North by Northeast, our friends up in Toronto, are at it again. The festival is already in full swing, and it turns 20 this year. So what better way for us to say, "Happy birthday!" than to feature SXSW alumni playing NXNE 2014 on SXSWfm? (Try saying that three times fast.) We're still working on getting a birthday cake across the border.*
According to an interview with NXNE President Michael Hollett, they have been modeling their festival off of SXSW, hoping that the music will encapsulate Toronto the same way it does Austin. "It will take us a while to completely do that, but we will someday. And we're a lot closer this year," Hollett said in the Billboard.biz interview.
The folks in the acronym festival business aren't the only ones hoping Toronto's music scene continues to look a little more like Austin's; last year, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford signed an agreement to make the two cities musical partners, creating opportunities for Austin musicians in Toronto and vice versa. In that sharing spirit, Austin Independent Radio organized a showcase at NXNE 2014 and raised enough money to send six Austin artists — Dana Falconberry, Leo Rondeau, Carson McHone, Jesse Moore, Aisha Burns and Mrs. Glass — to play, according to the Austin Business Journal.
If you're not already up in Toronto enjoying the festival, tune in to SXSWfm today at 12 & 6 CST to hear artists such as Spoon, St. Vincent, Eagulls and Grulke Prize-winner Future Islands and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of NXNE.
*We can't actually send a birthday cake. Sorry to get your hopes up.