FuseBox Radio Broadcast Coverage: North by Northeast (NXNE) 2014

DJ Fusion of the FuseBox Radio Broadcast- Downtown Toronto During North by Northeast (NXNE) - June 2014

Ausar Ra Black Hawk of the FuseBox Radio Broadcast- Downtown Toronto During North by Northeast (NXNE) - June 2014

What's up FuseBoxRadio Broadcast and BlackRadioIsBack.com crew!

We’ve been out and about a lot during the past month at various events, including traveling away from our regular East Coast arena of the U.S. and heading up top to Canada for the annual 
North by Northeast (NXNE) Festival in Toronto, Ontario.

Held from June 13 – 22, 2014, NXNE brought out a ton of awesome international independent & mainstream musical, art, comedy and cinematic talent along with having strong Interactive portion of panels & presentations 
throughout their 20th anniversary celebratory event.

North by Northeast can best be compared to is South by Southwest (SXSW)…but it’s without the extremely high registration fees (seriously…there are more than enough options to be able to attend NXNE depending on your interest for not too much at all cash wise to FREE), the sometimes stifling amount of folks who give care more about being seen where the “popular kids” are rather than the entertainment on deck & hotels in the downtown area that tend to be affordable and of decent to high quality near a lot of the event venues.

After about 10+ hour ride on the Megabus (which has pretty much become our unofficial official ride back and forth to NXNE) from Washington, DC and resting up a bit, it was basically a non-stop run of hitting up cool concerts, art events, comedy shows and performing…with a lot of good going down and a few notes of things that can be improved.

Here are some random observations folks made during this year’s (the 3rd we attended) North by Northeast adventures along with some pictures and video for folks to check out...enjoy! - DJ Fusion/FuseBox Radio Broadcast

Why is North by Northeast awesome & worth going to? 
Here's a video via the fellow cool indie media fam of Where's My 40 Acres? that shows you in less than 2 minutes...

The BIG things about North by Northeast that makes it awesome +worth the travel, money & time to attend

1.  NXNE has a pattern of actually achieving a nice balance of independent music acts and more known mainstream/on the cusp of mainstream fame talent throughout the 10 days of action

Between various indie music blog favorites (Danny Brown, Omar Suleyman, Kelela, tUnE-yArDs, Brown Bag All-Stars, Run The Jewels, Le1f, Lizzo, etc.), past & present Billboard chart toppers of mainstream love (Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, Sleigh Bells, Pusha T, El Da Sensei, etc.) & “I never heard of you/have only briefly ran into your tunes online/in person, but DAMN SON/MA'AM, you got skills” (Fort Bowie, Ark The God Given MC, Brer Rabbit, the Oooh Baby Gimmie Mores, Black Alley, Ratking, Astro and 1000s of other music artists of plenty o' genres) performing all over downtown Toronto throughout the week, it's hard to NOT find something cool to peep on the entertainment end that suits your tastes.

It’s always nice to go to a music festival to discover new talent while seeing some vets in the game rock it out as well.  And this diversity of talent also evident with the comedy, interactive and arts portions of NXNE as well.

2. NXNE is a HUGE, HUGE event, but in its own way, tends to have more of an intimate feel than big and impersonal vibe.

From “secret shows” to previously scheduled performances at multiple locations – held in lounges, clubs, bars & stores as well as the gigantic Yonge-Dundas Square venue (essentially the Times Square of the area where ALL of the shows held were FREE FOR EVERYONE - not just NXNE badge holders) – having friendly and helpful staff to assist with registration (one of the smoothest check-ins I have EVER had at an event to pick up badges, wristbands, etc. for press and as a performer), directions, suggestions of other events to roll out to & where to eat (which is super helpful when you’re starving after being out for over 12 hours and are ravenous for decent and not pricey eats after 2 in the morning) made things pretty easy.

Their website & phone app are also once again went above and beyond helpful in trying to figure out not just where to go to each day with all of the events and to keep track of your planned schedule.

Also, a vast majority of NXNE attendees we encountered seem to be at the various events simply for a good time checking out whatever was going down & gave events a relaxed vibe – there weren’t too many stereotypical festival “too cool for school” snob types around (a few pockets of said sort were at the Yonge-Dundas Square [YDS] Hip-Hop show and some secret shows, but they were the exception than the rule).

While a huge undertaking like North by Northeast naturally has corporate sponsorship, it wasn’t overwhelming to the point of being oppressive to any creativity on display.  

As a matter of fact, NXNE has the rarity of having corporate folks announcing themselves seem positively weird during what felt like a huge indie event that happened to cop some cash (the Mio announcement fellow at the 1st day of YDS shows, etc.), especially compared to a lot of American entertainment events.


It’s a shame this even has to be mentioned, but how awesome is it to go to a show and folks efficiently bring on and off acts without the audience having to get impatient or feel ripped off for their entertainment. A lot of this is due to the NXNE on-location staff of each event that keeps everything moving like clockwork.

3. Toronto is just cool PERIOD & is highly slept on (at least in our corner of the States) for tourist business and culture.

Public transportation around downtown Toronto (excluding cabs) is decently priced, clean, runs often and is easy to use, which is nice in a major city.  

There’s a ton of stereotypical tourist type things one can do in the city as well as simply just walking around to discover interesting nooks and areas of the city (including Kensington Market, the Univ. of Toronto area, the Harbor and more).

A few mini-tweaks North by Northeast can it make to go from awesome to SUPER AWESOME from observing some things: 

1. Varying sound quality at different venues

Throughout the years as a fan and in the mix of events, I can definitely understand that anything that can go wrong will at the last minute before a show is going to go down.  Some venues this year had professional sound people on deck (either that were already officially with the venue &/or via NXNE) and some did not.

Sometimes, this caused issues with how various music and comedy events flowed.  While not extremely disruptive, a competent sound person can make a good event fantastic and make artists who traveled from all ponits of the globe to perform for sets which ranged from anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes long feel comfortable and just concentrate on performing at their best.

      2. Having a way music artists can contact the registered press attending North by Northeast

If there’s any way at all that music artists performing at North by Northeast can get a list of registered press to contact about their showcases before the event (perhaps via the NXNE PR), it will help them out a lot in terms of at least getting their names out there for media coverage.  

      There’s a ton of shows going on during NXNE and everyone wants to get the eye of someone with what they’re doing directly as possible instead of trying to find outlets, etc. via Google Search.

      3. North by Northeast Transportation Deals

      This year had Uber and some other transportation folks give discount to NXNE attendees – if there was a way to get a week long pass via the public transportation system of Toronto in advance (or even if one arrives) to folks coming into town, it would be extremely helpful to folks new to the town and beneficial to promoting the pretty sweet local travel system.

Pictures and Video:

** Unless noted, all pictures & video have been taken by Mary Nichols (DJ Fusion) of the FuseBox Radio Broadcast...you can see more NXNE pictures at our official photography portfolio at http://FuseBoxRadio.prosite.com **

Downtown Toronto

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Dope Graffiti Art

Yonge-Dundas Square

Cosmos Records in Downtown Toronto

First Nations Dance Group Rehearsal Near Toronto Jazz Festival Location

Street Performer in Downtown Toronto

Artwork at Bay of Spirits Gallery

Guerrilla Toronto's NXNE Pre-Game Party

Guerrilla Toronto Rooftop Party Music Lineup Poster

Ausar Ra Black Hawk On The Wheels at the Guerrilla Toronto Rooftop Party

DJ Fusion On The Wheels at the Guerrilla Toronto Rooftop Party

View of College Street from Up Above During the Guerrilla Toronto Rooftop Party

North by Northeast (NXNE) Yonge-Dundas Square Shows 

NXNE Yonge-Dundas Square Stage

Yonge-Dundas Square Audience

Danny Brown

Danny Brown

Danny Brown - Dope Song (Live) [Flimed by PhenomBlack of Where's My 40 Acres]

Juicy J

Juicy J

Juicy J + NXNE Audience

FuseBox Radio Broadcast NXNE 2014 Coverage - Juicy J (Live at Yonge-Dundas Square) - Part 1

FuseBox Radio Broadcast NXNE 2014 Coverage - Juicy J (Live at Yonge-Dundas Square) - Part 2

Run The Jewels

Odonis Odonis

Mibbs of Pac Div

Golden Teacher - Wild Party Music (Live) [Flimed by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Various North by Northeast (NXNE) Music Showcases

Will EQ [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Audible Doctor [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Soul Khan [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

MeccaGodzilla [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Ark The God Given MC [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Audible Doctor x Ark the God Given MC x DJ Fusion at NXNE [Filmed by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Will EQ x MeccaGodzilla x DJ Fusion at NXNE [Filmed by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

The Posterz

The Posterz [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Dutch Rebelle [Picture taken by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

Dutch Rebelle - Live At Studio Bar for A3C's Best In Show NXNE Showcase 
[Flimed by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]

North by Northeast Interactive Panels (NXNEi):

"Urban Blacks & Latinos in Gaming" by Shawn Allen (NXNE Interactive 2014) [Flimed by PhenomBlak of Where's My 40 Acres]