Finally – My NXNE 2012 Review

I am finally over my post-NXNE hibernation, catching up on work, and hangover. It was a wild six days and I didn’t do nearly all the things I wanted to do, but there’s always next year, right? πŸ˜‰

Here’s a quick summary of my Tuesday-Sunday weekend:

Tuesday: I kicked off NXNE with the #LIVEatNXNE party at Hashtag Gallery on Dundas West hosted by Diego. Diego is a pretty awesome dude that I used to work with and I’m glad we’ve kept in touch because he threw some amazing parties at Hashtag Gallery for NXNE!

The #LIVEatNXNE party was a collection of photographs of live music from a number of great photographers. It’s easy to forget that Toronto (and Canada!) has some really talented live music photographers that work hard freelancing for magazines and music publications.


We hopped in an Uber and zipped over to the #tracksontracks party hosted by the talented Mr. Honsberger at the gorgeous 404 loft space.

Wednesday: Unexpected last minute deadline popped up. Things happen, but NXNE did not for me that night.

Thursday: Back at it! Saw the end of Bad Religion at Yonge Dundas Square and it was packed! On a Thursday night! Hellloooo NXNE! Then headed west to the Gladstone to catch Saint Alvia who didn’t end up playing, but we danced to God Made Me Funky instead. Word up Cee-lo lookalike! Then it was over to the Great Hall for Daniel Romano so that Carly and I could swoon (we did) and up to Supermarket to catch old faves The Organ Thieves. Debauchery was had and my liver appreciated the weekend warmup.

20120624-154504.jpgGod Made Me Funky


Daniel Romano


The boys on stage with Organ Thieves

Friday: I got up bright and squirrely (even brighter than I had hoped – never set your alarm at 3am during NXNE. I reset the clock) and headed down to the Hyatt for NXNEi. I sat in on some really inspiring panels, my favourites being “Digital Workforce: Employee Engagement and Corporate Culture” and “Project Butterfly: Escaping the Net”.


Digital Workforce reminded me why I work in social media and with new and emerging technologies. I have been saying that employers really need to change now to keep up with web 2.0 and that embracing new tech can actually benefit them, so it was nice to see it being preached by some well respected folks working for large, successful corporations.

Project Butterfly was my sort of tech-meets-cultural anthropology study. It examined how people interact online and IRL, and how their online persona can tell a lot about their IRL persona and vice versa. Since I read Carl Kingdom’s 10 Myths about Introverts posted by Lisa of Turn The Record Over I have really been focusing on how I am an introvert (not shy!) and how that is not necessarily a bad thing. It takes a lot of energy for me to be in social situations constantly and if you know me, you know that most times I just like to sit, absorb, and process the situation around me. I have come out of my shell a lot in the past 10 years but at heart, I am still an introvert and I’m beginning to be okay with that.

I learned that I am a Social Butterfly and not Hyperconnected. For a great summary of the presentation and a bit more information on “Social Butterfly vs Hyperconnected” check out this post.

After grabbing a bite to eat and a drink with my mom I met the boys at the Exclaim!/Jager Boneyard BBQ. This was one of my fave parties of NXNE this year! Classic cars, hot Jager girls, free beer and Jager, free massive BBQ dinner, free haircuts, DJs, and some VIP’s in the music industry.


Also, an adorable puppy.


The shows I hit that night: Die Mannequin at the Mod Club, Double Fuzz at Rancho Relaxo, The Coppertone at the Horseshoe, and ended with Teenage Kicks at the Elmo. I’ve seen the Kicks more than a few times but really enjoyed their set on Friday. Their energy was explosive and contagious and I was really glad I had decided to end my night on such a high note.



One of my fave new bands from NXNE is Double Fuzz. I loved their energy at the Rancho and was impressed they could get that much sound out of a two-piece band.


Saturday started off slow. I finally met up with Megan and headed down to the Converse City Carnage party at the Baitshop but the free BBQ was over. NXNE superwoman Carly cooked us dinner at her place and we zig-zagged across the city for Poor Young Things followed by special guests Yukon Blonde at the Horseshoe, The Mark Inside at the Gladstone, Teenage Head at the Great Hall, Meanwood at Rancho (really impressed by this band!), and caught a bit of the Fast Romantics at the Horseshoe.



I was really bummed I missed Hollerado, Beams and Gentlemen Husbands on Saturday, but what can ya do? I have seen them a bajillion times and I’ll see them all again!

A few thoughts about this year’s fest: the lineup was a bit meh for me. The Interactive didn’t go into the Saturday (hasn’t it in years past?) and while it was great for people without passes or wristband, there were no lineups at venues which makes me wonder if I wasn’t the only one hoping for a little more from the lineup.

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  1. Diego
    June 25, 2012 / 9:07 pm

    Interactive never ran into Saturday. In 2010 it was only Monday to Wednesday before the official none kickoff. Last year, it was Tuesday to Friday, with Tues+Weds being heavy with programming, and tapering off Thurs+Fri for music and film related panels. Workshops are primarily the Tuesday and are day-long events.Β 

    • JamieLeighTO
      June 25, 2012 / 9:51 pm

      Strange…must have been my wishful thinking! I think I took more time off last year too so I was able to see more of the social panels so my schedule was all thrown off. Thanks for the great events this year Diego!