NXNE Land 2016 took place in Toronto from June 13–19. Boasting expansion and maturation, the festival was divided into three distinct sections.
Club Land, Game Land, and Port Lands clustered artists according to their overarching genres and housed their performances in historical venues.
The Club Land portion of this year’s NXNE maintained the tradition of using the city as a venue. Independent, emerging, and established artists were thoughtfully juxtaposed on bills that catered to breeding a grassroots gathering place for new talent, such as VEINS, at the Silver Dollar Room.
MSTRKRFT stood at the intersection of underground culture and commercial sensibility within the festival’s headliners; they made their long-awaited return to Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern with modular reconstruction of their forthcoming album Operator.
The festival visibly leaned towards impressive bookings as a means of marketing NXNE in Toronto. Of these impressive bookings was Father John Misty, whose cinematic eccentricity captivated patrons on the closing night of the festival. As J. Tillman began his set with the Old Americana-tinged lyricism of “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” audience members flooded the gates that separated them from the stage.After nearly a two hour set and a setting sun timed perfectly to the brooding melancholy of the former Fleet Foxes drummer, the closing evening of NXNE left its attendees in a state of bliss.