Toronto Gets A Decent Outdoors Music Fest

15 Jul

Toronto doesn’t have a big, outdoors, multi-day music festival to rival Coachella, SXSW or Osheaga, but it recently put on an event that might just come close…one day.

The first ever Toronto Urban Roots Festival ran from July 4 – 7 at Fort York, with a mainly folk-indie line up including Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, She & Him, The Cat Empire, Barr Brothers and my (new) Canadian faves, Whitehorse.

It was very much my musical cup of tea, so I was super happy to cover it for Torontoist.


There’s a bit of a debate raging underneath the Torontoist article as to whether She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel – yep, her off of New Girl – was being excessively diva-ish by banning photos and videos as she performed.

On balance, I probably side with “HotDang”, though I’d couch my views in slightly different terms. There’s definitely something to be said for living the moment, rather than documenting it, but it’s a difficult argument to make when you have 2.1m Instagram followers and once tweeted: “Being away from my dogs it feels my camera has no purpose.” Zooey suggests there’s a kind of purity to enjoying music “in 3D”, but isn’t above using Twitter to post links to She & Him music videos, or flog tickets to her gigs. It’s almost as if the camera ban’s just an attempt to control PR.

Ignoring all of that, it was a great festival; here’s hoping TURF becomes a permanent fixture on the Toronto summer calender.


3 Responses to “Toronto Gets A Decent Outdoors Music Fest”

  1. Eric Long March 8, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    Is there any festivals coming up soon in Toronto? Myself and couple of buddies will be out there late spring-summer. I find Canadian festivals hit or miss…Defo check out Squamish Festival if your around BC

  2. moverperfection June 18, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    perfectionmovers for all types of moving services in canada area . thanks. moving service

  3. Milan Adam October 27, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Alot of artists have their quirks with regards to media usage in concerts- I think Alicia Keys recently tried to ban cellphones at her concerts! Not going to happen. Zooey’s actions are fairly common, and I see her point, but I do think it is mostly a PR thing you’re right.

    As for the number of festivals in Toronto, I’ve lived here a while and would be very happy to see some!! For such a large city it is shocking how few events there are of this type. A big issue in Toronto is NIMBYism, in that many people do not want a large event close to their house. As such, finding spots to host events may be difficult but it is worth a shot!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

John Howson

Some stories behind the education numbers

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.


life without borders


A Toronto Transformation


BHH Blog | a toronto food blog

But Is It Art?

Pictures by Declan O'Doherty

Toronto Savvy

All about Toronto, Canada's largest city

The Outdoor Experience

Getting Outdoors and Loving It!

Maul's year out

Maya and Paul are heading abroad for a year, follow our adventures here...


Drink and be merry!

Victoria Scott



Writing about writing

Toronto Newbie

Thoughts of a British ex-pat living in Canada

Live. Work. Explore Toronto.

A newbie's guide to the city

%d bloggers like this: