Not only is Yonge-Dundas Square hosting free movies this summer, it will also be the site of free concerts.
The Yonge-Dundas Square’s multicultural free concert series kicks off on Friday, June 29 and will run for ten weeks until August 31.
As well, each week, two Canadian graffiti artists will come together to showcase their creative style and individuality while drawing inspiration from the music of the week.
So who is playing this summer?
Friday, June 29: YDS will transform into a dance club when rising stars of electronica take the stage. Juno-nominated DJ Shub combines traditional indigenous music with dance beats for a distinctly Canadian sound. But first, brand-new piping-hot Filipino duo DATU start the party with their futuristic refrains. Also on the bill is the darling hey! dw, bringing a feminine touch to the worlds of DJs.
Friday, July 6: The Heart of the City beats for the eccentric folk sounds of Juno-award winning The East Pointers. Opening is two-time Canadian Folk Music nominee Megan Bonnell, making a name for herself with profound lyrics and sweet melodies. Travelling musical couple The Young Novelists, winners of the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for New/Emerging Artist, are also on this down-home line-up.
Friday, July 13: Escape the hectic pace of urban living with some country rhythm. Leah Daniels will charm audiences with her impressive vocal range, which includes a background in yodelling and musical theatre. Headlining are the brother-sister act The Reklaws who charted last summer when they were included in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “PM Playlist” for Spotify.
Friday, July 20: The Square is all ears for an eclectic combination of acts. Fresh off her critically acclaimed solo show at Toronto’s Opera House, Chloe Watkinson headlines with her rich soulful vocals. She is preceded by show opener Carol Ellyn, sharing her dreamy pop tunes. Also opening is Shred Kelly, who produce a genre all their own with a bold mix of electronic and folk. Joining them is big band The Achromatics, playing Latin/Motown fusion tunes that are almost as loud as their spandex stage costumes.
Friday, July 27: Girl power takes over the square with a bewitching lineup of singer-songwriters. First, Juno-nominated Iskwé commands the stage with her genre-blending beats and powerful voice. POESY, taking her name from the archaic word for poetry, follows with her captivating lyrical work. Headlining is another Juno nominee, Lydia Ainsworth, recognized internationally for merging classical and pop into a dulcet, one-of-a-kind style.
Friday, August 3: Music fans will be blessed with live songs from not one, but two of Toronto’s most legendary reggae groups. The Juno-nominated, eight-piece band Fujahtive opens the evening, accompanied by frequent collaborator RaLion, known for his powerful and poetic showmanship. The off-beat vibes of Sattalites will keep the night cool as an island breeze.
Friday, August 10: This will be a night of good old-fashioned rock n’ roll with some of Canada’s most invigorating bands. Roots quartet Johnson Crook will make YDS feel like a music festival with tunes that draw on their small-town origins. They are complemented by London-native Texas King, noted across Canada for their distinct vocals and high-energy shows. Headlining is The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, playing like there’s no tomorrow with their hardy blues tracks.
Friday, August 17: The musical rebellion begins with PKEW PKEW PKEW, pop-punkers from Toronto known for nuanced lyrics about the highs and lows of adolescence. Taking their name from a joke on Seinfeld, punk/folk trio The Penske File work hard and play harder with a harmonious and tight-knit set. Then, headline act The Flatliners arrive, going on sixteen years of playing together and bold as ever with their enduring punk/ska sound.
Friday, August 24: Put the ‘fun’ into ‘funk’ with KC Roberts & The Live Revolution. The eight-man band from Toronto take a collaborative approach to songwriting, resulting in fearless, soulful storytelling through music. Owning the night are headliners After Funk, an explosive and groovy group winning hearts and minds across North America with their behemoth sound.
Friday, August 31: The summer ‘raps’ up with the latest and greatest in Toronto hip-hop artists flaunting local pride. Clairmont The Second, fresh off a 2018 Juno nomination, commands the stage with his buzzworthy gospel-inspired tone. His opening act, the experimental collective The Dirty B-Sides, combine hip-hop with drums, synth, strings, and horns for a show that needs to be seen to be believed.
When: Every Friday, June 29 to August 31
Time: 8 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square