NXNE 2011: How To Go Big Ticket
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NXNE 2011: How To Go Big Ticket

Forget compasses, GPS, or helpful Sherpas. From June 13–19 this year, Torontoist is here to be your guide to everything NXNE.

Devo at the Phoenix in 2009. Photo by Raf Ferreira from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Some people see music festivals as an opportunity to crawl into the city’s dingiest holes and catch up-and-coming acts who have barely performed outside of their showers. Others have bigger sights.
Like every year, NXNE has enough acts to please both crowds, including some names we can’t stop hearing lately, and some we haven’t heard in years. Here’s how to go big-ticket at the 2011 NXNE Festival.
What to bring: A must-have for most concerts, but especially ones that involve arriving way ahead of time to snag a spot on the frontlines, is a pair of comfy shoes. Your dogs will thank you for choosing function over fashion (no one in a crowd sees your feet anyway), plus they make for better bouncing when the concert is underway. Stepladders are of course useful to the vertically challenged, but we recommend leaving those at home. Instead, invite a tall friend with strong, broad shoulders. Rations are also key—so bring some snacks for an energy boost and water for hydration if you’re not near a bar, and keep them tucked away in your handy Energy Dome hat.
Where to go: Well, the obvious one here is to bring along your folding chair and set up shop at Yonge-Dundas Square for their free concert series. That’s where you’ll catch the biggest acts—Descendents, Rusty, and OFF! (June 16), Stars (June 17), Devo and Men Without Hats (June 18), and The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, and D-Sisive (June 19). Other events sure to draw a crowd are Art Brut (The Mod Club, June 17 at 9 p.m.), Hot Water Music (The Opera House, June 18 at 10 p.m.), Deerhoof (The Phoenix, June 16 at 10 p.m.), and Evan Dando with Juliana Hatfield (Lee’s Palace, June 16 at 10 p.m.). Another popular, nay, huge ticket is NXNE Interactive, with big names and bigger ideas.
Dos and Don’ts: Patience is a virtue with packed concerts, so if you can’t handle popping your personal bubble and getting in close, don’t head out. Do it Rear Window–style instead, and get out your telescope. And since NXNE has an impressive lineup of ’90s icons, do go all out—bring along your Tamagotchis (we know you’ve been taking care of it all this time), do the Macarena, and scream “Whaaaasssaaapppp?” to as many people as you can.