Events / NXNE

NXNE Survival Guide: Port Lands Music Festival

19 June 2017 / by Nicole Di Donato (author)
Map of NXNE Port Lands Music Festival 2017.  (photo: )
Map of NXNE Port Lands Music Festival 2017.

North by Northeast (NXNE) Port Lands music festival returns for its second year with an eclectic lineup, rides, games and endless food options. 

This year, NXNE has made a lot of changes to the festival in order to make it more enjoyable for attendees. They have expanded the festival from two days to three with 30 acts who represent the best in indie, pop, rock, rap and soul music. 

Taking place June 23 to 25, the headliners include American rapper and singer-songwriter Post Malone, Montreal DJ and producer Kaytranada and American indie pop band Passion Pit. 

Local artists such as Cold Specks, EMP, Ferraro, K.I.D, John River, Ebhoni, Blajk, River Tiber, Saya, Grandson, Lost Cousins, The Kents, Midday Swim and Teen Ravine will also be performing. 

In addition to three days of live music, Port Lands will also have a ferris wheel, carnival games, a comedy tent, art installations and free water. 

For more information about NXNE and to purchase tickets, visit their website

For any three-day music festival, it's important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. It's also key that you ensure you've packed all of the essentials before you embark on your Port Lands journey. 

Check out Nicole Di Donato's survival guide for the NXNE music festival below: 



To start off, you're going to want to bring a backpack or a small bag to store all of the stuff coming up on this list. I personally like bringing a backpack as it's easy to carry and can fit everything I need for the festival. 

Comfort is key folks! The reality is, it's going to be hot as heck and you're going to be doing a lot of walking, standing and of course, dancing. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. My go-to festival shoes are black runners or Converse. Also be sure to bring a pair of sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Even if it's cloudy out, it's always good to be prepared in case the sun decides to make an appearance. Be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater for when it gets cooler at night. 

But hey, who says just because you're comfortable you can't look cute? I know we all want to attain that perfect Coachella look - so do it up! Music festivals are the perfect place to try out weird and unique looks, so might as well take advantage of it. 



Transportation to and from music festivals can sometimes be tricky, but luckily the Port Lands site is easily accessible! Located by Toronto's waterfront, Port Lands is right at the meeting point of two of Toronto's largest bike routes. There is also free valet bike parking on-site.

The TTC will also be adding buses from Pape Station and Union Station throughout the NXNE Port Lands weekend, making it even easier to get to the festival grounds. 

For attendees who will be driving to Port Lands, there will be tons of parking available.



There is nothing more frustrating than having your phone die right before the headliners take the stage (trust me, this has happened to me before). To avoid being faced with the troubling idea that you can't Snapchat the event or post pictures on Instagram, I highly recommend bringing a portable phone charger. A portable charger is a life (and battery life) saver and can be picked up anywhere with a decent tech department like Best Buy or Canada Computers for around $20-50. 



Your health should always come first! Although you may not think so, music festivals (especially ones that are three days long) can take a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. Some small things I like to keep in my bag when going to festivals are throat lozenges (in case you scream too much and your throat starts hurting), hand sanitizer (because, you can never be too safe!) and pocket tissues. 

Another item I suggest you bring along are ear plugs. Three days of loud music, screaming and chanting is sure to impact your eardrums. Protect yourself and your hearing by bringing a pair of ear plugs. You can purchase them at any local drugstore or if you want to go all out, you can buy a special pair of ear plugs that are specifically made for concerts and festivals. Some brands you can check out are Earlove and Alpine Hearing Protection.



There will be lots of food trucks on-site, offering a variety of sweet and savoury items. Some options include ice cream, Greek-style pita wraps, hot dogs, burgers, poutine, burritos, seafood and watermelon salad. You can expect to spend around $7-15, depending on what you order. 



It's super important to stay hydrated throughout the festival! This year, NXNE Port Lands will have free water stations, so be sure to bring an empty reusable water bottle to the festival. 

If you're craving a sweet, summery drink, you can grab a lemonade from Lemon Heaven or you can get a smoothie from Tropical Love. 



Whenever I go to a music festival, I always make sure I take out cash. If you're planning on drinking alcohol, you might want to bring some extra cash as drinks tend to be around $8-12. 

However, if you don't have time to run to the bank, not to worry! This year, NXNE is offering chip enabled wristbands. The NXNE RFID wristband gives attendees the option of going cashless for all three days of the Port Lands music festival. All you have to do is enable a credit card when you sign up with your wristband. You can add up to two wristbands to the same card. For more information about how to take advantage of the cashless option, go here.



With all the hot and sunny weather we've been getting in Toronto lately, it's safe to assume that you're going to need sunscreen. Keep some in your bag so you can reapply it throughout the day as needed. If you're looking to get some shade during the festival, you can check out some local comedians inside the comedy tent. 

The weather can be unpredictable so be sure to bring an umbrella in case it starts raining. 

According to the Weather Network, there is expected to be light rain on Friday with a high of 26 C. Saturday will be mainly sunny with a high of 25 C and Sunday will have a few showers with a high of 23 C.



Of course I had to include music on this list! There will be two stages (the Skyline Stage and the Canal Stage), so plan which acts you want to see. Usually before a music festival, I listen to at least one song from each artist and decide which ones I want to watch based on that. Some artists I am excited to check out at NXNE Port Lands include Post Malone, Twin Peaks, EMP, Cold Specks, Kaytranada, Bleachers, K.I.D, Muna, Beach Season, Passion Pit, Saya, Lizzo, Yukon Blonde, River Tiber and Lost Cousins. 


The author

Nicole Di Donato

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