed ready for more summer musical events similar to out of towners like Osheaga, Lollapalooza and Outside lands.  There is money to be made, opportunities to be merry and celebrate the summer and most importantly be safe if well organized and properly planned.  Thank you TURF and the City of Toronto – a job well done.  Let’s do it again next year please!

http://torontourbanrootsfest.com/

http://www.beggarsgroup.ca/

Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF)

Toronto Urban Roots Festival Site Map

Toronto Urban Roots Festival Site Map

The Summer of 2013 is turning out to be jam packed with great bands, tunes and most importantly music festivals!  It’s an exciting time to be in Toronto – rainy schizophrenic weather aside.

If you check out anything next weekend, I strongly encourage you to grab tickets fast for TURF.  The first edition of the Toronto Urban Roots Festival or lovingly known as TURF, runs from July 4-7, 2013 at Fort York: Garrison Common in downtown Toronto.   I was at Fork York last month to catch Arts & Crafts ‘Field Trip’ – it definitely is one of Toronto’s best kept secrets.  Not only is it a historic site but it exudes a chilled ‘take your flip flops off’ and frolic in the grass vibe.

What do you get?  Well, 4 Nights and 2 Full Days along with 2 Outdoor Stages and 2 Clubs of fantastic musicians from here and afar.

Like whom you ask?  Belle and Sebastian, She & Him, Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, Camera Obscura, Flogging Molly, Lowest of the Low, Skydiggers and Arkells to name a few!

Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian

The price is right too.  I suggest buying tickets soon because they are selling like hotcakes.  You can get a Turf Multi Day ticket which is a 4 nights, 2 full days and 2 outdoor stages pass for $150 or a VIP pass for $350.  Talk about a great deal!  For single –day tickets depending on the day you decide to check out, tickets range from $50 – $70 or VIP ranges from $150 to $170.

If you are looking for tickets all Regular and VIP tickets are available online through Ticketfly. Regular day tickets are available at Rotate This, Soundscapes, and The Horseshoe Tavern front bar. Tickets will also be available at the TURF box office at Fort York from July 4-7. Please note the box office is cash only.

I like the idea that this is a very family friendly event and parents with young kids don’t need to worry about grabbing a babysitter for the day.  Kids under 10 are free – there is a kid’s area, local food vendors are on site all weekend and various eating options for all diets.

She & Him

She & Him

The party doesn’t end at For York either.  Once you finish up under the Gardiner kicks your heels back at the Horseshoe Tavern or Lee’s Palace after hours for more tunes, pints and a dance off with your mates.  This weekend will be a weekend that will just keep on giving if you organize your schedule right.

I would be nice to leave town and check out those festivals in other Canadian and American cities this summer – but why not save some cash and pump it into our sweet town of Toronto instead?  Note:  You will not find the majority of these bands at other festivals this summer– this is your only chance to catch them while they are hot.

Speaking about hot – I cannot wait to get my hands on the yummy food vendor’s onsite at TURF.  Bring some extra cash not only for pints and Canadian Club spritzers but also to grab nibbles from BeaverTails Pastry, Big Fat Burrito, Caplansky’s and Feng’s Dumplings.

Neko Case

Neko Case

Print out this TURF: COMPLETE LINE-UP and SET TIMES so you are ready for your TURF adventures next weekend!  Voila!   http://torontourbanrootsfest.com/schedule/

Have fun at TURF and don’t forget your sunscreen!  😉   See you there!

http://torontourbanrootsfest.com/

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