Move over Toronto, because London is quickly making a name for itself as a central hub for culture and arts! On Saturday, June 13, London held it’s 6th annual Dundas Street Festival, which offered an endless supply of live music, food, and art.
Throughout the day, the music was blasting, and it really brought the festival alive. There were three main stages where bands and artists preformed, and something that I liked was that they each had it’s own vibe. At the main stage, you could get the concert, upbeat vibe, or watch a more intimate performance at the Fanshawe stage. But no matter what stage you were at, the bands also did a great job of ejecting energy into the crowd.
Over the last few years the London music scene has been growing, and I think that this festival really showcased the local talent, as well as other emerging Canadian artists and bands. With bands like Zeus, Mountain of Wolves, Cat Clyde, and Ivory Hours, the music was in one word, amazing. The festival did a great job of securing different types of bands to play, whether that be punk, folk, or electronic; there was a great amalgamation of music playing throughout the day that offered something for everyone.
Other then music, there were a few street performers that kept everyone entertained; well it’s not that hard when you bring fire into the mix.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention the food and the vendors. There was a line of food trucks along Dundas, which offered a variety of food to choose from. For lunch, I went with the classic chicken shawarma and it was probably one of the best I’ve had in London. There were also a lot of vendors that were selling everything from art to jewellery to baked goods, and I have to say, there were a lot of hidden gems. I found a great photographer, Nicole Adams, who is a London native, who was selling her prints of pictures she had taken from her travels around the world. I also stumbled upon the most adorable eco-friendly artists, Dear Thelma, Love Louise, who up-cycles materials to create jewellery and art.
From the music to the vendors, the Dundas Street Festival is one that breathes passion and energy, but the true heart and soul of the festival comes from its staff and volunteers. They have passion in spades, and ate truly devoted to making this the best experience possible.
During the festival, I got to talk to Beth Stewart, the Venue Manger and curator for the visual fridge. She has been involved with the festival since the first year. Of the festival, she said, “The people who founded the Dundas Street Festival had a strong vision of what type of arts festival they could bring to London, and they’ve really succeeded, year after year.” She was most excited to see the visual fridge come alive, and is someone who really supports local London artists, of all levels. I think it’s safe to say that she is one of many volunteers and staff who share this attitude.
Once the festival ended, Nuit Blanche began and it provided a great space for local artists to showcase their work. There were a lot of great art instillations, pieces, and performance and was a great convergence of London life with the London art world.
The Dundas Street festival was a great way to start the summer, and brought a lot of local talent to the streets to showcase their work. The music was flowing, the food was delicious, the people were friends, and the art was inspiring; I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.