Block Party blowout
If you think Fort York Garrison Common is strictly for folksy singer/songwriters and earnest indie rockers, you'll want to be there when Mad Decent - the Diplo-helmed Philly via L.A. record label - throws down with hip-hop, electronic music and combos thereof.
Red-hot Chicago emcee Chance the Rapper headlines, fellow Windy City trap DJs Flosstradamus spin, plus local turntablists Zeds Dead and Toronto electro-hip-hop remix band Keys N Krates are on the bill, too. Oh, and a set from the über-producer and EDM hitmaker label head himself, of course.
August 15 at Fort York Garrison Common (100 Garrison). TW. maddecentblockparty.com.
What a Riot
Riot Fest's lineup is a rock lover's dream. The biggest and buzziest bands descend on Downsview Park for the Toronto stop of this multi-city rager. (We get first dibs before the festival migrates to Chicago and Denver.) International giants like the Cure, the National and the Flaming Lips are making the trip, while Metric, City and Colour and Billy Talent rep the local scene.
The all-ages fest takes place September 6 and 7 at Downsview Park (35 Carl Hall). TF. riotfest.org.
Sherbourne Common is a recently refurbished, slickly designed, still criminally underused public space at the foot of Sherbourne on the waterfront. Good thing, then, that it's finally getting some action. Fool's Gold Day Off swings through town on its only Canadian stop, bringing the label's top acts for a one-day show.
Montreal-bred super DJ A-Trak, eccentric Detroit rapper Danny Brown and New York rising alternative hip-hop star Le1f are among the bold names.