Your NXNE 2011 Survival Guide
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Your NXNE 2011 Survival Guide

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

Damian Abraham announced bands at Yonge-Dundas Square at last year’s NXNE. He also brought his son, Holden. Photo by Nancy Paiva/Torontoist.

Out of all the paths we can take on these crazy lives we lead, from June 13–19 this year, thousands of Torontonians are headed in one direction: North by Northeast.
Once again, bands and industry folks are taking over the city like bedbugs in a dorm room for the annual NXNE festival. Now 17 years old, Canada’s biggest music fest and conference is growing up oh-so fast. It’s maturing and becoming more complex each year, so in 2011 there are a few new features to help with the growing pains: 

  • It’s hard enough to figure out what you’re having for breakfast, let alone which of the 650 bands you want to see across 50 venues. So NXNE has created an online Schedulizer that lets you plan each night by band, time, or venue and link it to your Facebook profile.
  • At 17, NXNE has proven it’s a responsible and trustworthy festival, and therefore deserves extra privileges bestowed by Momma and Poppa. This year, 27 bars will be open and serving drinks until 4 a.m.
  • After taking in enough soundwaves, NXNE-goers can get some brainfood at the expanded roster of panels at NXNE Interactive. With over 75 sessions, discussions, and workshops happening from June 16–18, topics range from the basics of WordPress to the digital foodie revolution to a G20 case study on how police are using social media.
  • NXNE’s kid brother, the Film Fest, is celebrating the big 1-0 this year, with 40 music-related films playing throughout the fest. (Conveniently, we have a whole separate preview just for those.)
  • Seeing lots and lots of amazing concerts, conferences, and movies can get you pretty down, right? Luckily Comedy Records has joined with NXNE to present nightly comedy showcases (aptly titled The Comedy Records Showcases) from June 16–19, at 8 p.m. at Labyrinth Lounge. Canadians are funny and great musicians, this is true, so listen to 25 of them rock the mic in a much more self-effacing manner than their melodic counterparts.

Then, of course, there’s the concerts. Over 650 of them. That’s a lot, even for go-getters. Because we’re here to help, we’ve come up with a pretty good guide to handle a large-scale music festival during Canadian Music Week, and now we’re back to help more genre-specific dilemmas: