NXNE [North By North East] Festival | NAS MEDIA REVIEW

Review by Nas Media photographer Harrison Haines.


June 23 – 25 –  DAY ONE OF NXNE: The festival weekend started on Friday (June 23nd) with some intimidating stormy weather looming for an outdoor music festival. But many braved the bad weather warnings and came out to enjoy some great music rain or shine.

As soon as you arrived to the Port Lands, you can immediately see the Skyline (main stage) and a ferris wheel off in the distance, which starts your excitement. Ferraro was the opening performance, they had a great rock sound! Next up was Jalen Santoy on the Canal stage (the second stage).  He brought some great hip-hop vibes with the crowd still growing. He had awesome energy getting the crowd super hyped! Especially when his single “Foreplay” came on. As soon as the beat started the crowd started dancing.


There was plenty of options for food at the venue. Everything from lobster rolls, beef tacos and poutine.

The Regrettes were performing on the Skyline stage. They’re a 4 piece female band and a male drummer with high energy dancing and swinging. After them at Canal stage was Cold Specks with their hypnotic soul/rock/r&b vibes. While they were jamming the sky finally decided to clear up and let the sun shine for the few remaining hours of daylight.

Back at Skyline stage the rap group E.M.P was bringing some hard hitting hip-hop to get you moving. After them was the unforgettable Twin Peaks with some cool high energy alt indie rock/folk tracks. The band had an old school look and sound to them transporting you to a different era during their set. Next up the well know Sleigh Bells began playing their hearts out and creating sing alongs to hits like “Infinity Guitars” & “Crown on the Ground”.  Amir Obe was next at the Canal Stage. Obe is a great lyricist making words and sentences flow into one another so smoothly creating great beats and tempo to rap his words.

Day one is coming to an end with Post Malone, the headliner taking the main stage with a bang! He enters the stage hyping up the crowd by chugging his token favourite beer, Bud Light, and playing professional WWE super star Stone Cold Steve Austin’s ring entrance theme song.

The show starts and the crowd is loving everything. He is running and dancing from side to side of the stage having a great time himself. Once his hits “White Iverson”, “Go Flex” and “Congratulations” came on the crowd went insane and sang along word for word. The show was amazing! Post Malone is definitely on our highly recommend performance list!


Day two begins with sun in the sky! Back to the Portlands event grounds to start the day off with Ebhoni on the Canal stage performing some R&B/Pop bangers and great choreographed dancing with her troop. The crowd has grown for today’s festivities, possibly because it’s a sunny Saturday and maybe because of all the great music including tonight’s headliner, Kaytranada who delivers constant bass to you!

After Ebhoni, Beach Season arrives to the Skyline stage. Beach Season is a two piece group with a DJ giving beat after beat and a singer that could cover every genre of music. Back at the Canal stage, Caveboy gave a cool rock show with great aesthetics. Heart Streets a female hip-hop/R&B duo from Montreal then took the Skyline stage to give an awesome soulful music experience!

BLAJK, a pop band, was up next! The lead singer had a broken leg so he had to perform while sitting in a chair, but that didn’t hold him back from dancing and letting his energy out! Next K.I.D. was playing some rock and getting the crowd to move and shake to hits like “Errors”.  The lead singer was very funny and she was cracking joke after joke between songs.



Local hip-hop artist John River’s performance brought a very in-depth look into his life through his lyrics giving you a mental visual of his life experiences.  Rock/Folk singer Son Little takes over the Skyline stage for some greatly orchestrated big band sounds to get you excited for popular American band Muna!

Muna took the stage running with enough energy to share and his high tempo performance made you excited for more. Next up the very popular New Jersey band Bleachers comes on giving a performance that could have been from a headlining act! The crowd knew the songs they performed making it as if they were the main event!


Tinie Tempah was after the Bleachers. We weren’t sure what to expect after such a great performance from the Bleachers but Tinie Tempah came to party, giving an unreal hip-hop show. Being from London he brought a unique style and flow to his bars not heard often in the Canadian music scene.


Finally Kaytranada takes the Skyline stage to end the night off. The crowd was ready to have a great time with him. Kaytranada threw out tons of beach balls for the crowd to throw around and enjoy during his set.  He played hit after hit after hit for everyone to dance to, such as “Drinking all Night”, Glowed up”, “Got it Good.”


The last and final day of NXNE has come.  Time to do the activities and eat the food you didn’t get a chance to on Day 1 and 2! With just grey in the sky, the rain starts to pour.  It poured for hours delaying the start of the festival.


After a couple of hours of delays, the music has finally started up but the crowd was still slowly rolling through. There was a smaller crowd halfway through the day due to weather but the bands were performing as if they were sold out shows.
On the Skyline stage Saya was performing bringing a chill vibe over the festival. Next the DJ duo, Humans took over the Canal stage bringing deep bass and vocals to start getting your feet moving.


Back at Skyline, River Tiber brought some cool vibes and sunshine with his set parting the grey skies! After rocking with River Tiber, Yukon Blonde was at the Canal stage keeping the rocking going with hits like “Saturday Night” (a song played all over the radio right now) and others like “I Wanna be Your Man.”


To finish the festival off the indie pop heavy hitters Passion Pit took control of the Skyline stage with a great light show and stage presence.  Lead singer Michael Angelakos covered every square foot of the stage with his moves. The band performed amazing together giving you a show you wouldn’t soon forget.  Even if you aren’t a fan of the band or genre you’ll remember Passion Pit’s performance.


Overall the festival was great! Tons of great performers from all kinds of genres from Post Malone to Passion Pit. The activities were fun with carnival rides and games to occupy yourself while you wait for your favourite artist to perform. Tons of amazing food and lots of real fruit beverage options to keep you going throughout your day and charging stations for phones and electronics so everyone can keep documenting their fun.

The NXNE festival was a great kick off to summer and the festival season. We can’t wait for next year!

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