Toronto's X Avant Festival Details 2023 Edition

Featuring Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Germaine Liu and Gabber Modus Operandi

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Sep 6, 2023

Organizers from the Music Gallery have unveiled details for the 18th edition of the X Avant Festival as they gear up to return to Toronto this fall.

Set to take place from October 11 to 15 in venues across the city, X Avant VXIII is taking on a "Nerds" theme this year, with creative performances involving Nerds candy and shows dedicated to everything nerdy. 

Organizers gave further context to the theme, saying this year's festival "celebrates the passion, inquisitiveness and dedication it takes to create music, transforming the once-taboo term into a highlight of artistic ingenuity." 

Festival alum Germaine Liu headlines the first night of performances with a unique show using Nerds candy as her primary instrument. Fahmid Nibesh, Raphael Roter, Mark Zurawinski and Chris Willes will round out the night's shows. Elsewhere, organizers have arranged a sound installation labelled Six Turntables with records of their own running on multiple loops, made in collaboration with Public Recordings and the Toronto Public Library. 

The Annex's Bata Shoe Museum hosts the second night, with acoustic and shoe-centric (tap dancing, shoe horn beats and more) performances from Tegan Dietsch, Lina Allemano, Why Be Normal, Eye-Duh Ko, Tom Richards and Annie Elgie. 

Night three is a celebration of the traditional Indonesian percussive orchestral music called gamelan, presented by performers from Indonesian experimental electronic label Yes No Wave. Gabber Modus Operandi is set to headline, with support from Rani Jambal, Wok the Rock and more. 

The fourth night of the festival, aptly labelled Nerds Are Punk Too, is a free community roundtable centred around promoting local arts in a direct response to government funding cuts for arts institutions like Artscape

To close out the five-night fest, Beverly Glenn-Copeland will perform his upcoming album The Ones Ahead, with support from Teiya Kasahara at Eastminster United Church.

Tickets for X Avant XVIII can be found at the Music Gallery's official website.

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