Unity Festival 2017 Preview12 July 2017 / by Sanjeev Wignarajah (author)
Unity Charity marks its 10th anniversary this year since its inception in 2007. To celebrate the milestone, the organization is having its annual festival for three days from July 13 to 15 showcasing local and international talent from music to dance. Best of all, admission is free. Here is the breakdown of the three day festival as well as some artists to look out for.
Thursday, July 13 (Day 1)
The festival will kick off with the Unity MC/spoken word and graffiti showcase happening at Geary Lane at 360 Geary Avenue from 5 to 11 p.m. The event is hosted by Randel Adjei, Tony G. and Berma.
The music acts include Xolisa, Full Circle, Nasim, Michael Morales, among others. The graffiti exhibition is presented by Phade, Bubz, Luvsum, Darcy Obokata and Emstro.
Friday, July 14 (Day 2)
Day 2 of Unity Festival will feature breakdancing and beatboxing held at Underpass Park, south of King and River streets from 5 to 11 p.m. Admission is free. The breakdance portion of the event will feature Toronto’s top youth and professional street dancers in a dance battle from popping to hip-hop. It will also feature a second round dance battle between dance crews and students.
The beatboxing portion of the festival will feature a battle between the top beatboxers under 20 years of age in a one on one. The judges are Parallel (Sparx and Psyreine) and Wordofmouf (Killabeatz and Subconcious).
The musical acts are Keysha Freshh, Nekkrak, Obuxum, Bucc N Flvr and DJs Andy B Bad and Soul Secta.
Saturday, July 15 (Day 3)
Day 3 is the Unity Concert happening at David Pecaut Square at 56 John Street from 3 to 11 p.m. The concert will feature local artists such as Los Poetas, The Sorority and many more.
Headlining this year’s Unity Concert is Main Source, a legendary hip-hop crew that consists of Large Professor, Mikey D, K-Cut, Neek The Exotic and Joe Fatal. Main Source have collaborated artists such as A Tribe Called Quest (Rest In Peace Phife Dawg), Common, Mobb Deep (Rest In Peace Prodigy), Nas and other artists. Hip-hop heads don’t want to miss them performing at the concert.
Another group that will be performing is Los Poetas. Che Uno, Louwap, Afantu, DJ Grouch and Vago make up Los Poetas, a Toronto-based Latino hip-hop crew. The group infuses the sounds of boom-bap and lyrics about the political issues in South and Central America. Los Poetas have released two albums: Los Poetas in 2015 and Cartas Vol 1 this year.
Toronto female hip-hop crew, The Sorority, is another act to look out for at the Unity Concert. The group is made up of Haviah Mighty, Keysha Freshh, Lex Leosis and Phoenix Pagliacci.
Hailing from Toronto, R&B artist Jayd Ink is an artist you won't want to miss live. His soothing voice combined with his infectious hip-hop beats will no doubt put you in a groove.
Lastly, be sure to check out Nigerian-born artist Tobi at the Unity Concert. He left his country when he was nine years old and turned to music to deal with personal issues. You can expect to hear songs off his 2016 EP FYI.