NXNE Photos 2014

EXPOSURES: Photos from NXNE 2014

One intrepid photographer's intimate band portraits, candid crowd shots and gritty Toronto streetviews, on film.

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- Jun 24, 2014
EXPOSURES captures the moods and experiences of fans and artists, both onstage and off.
Colin Medley is a documentary photographer and music video director, as well as one of the organizers of the Long Winter concert series in Toronto. Colin's a fixture of the independent music scene and a close friend to many of the musicians and organizers who make it thrive, so we decided to send him out into the festival chaos with an arsenal of film from Toronto's Downtown Camera and a loose mandate to go beyond your standard band-at-a-bar shots to create something a little more intimate, a little more personal. Check out his photo gallery below.
Thanks to our friends at Downtown Camera for providing the film and processing on this project. And any readers who mention they saw Colin Medley's NXNE gallery will receive 13% off film and any photofinishing services at Downtown Camera until August 17, 2014.

Now that we’ve had a day to catch up on our sleep, let’s take a look back at this year’s edition of NXNE. I’ve been attending this festival for eight years now, so I thought I'd have a pretty good idea how it was all going to unfold. I tried my best to write down all the bands I wanted to see, arranged in a way that makes sense geographically (can I bike there in 20 minutes and still get in?). Still, you can’t predict everything, as I found out, with several unannounced shows popping up at the last minute (Spoon at the Horseshoe, METZ at the Smiling Buddha, and Mac DeMarco performing Makeout Videotape songs in a strange alley off of Spadina) throwing my pre-existing plans out the window.

If you want to see slick close-up shots of all the bands, you’ll have to look elsewhere. I was armed only with my trusty late-70’s Canon AE-1 and a few rolls of film, but hopefully these photos do NXNE justice - despite its grand ambitions and the controversy that generates, it’s still a pretty low-key, small affair compared to other international music festivals.


Dan Burke at NXNE 2014

Our festival began at the Silver Dollar, the home base of legendary promoter Dan Burke

Nick Ferrio & His Feelings at NXNE 2014

…where Peterborough’s Nick Ferrio & His Feelings were about to take the stage.

Elsa at NXNE 2014

Here’s Toronto’s Elsa behind the Horseshoe Tavern, where they had just finished warming up the crowd for Low.

Monomyth at NXNE 2014

Halifax’s Monomyth taking a breather after their second show of the night.

Each Other at NXNE 2014

Each Other blew some minds with their intricate guitar and vocal interplay.

Andre Ethier at NXNE 2014

Local hero Andre Ethier surprised many with his new songs and lineup.

Viet Cong at NXNE 2014

The Smiling Buddha was absolutely packed for Calgary’s Viet Cong, and deservedly so.

Tim Hecker at NXNE 2014

Even though Tim Hecker played in complete darkness, a quick flash of our camera confirms that there were a lot of people in the drone zone.

Why NXNE Sucks Interactive Panel at NXNE 2014

We were happy to see a healthy early afternoon crowd for the “WHY NXNE SUCKS” panel.

Bikes of NXNE 2014

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to lock up your bike.

Yonge & Dundas Square at NXNE 2014

Lots of people wanted to see Swans.

Swearin' at NXNE 2014

Philadelphia’s Swearin’ definitely made some new fans at the Horseshoe…

Alvvays singer Molly Rankin at NXNE 2014

 …including Alvvays singer Molly Rankin, seen here buying a t-shirt. Remember kids, always buy merch at shows!

Spoon at NXNE 2014

Then we stayed up until 2am to see Spoon play…

Crowd for Spoon at NXNE 2014

…and it was good.

Mac DeMarco Bruise Cruise at NXNE 2014

Captain Mac DeMarco waves to the crowd waiting to board the Bruise Cruise.

Walter TV at NXNE 2014

Walter TV made a lot of noise.

PS I Love You at NXNE 2014

PS I Love You tried not to get too sea sick.

ANAMAI at NXNE 2014

ANAMAI got the crowd to sit down…

Frankie Cosmos at NXNE 2014

…while Frankie Cosmos got everyone to stand up.

Frankie Cosmos at NXNE 2014

Frankie Cosmos were just happy to be in Toronto.

Cellphone at NXNE 2014

Cellphone playing just one of many unofficial NXNE daytime parties.

Juan Waters at NXNE 2014

Juan Wauters wins festival MVP. You couldn’t turn around without seeing this guy.

METZ at NXNE 2014

METZ’s show at Smiling Buddha wasn’t an NXNE show, but it was a pretty great way to end the festival.

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