Electric Island was quite an adventure in itself this summer. Due to season-long flooding on the island, the Victoria Day celebration took place at Woodbine Park, and the Canada Day/Civic Holiday festivities found a home at the Portlands; regardless of location, each event still pulled off the perfect “escape from the city” feel that we’ve all come to know and love these past years. The Labour Day celebration itself took place at the home location, Hanlan’s Point – being back on the island felt a bit surreal (knowing there was recently water levels past our ankles), yet a wave of comfort was hugely present throughout the venue, as we got settled one (first and) last time on the island this summer.
The picnic aspect of the event series seems to be slowly phasing out as the event progresses over time, most notably with “no outside food or drinks” on the bill. Nonetheless, the festival aspect seems to expand in some way every season. This year saw the addition of a permenent second stage, which featured some deep house vibes, to offset Toronto’s explosive minimal/tech/techno demand.
The first day saw acts such as Dusky and Chris Liebing laying down some grooves for the crowd to warm up to, as the full moon slowly made its way across the clear evening sky – all before the most talked-about performance that weekend, Claude VonStroke. The moment the Dirtybird father jumped on the decks and opened with his iconic track ‘Barrump,’ the entire area lit up and the feeling of being at home on the island fully kicked in, for an amazing two hours ahead.
Nearing the end of the first night, Claude unleashed some drum and bass, for the bassheads lurking among the masses. As soon as DJ Marky’s remix of Justin Martin’s ‘Back to the Jungle’ rang throughout the island, some of the shufflers started rinsing out instead, and those looking for a reason to headbang at some point got their wish fulfilled, before returning to the tech vibes with the Chris Lorenzo remix.
The second day was off to a good start. The day started off sunny, yet clouds overcame the skies rather quickly. Meanwhile, The Black Madonna was throwing down some nice, deep, funky grooves in her set, and it wasn’t before long that her mesmerizing set made us forget about everything around us. On the other end of the island, Mall Grab was having a blast and causing a party at the second stage.
Not too long after, the sky became rather dark in a short period of time. Partway into Dixon‘s set, an announcement was made for everything to come to an end, and for everyone to make their way to the ferries. No negotiations – there was a storm approaching, and everybody needed to evacuate off the island. With safety as their utmost priority, we were cleared off the island in a quick manner.
Despite the early closure, organizers had a solution prepared, by continuing the parties back on the mainland. Over at CODA, Sven Väth was on the decks, whereas Mall Grab and Soul Clap took to One Loft to continue the party. Both afterparties were free for all attendees, with their (e-)ticket or wristband present upon entry.
Amidst all the weather hassles throughout the summer, this was definitely an Electric Island to remember. A huge thank you goes out to the organizers – including but not limited to Embrace, Platform, LCPR, and Way Of Acting. Along with the wonderful talent, and the collective love of the attendees, this Electric Island series was easily one of the best seasons yet.
Check out some pictures from the finale below. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store for the event series!
All photos courtesy of Ded Agency.