The days are getting warmer, the nights are getting shorter, and we are partying on Monday afternoons. We are officially into festival season, and the first Electric Island party of the year proved the series is still at the top of its game, five years later.
After news broke that the Victoria Day instalment of Electric Island was to be relocated to Woodbine Park due to immense flooding at its usual location, some partygoers had mixed feelings. Some claimed the venue was too far or that it the new location would take away some nature of the island, and it just wouldn’t be the same. Those who made it out would be sure to tell you that it was as close to an island party as you could get without actually having to hop on a ferry. Most island vets would agree that the most redeeming part about trekking to the island is knowing that after the commute, the moment you step off the ferry and hear the thumping music off in the distance, you can breathe easy knowing that mission was well worth it. The same feeling was conjured walking towards Woodbine Park, meandering through herds of families no doubt enjoying a somewhat more wholesome Victoria Day.
The mainland venue is absolutely massive, and easily accommodated the thousands of bopping partygoers flooding – no pun intended – through the grounds, with lots of room to dance. Main stage locals Andrew Choe and Night Vision got things started, warming up the crowd for the diverse yet cohesive group of headliners. From Bedouin with their unique brand of deep house, to house heavyweight Eats Everything, to the ever-diverse Joris Voorn, the main stage was buzzing that island buzz all evening. But the night was absolutely blown the pieces by techno herald Ben Klock, who graciously kept the party going all night with an official AP at Coda.
A new edition to this year’s round of parties is a second stage, which acted as a slight – though still heavy – breather from the main stage mayhem. Walking towards it, I was instantly hit with a wave of nostalgia. The smaller stage was reminiscent of the first ever island party: a small group of dancers moving among the trees, illuminated pink and blue and purple, it felt like a well-kept secret. While the island has grown to accommodate the masses, and rightfully so, stage two felt like a little reminder of its roots. While headliner Leon Vynehall unfortunately had to cancel last minute, EI newcomers Red Axes and Rebolledo treated us to a five-hour back-to-back set, following local favourites Alberto Jossue and Gera.
This edition of Electric Island taught us a few things: dedicated organizers will stop at nothing to deliver to devoted fans, devoted fans will travel far and wide for good music, and good music will always bring Toronto together.
See our full photo album here.
The next instalment of Electric Island goes down this Canada Day. For more details, head to www.electricisland.to.
Words by Charlotte MacPherson