Please share advice regarding Toronto outdoor concert in mid-August.
June 3, 2010 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Toronto Mefites; We are considering a trip to see a concert on Olympic Island in mid-August. Please share your thoughts pro or con...

We are two, possibly three adults. We've been to Toronto several times, but never in August, nor have we visited the island.
Will this be (1) a pleasant, relaxing time in a comfortable environment (with food and drink), or (2) a sun-baked, expensive, over-crowded nightmare, or (3) something in-between?
We have avoided Lollapalooza-type shows for some years now, but the time, place and concert just seemed like it could be a lot of fun...

We thank you in advance for any information you can share.
posted by cows of industry to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (11 answers total)
Is it the Virging Festival? I think it may have just been cancelled. (But come anyway! Toronto in August is terrific!)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:30 PM on June 3, 2010

getting to the island might be an overcrowded nightmare, but only because the ferries can only take so many people at a time. once you're on the islands there is enough space to lose yourselves if you don't mind a bit of walking. i don't know what the concert will allow or disallow in, but you can't go wrong bringing food and drink just in case. on the off-chance you might save yourselves a ton of cash. once you are on the island, they have you by the goolies for food and drink costs.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:48 PM on June 3, 2010

btw, there are a load of picnic tables and barbecues for public use. with the right planning you can have a blast. i'm almost tempted to come and join you as the festival you are interested in, doesn't appear to be one of the MEGA ones...
posted by Frasermoo at 6:52 PM on June 3, 2010

I had a great time a few years ago when bjork played there. And I hate crowds. It was well organised and neither ferry ride was overcrowded.
posted by saucysault at 7:00 PM on June 3, 2010

Thanks for the replies so far!
We're thinking about the Arcade Fire show on August 14.
We haven't been able to find any information about whether or not we'll be able to bring our own food and/or drink, but it sounds like we'll be able to do so...?
We were also a bit concerned about the August heat, as it gets a bit steamy here in the Detroit area. Is the heat not as much of a problem on the islands?
Also, if we wanted to find out more details specific to the concert guidelines, who might we contact? Toronto City Parks?
Thanks again!
posted by cows of industry at 7:17 PM on June 3, 2010

I've been to two concerts on the Islands and enjoyed them both. One was Virgin Fest a few years ago and the other was Death Cab For Cutie.

Yes, Toronto can be hot and humid in August, but it's always cooler and breezier by the water. If you want a good view of the stage though, you're going to have to sit in the sun.

They will most definitely restrict what you can bring inside the concert grounds. Check out this page for a different island concert for an idea of the rules:

The lovely barbecues and picnic tables Frasermoo mentioned will not be inside concert grounds.

I don't see myself as a Lollapallooza type either, but I had a blast at both island concerts. Plus, Arcade Fire, c'mon!!
posted by Rora at 7:35 PM on June 3, 2010

I've only been once (to a show opened by Arcade Fire, to show how far they've come) and it was great. It was not overcrowded, although I can't say if that was due to the attendance at this show rather than any attribute of the venue.

Like Frasermoo and saucysault have mentioned, the ferry ride is the only downside. The rush to get on to the ferries coming home is long, so if you're not big on lineups you may consider just sitting tight for a while until it thins out.

I'm certain when the full line-up is announced they'll also announce more details.
posted by Adam_S at 7:37 PM on June 3, 2010

I'm weighing this exact same decision.

I've been to concerts on the island before and while the island itself is great and beautiful, the actual music corral is a bit grim. I hate sitting on dead grass. and getting sunburnt. Your tolerance for outdoor music may vary.

But as Rora said, "Arcade Fire, c'mon!". They do put on an amazing show.

So atm my plan is to head out early to enjoy the environs before the show, pack a hat and sunscreen and suck it up for a great performance. I'd say come - you'll see one of the nicer bits of T.O. (if you haven't already) and I'll wager the performance will be fantastic.
posted by Joad at 8:56 PM on June 3, 2010

i say you should go. all of the concerts i've been to on the island were good experiences. the only time i found the ferries to be too crowded was when i went to the Virgin music festival, but that could be because we stayed to see the headliners both nights.

as others have said, it will be cooler down by the water. just make sure to pack the right stuff (sunscreen, hats, bottled water if it's allowed) and you'll be alright.
posted by gursky at 9:11 PM on June 3, 2010

Toronto can be a bit hot in August. It can get quite humid here. That said, Toronto is best city in the world, and it's awesome in the summer. And Arcade Fire are going to be awesome live.
posted by chunking express at 7:47 AM on June 4, 2010

Thanks for all your help, folks!
We brought tickets last night, so maybe we'll see some of you on the island this August.

Now, I wonder where we should stay...?
posted by cows of industry at 2:08 PM on June 5, 2010

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