NXNE finally reveals its initial round of acts for 2016

April 11, 2016

It was announced recently that North by Northeast (NXNE) would be shaking thing up for its 2016 edition with a few changes:

  1. Shows will be ticketed instead of the usual wristband system.
  2. There’s going to be a move to the Toronto Port Lands for a number of high-profile shows.
  3. The old home of NXNE’s downtown free music programming, Yonge-Dundas Square, will be focused on hip-hop specifically, as well as live gaming.

The new modifications are fairly drastic for the multi-disciplinary festival, which had remained mostly unchanged since its inaugural edition in 1995, based on Austin’s South by Southwest.

The initial lineup announcement came this past week later than usual for the festival, which could have been due to some core staff members—including all of NXNE’s bookers—from years past leaving, as Chart Attack reports. So far, some of the big names include saxophone wizard Kamasi Washington, Welsh alterna-rockers The Joy Formidable, Canadian neo-soul singer Cold Specks, and New Jersey’s scorching heavy punk rock act Screaming Females. The festival dates are June 13-19, and president/managing director Michael Hollett recently said in an interview for the Toronto Star that it will “definitely be the most inexpensive festival of the summer.” That last bit is kind of a big deal because Ontario is currently overflowing with quite expensive music festivals, including megafestival WayHome.

In a press release, Hollett also mentioned that during the coming weeks, there would be many more “major announcements” concerning the festival’s programming. While NXNE’s main focus has always been music, it’s also very multi-faceted, with events covering everything from comedy and film to interactive technology and visual art. Even with these new details, information regarding the actual nuts and bolts of the festival is a bit scarce. It’ll be interesting to see just how different from past events this 2016 edition of NXNE will be.

Full disclosure: the author does freelance work for NOW Magazine, which is co-owned by Michael Hollett.

 

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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