The 18th year of NXNE (North by Northeast) was the most successful festival yet after phenomenal growth – with more artists, more film premieres, more day parties and more fans than ever before.
During the 7-day festival, June 11-17, 2012, more than 310,000 fans saw over 800 acts on over 50 stages, including a combined audience of 55,000 at Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) on Saturday for The Flaming Lips and on Sunday for Raekwon and Ghostface Killah.
"In New York we don't get the opportunity to come together to represent music like this. This is beautiful," said Raekwon from the stage at YDS during NXNE's epic closing concert.
The combination of breakthrough artists, a sold-out Interactive conference, and high-profile film premieres produced great moments and lasting memories, such as Raekwon and Ghostface Killah pulling two audience members on stage to perform Wu-Tang classic "Protect Ya Neck"; a full-on spontaneous roadside show at midnight in Parkdale by DZ Deathrays; a giant balloon from The Flaming Lips show somehow making its way to the Horseshoe Tavern; the Epic Meal Time crew taking over the NX Lounge to order four large meat lovers' pizzas onstage; Justin Rutledge and The Sadies headlining the NXNE @ YYZ stage at Toronto Pearson Airport; an impromptu concert byPitchblack Brass Band on King Street, and much, much more.
To keep the music alive, "The Best of NXNE 2012" compilation album – featuring singles by over 40 top NXNE bands – is available for free downloads on Amazon MP3 U.S. Go to http://amzn.to/NiQJgM
to download. TuneCore, the global leader in digital music distribution and a sponsor at this year's NXNE, was the catalyst for the creation and production of the album.
NXNE Film presented more than 40 films over seven days, with more world and Canadian premieres – and more directors attending – than ever before. The festival featured 50% Canadian content; and highlights during the week included a Q&A with writer Irvine Welsh after the screening of Ecstasy, the world premiere of My Father and The Man in Black, The Ballad of Hugh and the Canadian premiere of Once in a Lullaby: The PS 22 Chorus Story.
NXNE Interactive played host to over 175 hand-picked experts who inspired and challenged attendees to think differently about digital culture, marketing, content creation and social networking. Fucked Up's Damien Abraham wowed the crowd with insights about how punk rock shaped music, complete with audio samples, while Rosie Siman explored how brands should connect with online customers. From entertainment to awareness, all things digital and social were packed into the three fabulous days that were NXNEi.
NXNE also hosted a major Comedy component in production with Comedy Records at Lower Ossington Theatre, with over 70 comedians including Debra DiGiovanni, Trevor Boris and Scott Thompson's sketch troupe, Mouth Congress.
The NXNE Record Show by Kops Records filled the Hyatt Regency with music fans on the hunt for that rare find or hot collectible on June 16. A surprise exhibit at the record show was a display of Johnny Cash's gold records, including "A Boy Named Sue" and "Ring of Fire."
The 6th annual NXNE "Put The Boot In" charity soccer match, benefiting Right to Play, raised funds to help to improve the lives of children around the world through the power of sport. Musicians, media, and celebrities competed for the coveted Queen and Beaver Cup – won this year by a 3-1 result for the Rollers over the Rockers.
NXNE further cemented its relationship with the Government of Ontario with an official festival address delivered from the YDS stage by the Honourable Michael Chan, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.
What happens at NXNE doesn't always stay at NXNE – thanks to the local, national, and international media outlets that covered the festival. Correspondents from the United Kingdom, Australia and across North America were among 750 accredited media helping spread the news from the festival across the country and the world.