North By Northeast turns 20 this year, and this edition's lineup of music, film, comedy, art and interactive sessions more than befits a milestone of this magnitude.
American heavyweights Reggie Watts and Marc Maron star in the comedy program, with local lights Alex Pavone (who just moved to New York) and DeAnne Smith shining bright as well.
NXNE film's multiple Canadian premieres include William J. Stribling's Lies I Told My Sister and Richard Linklater's Boyhood.
Shady Records co-founder and mega-star manager Paul Rosenberg is one of the speakers at NXNE interactive. The art program, meanwhile, takes over private and public spaces around downtown.
But the music component is NXNE's bread and butter, and this year's lineup is its most eclectic and relevant yet. Headliners for free Yonge-Dundas Square shows, for example, include Brooklyn noise-poppers Sleigh Bells on June 19, guitar-shredding singer/songwriter St.Vincent on June 20, Texas rockers Spoon on June 21 and Houston OG Juicy J on June 22.
And this year, for the first time, Vice Island takes over Toronto Island on June 19. So you'll ride on a boat and then party with Pusha T and Future Islands, with Toronto's cityscape in the rear view.