Time Festival was one for the weirdos

​Misfits converge on Fort York for Die Antwoord, Mac DeMarco and an assembly of musical oddities


DIE ANTWOORD, MAC DEMARCO, ARIEL PINK and more at TIME FESTIVAL, Saturday, August 15. Rating: NNN


Who needs another music festival in Toronto this summer? Misfits, that’s who. The ones who would spend a blazing hot Saturday afternoon in fun fur cosplay. Or cyber goth pants. Or no pants. The (predominantly young), tatted-up ravers and hippies and thrashers and nerds who probably didn’t truck up to Way Home or drop $300 on OVO tickets came together yesterday for Time Festival, a homegrown initiative that’s been mixing indie and club culture on/off here since 2008. Headlined by Die Atwoord and Mac DeMarco, it was a day of disparate musical oddities, each a misfit in their own right.

The affordable, bare-bones affair had its charms (who needs art installations when the crowd is so colourful?) and its drags (the queue to refill water from the two measly taps provided was an hour long in the mid-day sun). The day vibe was set to “random shuffle” – producer Ryan Hemsworth’s sunny remixes into Freddie Gibbs’ angry but hollow raps into whatever-the-hell Ariel Pink was doing up there besides tripping (and flashing) balls into BadBadNotGood’s goofy instrumental jazz cacophony. It was more Lollapalooza than Lollapalooza. It was possibly music festival as performance art.

Take Mac DeMarco, the world’s most unlikely pop star. With his mellow rock tunes (heavily favouring his brand new EP, Another One), he was the fest’s most musically conventional act. But how to explain teen girls squealing over his fart jokes and Steely Dan cover than as some kind of giant art piece?

Headliners Die Antwoord lit up Fork York like it was the last blast at the end of the world. The South African zef rap crew are masters of the weird (that was some next-level penis animation), but it was the explosive beats and perfect pop hooks that set off the pit like firecrackers. They proved that at the end of the day, what everyone really wants in a festival is the same: some great tunes and a wicked dance party.

music@nowtoronto.com | @LiisaLadouceur

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