On any given night it’s possible to sashay into a ball, then walk around the corner to a a heavy-hitting rap show. It’s the texture of life in Toronto: in a city that’s consistently placing barriers in front of anyone trying to change the city for the better through skyrocketing costs for rent, and the closure of venues. Slap an early cold spell onto that equation and you have a recipe for few reasons to leave your house. That’s why a multi-day, city-wide event to rouse a perpetually exhausted city could not have come at a better time.
Occurring over 9 days, 6 shows and featuring 33 artists, Toronto’s Red Bull Music Festival brought together some of the country’s biggest and brightest new stars for a wildly dynamic series of programming that delivered a little someone for everyone. Where else could you see a foundational homegrown rappers like Cadence Weapon in the driver’s seat of a conversation with legendary producer Scott Storch, alongside a spectacular vogue ball for the ages? That’s where the success of the event lies, it’s not just how it highlights these individual communities across the city, but how it brings them together.