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flaming lips at NXNE, and other hot FREE shows in T.O. this summer

June 11, 2012

Goodbye winter Toronto. Goodbye cold nights spent hibernating in your rental unit, huddled around your leaky rad thatseemed to have commited suicide months ago. Wondering how the hell you ever thought this dayless basement liveable. and why did my parents move to country with such a disgusting climate. And then finally, the snow breaks and it’s !Hello summer Toronto! Hello pretty girls in dresses, and people in the street. Hello drinking outdoors, at free bandshells all summer long. Here’s a look at some of the best of festival city this summer:

We’ve italicized our favourites


As usual, indie rock festival North By North East has some of the best free shows to grace Toronto this season. As is the tradition, the fest will provide 4 evenings of the best names in the festival’s line-up, for free at Yonge and Dundas Square. Check full listings for free shows in parks, rooftops, and afterparties.

Monday June 11th: Metric: The Edge Studios @ Sugar Beach

In partnership with NXNE Edge 102.1 presents Metric live @ 8 PM as part of the Sugar Beach Sessions

Thursday June 14th: Punk: Yonge and Dundas Square

Bad Religion 9 PM, Good Riddance 8 PM, No Use For A Name 7 PM, Slaves on Dope 6 PM, Trouble Andrew 5 PM

Friday June 15th: Pop

Matthew Good 9:30 PM, Plants And Animals 8:30 PM, Eight And A Half 7:30 PM

Saturday June 16th: Stay Weird

The Flaming Lips 9 PM, Portugal. The Man 8 PM, Of Montreal 7 PM, Oberhofer 6 PM, Hollerado 5 PM, Art Vs. Science 4 PM, Ceremony 3 PM, Parlovr 2 PM, Brasstronaut 1 PM, The Burning Boyz 12 PM

Sunday June 17th: Hip Hop

Raekwon & Ghostface Killah 9 PM, Killer Mike 8 PM, Action Bronson 7 PM, Tre Mission 6 PM, Tasha The Amazon 5 PM

Luminato Festival

The arts festival offers a variety of free concerts a few times a week during it’s 2 week run from the David Pecaut Square, near St. Andrew subway station. Some of my favourite picks are:

Monday June 11th: David Pecaut Square

Deltron 3030 with Nomadic Massive 9 PM, hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Vish Khanna

Saturday June 16th: David Pecaut Square

Dan Mangan 2 PM, Kathleen Edwards 3:30

Sunday June 17th: David Pecaut Square

Kevin Fox 3 PM, Ohbijou 4 PM

Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay West

The friendly folks at the multi-arts complex of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre will host a festival almost every weekend this summer. The programming is very friendly towards multi-culturism in Toronto, and a great place to catch a hot world act you may not have heard yet. Check the website for full listings. Here’s my favourite pick for the summer- the Canada’s Day Fest.

Canada’s Day: Harbourfront Centre

Hidden Camera’s 9 PM.

Toronto Jazz Festival June 22nd- July 1st

While there are no names like Aretha Franklin on the festivals bill of freebies this year, the outdoor stage at Nathan Phillips Square boasts a week of free concerts. More info above.

Beaches Jazz Festival

The counterpart to the Toronto Jazz Festival, featuring big-band, latin jazz and funk multiple stages in the east end. Stages are located at Kew Beaches and Woodbine Park. Admission to all (or most) events is free.

Yonge and Dundas Square

Y & D Square is host to free events all summer, including free screenings of movies (Such as a personal fav Priscilla Queen of the Desert Tuesday, June 26th 9 PM) and concerts. See above for full event calendar

The Beauties, Friday July 20th 8 PM

Cuff The Duke, Friday Aug 31st 8 PM

These are just some of the free events in the city this summer, so get out there and enjoy the city this summer.

flaming lips play yonge and dundas square sat june 16th 9 pm

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