In the last few years, pretty much the only thing we could count on for Ontario music festivals was their transient nature. During a summer season that was once abundant with something, seemingly, every weekend, with Bestival, the Toronto Urban Roots Festival, WayHome and Time Festival all folding in the last few years, it’s made us rethink now only how plan your weekends but what to look forward to for all of the other months.
That’s why the announcement that Venus Fest was entering its sophmore year felt like much-needed spring in a drought of local live music. Founded by Aerin Fogel with a manifesto you couldn’t help get behind (“to shift the industry challenges that have dominated traditional festivals and organizational structures, by ensuring greater awareness around who has access to representation in the arts.”), Venus Fest is firmly paving the way for a new standard for festival programming while also modelling tangible solutions to several of the issues dominating our conversations around live music such as gender parity and the harassment.
In addition to an already stellar line-up that includes Zola Jesus, Moor Mother, TiKA, a l l i e, and Bully, Toronto experimental heroine Maylee Todd and Polaris-nominated alt-rock duo Partner have also been added to the line-up. It’s safe to say if you haven’t already purchased your ticket, it’s about time you did.