Published Aug 25, 2014If the summer festival season left you several bills short of paying your rent, the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival is a godsend. The fourth annual edition of the Toronto event is, as in the past, completely free and full of talent, with this year being headlined by Canadian indie rock royalty like Julie Doiron and Brendan Canning.
This year's festival takes place September 19 to 21 at various locations in the Christie Ossington neighbourhood, including Christie Pits Park and venues Saving Gigi, Studio 835 and Bassline Music Bar. While show specifics are still being rolled out, the multi-venue approach brings out Doiron and her back up band the Wrong Guys, featuring Eamon McGrath and the Cancer Bats rhythm section of Mike Peters and Jaye Schwarzer. McGrath will also be performing solo during the festival.
On top of a performance from Canning, Broken Social Scene offshoot AroarA will also make it out to the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival. Hip-hop artist Que Rock, Shotgun Jimmie and Fiver are a few of the other big names, while the fest will also include sets from Army Girls, Artie Roth, Baby Eagle, Heavy on the Willie, Jose Contreras, Ken Park, LICE, Lily Frost, Lunchmeat, Menalon, Now Yr Taken, Pink Moth, Surinam, Terror Lake, the Highest Order, the Idaho Stop the Lonely Parade, and Will Kidman.
The master of ceremonies this year is former Rheostatics member and celebrated author Dave Bidini.
"BOFF was designed as a way to celebrate Toronto's rich music scene while delivering the warm and local feeling of a classic Canadian folk festival," co-organizer Kristjan Harris said in a statement of the free festival experience. "As the scene flourishes, we will be right there with it, keeping close watch and helping to progress Canadian musical talents."
In addition to the bands, Christie Pits Park will host food vendors, a beer garden run by Beau's All Natural Brewing Company and awareness groups including the David Suzuki Foundation's Home Grown Project and the Green Here Organization.