Who are the top music promoters in Toronto?
Toronto's music scene is booming right now. And not just the electronic one. Some of the credit for this has to go to local music promoters. Many of these promoters are generating a lot of excitement by overtaking unconventional spaces and turning them into places where people can enjoy music, party and have a different experience offered than the typical live music venue. There are many music promoters out there worthy of some kudos but here are five who currently rank among my favourites.
Young Lions Music Club
The Young Lions Music Club have been making quite a voice for themselves over the past year by roaring through the scene with events like the Bellwoods picnic/living room series which included performances by Pick A Piper, Rich Aucoin, Hooded Fang and more. On the last Friday of every month they put on DJ sessions from both conventional and unexpected talent like Brendan Canning and Damian Abraham. Think of it as a giant house party but with less Vex and more PBR. What's more, they offer a free membership card that gets you discounts at Poutini's. What's not to like about a collective that throws parties, exposes new artists, creates a stronger community and fills you up with poutine along the way?
The first time I went to one of Mansion's events it was an Ill Scarlett show in a historical Annex house. Since then, they've shifted away from that genre of music and moved toward a different style. What hasn't changed is their ability to transform a normal space into a place where music fanatics can congregate and be part of a unique experience. Some of the venues they've used to date include Dim Sum King, Loft161 and Twist Gallery. There was also the recent Visions party at 99 Sudbury. Kicking off the summer is Zebra Katz + MikeQ on June 16 at the Black Box Theatre and another jam called Pop Kult at The Gladstone Hotel.
These guys fuse together food, music and a fun at all of their parties and are mostly known for their weekly Friday Night Live at the ROM series. My favourite thing about their events are their pop-up food/drink vendors, which include Fidel Gastro's, JK Frites, Waffle Bar and c5. In the past they've thrown parties at the Burroughes for St. Paddies Day and a Halloween party at the Amsterdam Brewery. On July 7 they'll be throwing a music festival at the Amsterdam Brewery with performances from Kill Them With Color, KwikFiks, Gray Moonen and a curated selection of live bands.
It's no secret that Promise has been throwing parties on Cherry Beach for years. They have a large following and continue to grow. Aside from throwing their Cherry Beach Promise Parties, Promise also puts together The Harvest Festival, DJ Skate Nights at Harbourfront and one-off parties at places like the Centre of Gravity. Their next big event is at the Sunnyside Pavilion on June 9. The line-up includes Halo Varga, Dinamo Azari, Ali Black and more.
These guys don't stick to the typical theme party notion and instead have opted for big city themed parties. _yes/n has thrown events at various venues such as the Brockton Collective and Oz Studios. At their Oui Paris party, they used a projector to create an Instagram music visualizer or, simply put, photos from the party were instantly uploaded onto a screen. This originally started off as a small-time birthday celebration and has now turned into a monthly jam. Next up, _yes/n brings Detroit to Toronto in July. Stay up to date with their parties by checking up on their Facebook status updates.
This is my list. What's yours? Who are some of your favourite music promoters in Toronto? Add your faves to the comment thread below.