1. BUY A WRISTBAND The artist showcase component of this year's North By Northeast Music And Film Festival And Conference takes place at 40 different downtown clubs. Single tickets for NXNE shows run anywhere from $5 to $20. The best buy is the four-day festival wristband -- which also gets 50 to 100 of you into NXNExtra shows. It's available for $28 at a number of locations including the Edge street-level studios (228 Yonge) and NOW Magazine (189 Church).
Or you can snag one of those puppies at a participating location or online at www.nxne.com , where you'll acquire a golden ticket entitling the bearer to one wristband. Simply redeem the ticket for your wristband at any participating club or at conference HQ, aka the Holiday Inn on King (370 King West, 416-599-4000), as of today (Thursday, June 7).
Before then, all wristband tickets can be redeemed at the NOW office.
2. KNOW THE SCHEDULE For comprehensive lists of participating artists, venues and specific set times, consult the complete schedule on pages 66, 72 and 78. Visit www.nxne.comfor completely updated info on band gigs.
3. BE ON TIME Bands perform every hour on the hour - sharp - from 9 pm to 1 am (and in some cases, all the way till 3 am) Thursday through Saturday, with various exceptions.
4. THE CONFERENCE IS COOL, TOO The conference and panel components of this year's fest - featuring Peaches , Dave Foley , Don Letts and other heavy hitters - take place during the day from Thursday to Saturday. A conference badge (which runs a mere $100-$300) gets you all the sessions plus priority access to all NXNE gigs. For conference details, check www.nxne.com .
5. CHECK OUT NOW'S DAILY BLOG NOW writers are blanketing the festival and blogging every day. Visit www.nowtoronto.com for further coverage and daily reports during the fest.