This week’s best parties include DJ Skratch Bastid’s second annual BBQ, the SummerWorks opening party, and a spooky sleepover at the Gladstone.
Thursday: SummerWorks: The Opening Night Party
With various performers. The Great Hall, 1807 Queen Street West. #WQW Free. Doors at 7 p.m.
Here’s an easy way to describe this one: “concert meets art party meets happening.” Anything that SummerWorks does, I love—and it’s that time of year again. Starting tonight until August 19, the juried performance fest will take over the city with dozens upon dozens of things to see/do/feel. And a big launch party is imminent—as in, it’s tonight. Head to The Great Hall for free everything: Tiny Tom Donuts, Lakeview eats and live music. Look for Kat Burns’ new band KASHKA, Chrome and The Ice Queen, a Twin Peaks-themed writing project/experiment (which, let’s face it, sounds amazing). Find out more here.
Friday: Dare Night Lockdown
The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. #WQW Free. Doors at 7 p.m.
It took me a minute to decide if this was a serious sleepover. And apparently The Torontonians—the Gladstone’s teenagers-in-residence mentor group—mean (scary) business. Tomorrow night, they present Dare Night Lockdown, a sleepover with one eye open. And it’s BYOSB (bring your own sleeping bag), so, yes, they be #PartyRocking all night, or something like it. Part of the SummerWorks Live Art Series, fun times on the chopping block (other than your head) include The Astral Project (“a sleep-along-seminar that will teach you how to have an out-of-body experience”) and the Blood Ball, which I imagine to be kind of like Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball. (Probably not, though.) They’re also doing the ghost stories thing, but “not your regular campfire ghost stories—bleeding ones.” Survivors will venture to a 10 a.m. cookout at Dufferin Grove Park the next morning, and, well, let me know how it goes. Find out more here.
Friday: #SequelSeries Finale with Troll 2
Featuring The Lazy DJs. Cinecycle, down the alley off 129 Spadina Avenue. #QNW $5 advance here, $7 at the door. Doors at 9 p.m.
Tegan & Holly help throw big house parties and they also do some lovely, nostalgia-laced party nights of their own. In the final instalment of their #SequelSeries, the ladies will screen 1990’s Troll 2 (Spoiler: goblins eat humans, the end). It’s also famously been called the worst move of all time, so much so that there’s a documentary about it, Best Worst Movie, which they’re screening too. Find out more here.
Saturday: 2nd Annual Bastid’s BBQ
With various performers. The Steam Whistle Brewery Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd. #HAR $15 advance, available at Soundscapes, Rotate This, Play De Record, Ransom Holding and online. Doors at 6 p.m.
After reading this profile of Toronto-via-Halifax DJ Skratch Bastid, a.k.a. Paul Murphy, it’s hard not to develop a bit of a bro-crush on him: that record collection, those Drake Hotel nights, his unique (almost retro) skillz on the turntable. Basically, the man’s a pro. He returns this Saturday with the second instalment of his BBQ series, where you’ll be able to stuff your face and then dance it off like it’s 1999. Look for acts like BadBadNotGood, Paul E. Lopes and DJ Mastermind, alongside a slew of other names you’ll know. There’s Caribbean-fusion food by Massive Catering, including hoisin-jerked chicken and beef sliders, plus an inaugural wing-eating competition that will see five people try to eat as much bird as they can in a 10-minute span. While you salivate, enjoy Bastid’s latest mix below and find out more here.
Saturday & Sunday: ALL CAPS! Island Festival
With various performers. Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island. #HAR Saturday. $30 for weekend pass, $17 each day. Doors at 3 p.m.
If, like me, you still have a condition called Osheaga Brain, the ALL CAPS! Island Festival may be just what the doctor ordered. All you’ve got to do is read my colleague Chris Bilton’s feature on “Toronto’s little festival that could” to be convinced of how great it’s going to be. The weekend-long, family-friendly festival is the product of a partnership with Wavelength—the brains behind the late, great, legendary Sunday night music series—and Artscape. All you need are three words: music, camping, and art. Oh: and food, and bonfires, and swimming—so essentially a handful of summer island fun. The fourth annual festival “features a dynamically diverse line-up of independent music from across the continent…in a gorgeous, intimate environment.” Look for headlining performances from YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN on Saturday and Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers on Sunday, plus a dozen more acts and artists. Annnd there’s a workship with TSO & Tod Machover’s “A Toronto Symphony”! For ticket sales and a full schedule, click here.