Whoever said winter is too cold to party has clearly never been to Canada. Last weekend, Toronto played host to the first annual Brrrrr! Winter Music Festival, a two-day outdoor festival in the heart of the northern city. Although Brrrrr! wasn’t as big as Digital Dreams or Veld, it wasn’t trying to be. From the very start the festival didn’t feel like your typical event, and the varied collection of artists performing certainly confirmed it. Featuring a lineup of Dubfire, Moby, Mord Fustang, Deniz Koyu, Moguai, Miss Kittin, and Danny Avila, to name a few, Brrrrr! offered a great combination of mainstream and underground acts and showcased some serious talent.
The Festival began with the temperature starting out at -5 and it dropped to -10 as the night went on, but that didn’t seem to bother the hyped-up crowd. A great turnout of people decked out in ski jackets, boots, gloves, and toques (hats for you non-Canucks) lined the waterfront across two stages, huddling around fires and indoor tents. Hot chocolate, blankets, and warm clothing were provided by festival workers to keep people dancing, but once the music started it might as well have been July.
Moby headlined Day 1 and showed off his mastery of the decks, hopping between genres and mashing up deep house with a little bit of everything else. Some of you may only know Moby from his ’90s mainstream radio phase, but this guy is a veteran performer and still one of the best to do it. Things got so heated that Moby ripped his own shirt off on stage while he was playing, in -10 degree weather.
Day 2 made the first day look warm by comparison, but the party kept going. Dubfire knew what the crowd wanted and delivered it, sending the crowd into collective apoplexy with slamming techno, minimal, and house beats. He is a master at building a crowd up again and again and ended off everything with a very enjoyable performance. Those brave souls who stayed until the end may have all went home with cold extremities, but they also left with giant smiles painted on their faces.