wavelength music festival

The top 5 reasons to check out Wavelength 2015

The Wavelength Music Festival is set to celebrate its 15th birthday this weekend with its array of unique concerts and parties planned across multiple Toronto venues. The event is once again a carefully curated collection of independent music with a strong local focus, this time headlined by critical darling Lowell, punk icon Art Bergmann and Montreal's Mozart's Sister.

The milestone anniversary brings a lot more than just the traditional three-day soiree, however: more music, art and quirky additions have been added to flesh out the 15th installment. If you need convincing to get out of your fleece pyjamas and brave the February cold for a festival this weekend, here are the top five reasons to make it to Wavelength this year.

The expanded celebrations
Wavelength's 15th anniversary brings us the biggest version of the fest yet. A special pop-up gallery at HuntClub has already been open since January featuring an art exhibit, mini shows and a talk series with local music insiders.

The $33 festival pass also gets you into an extra concert on Thursday night to hear the noisy stylings of Speedy Ortiz, HSY and Wish.

The indie rock reunions
Can a music festival even exist without at least one band reunion? I think there must be some legal stipulation in their permits now. Wavelength keeps up with current nostalgia demands by resurrecting three bands from the purgatory of mid-00s playlists. There's Ottawa's dream-folk purveyors The Acorn, Guelph garage-rockers Brides and the most talked-about reunion, controller.controller.

All the coolest, weirdest Toronto music to discover
Wavelength is all about the delightfully odd and danceable, so if you like your music upbeat and off the beaten path, you'll find plenty to love at this year's event. Check out Fresh Snow if you like inventive, psych-influenced instrumentals, Ginla if you like spacey bedroom jams or Del Bel if you miss the heyday of trip hop.

The cover bands
This year's theme of "Past, Present and Future" inspires Friday's Toronto Tribute Series, a covers night honouring the fest's most famous alumni. Six budding locals will turn themselves into tribute acts - or in the case of Hervana, a different kind of tribute act. They'll don covers of The Constantines, dance duo Most People will attempt Broken Social Scene with like 1/15th of the band members and rapper More or Les will perform a mix of classics from Toronto hip hop history, among others.

That sweet festival-extended last call
Wavelength's final night at The Garrison affords an extended 4 a.m. last call, complete with late-night sets from Cellphone and Look Vibrant. So if you love the standard music festival experience of staying out at the bar 'till four, but always wished you could have it on a Sunday in the dead of winter, here's your chance, party animal. (Tip: Monday is a holiday, so you can sleep off your party all Family Day.)

Photo of Del Bel via Blouin ArtInfo

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