Festival season occurs typically in the summer where music fans can dance in comfortable clothing in the warm weather, however in Canada the party never stops. Montreal has been graced with their successful winter festival, Igloofest every year, but 2013 was time for Toronto to add to the winter festival line up. Brrrrr!
Organized by Live Nation, Electronic Nation, Destiny Events, Embrace and Balance Inc., Brrrrr! set out to give Toronto a taste of festival season a little earlier into the year with added layers and warm drinks.
Getting into the event was easy; there was no hassle getting your passes and tickets for entry. As you arrive to Echo Beach you see the stage and lights stand out in the skyline of Toronto as the music plays from the distance.
The security on festival grounds was confusing because they did not allow sealed water bottles inside the venue. However it was stated on the official Brrrrr! website that you could in fact bring in sealed water bottles.
The VIP areas included patio heaters and also private bars where patrons got their drinks from. There was a heated dome area with Corona beer kiosks that served beer. On the outskirts of the area bars offered drinks along with a cup of hot cider as chaser which was neat and added to the winter vibe of the festival. As the winter staple beverage, hot chocolate was also served to attendees.
The heated dome provided a lounge experience with couches, tables and promotional material. It didn’t completely drown out the music but you could also have audible conversations with your friends inside. Crowd control in it was on point. Surprisingly it never got too busy so and getting around in it was easy.
The whole festival included two stages. On day 1 the stage near the entrance accommodated all the techno talent while the main stage had all the electro and progressive house DJs. Day 2 was flipped around.
Friday evening had a lot of house energy. Mord Fustang played familiar electro bangers that had the crowd going crazy while things were a little low key in the techno area. Without a doubt the headliner, Moby stole the show. The voice sample from “Natural Blues” pierced the crowd as he mashed it up with other beats; the crowd was bouncing throughout his entire set. The conclusion of his performance however left the crowd in shock. Moby took off his shirt and stood up on the DJ booth, several members of the audience followed suit.
The second evening felt much calmer than the previous. Techno took over the main stage; the bass had everyone moving, the attendees enjoyed themselves. The second stage had a lot more activity on the second day of the festival. Danny Avilla and Deniz Koyu played some of their progressive flavours for the crowd. By the time Dubfire got behind the booth, everyone flocked to the main stage, a wonderful closure to the event.
The only problem with Brrrrr! was that there wasn’t much going on aside from the stages. Perhaps some more art displays would have added more to the experience. The fire pit was a great idea; more of those would have kept the crowd a little warmer. The ice sculpture at the entrance was a great touch, perhaps more of them with themes and a variance in shapes and sizes would have made a great addition to Brrrrr!
Overall Brrrrr! was a good experience and definitely something that makes Toronto a more vibrant city to the international electronic music world. Toronto loves to party; rain, shine, snow or wind and Brrrrr! proved this very well.