Ever Want to Go Camping on Toronto Island? What About If Twenty-Eight Bands Joins You?

What is happening this weekend is something that you probably haven’t experienced before; a three-day music festival, with camping, on Toronto’s beautiful Hanlan Point. Camp Wavelength is a new venture that brings exciting bands, sought after food trucks and art exhibits to the most picturesque area of Toronto. Featuring Toronto’s Do Make Say Think and The Wooden Sky, this is a festival that promises to be unforgettable. To learn more about the venue I interviewed Jonathan Bunce, the co-founder and Artistic Director of the festival.


What was the inspiration for this festival?

Jonathan Bunce: The inspiration was really just the environment of Toronto Island. Hanging out in such a beautiful location so close to downtown Toronto feels like a different planet. You just get to chill out and enjoy the history and culture. We wanted to capitalize on that.

What sets this festival apart from others?

JB: It’s professionally run, small, intimate and community-oriented. It can absolutely compete with larger festivals in the calibre of performance but the venue only holds a max of one thousand people. People can camp and go swimming and will actually be sleeping in the same grounds as the bands.

Why these bands?

JB: These are the bands that we are most excited about. We have a reputation as tastemakers, for knowing of artists before they blow up. This year we have some brand new projects and lots of debuts, either here in Toronto or perhaps ever. Many bands who don’t get to play very often will be playing. We also have some established acts like Do Make Say Think. We have a specifically curated lineup in order to fit the environment and energy of Toronto Island.

Do the different days have themes?

JB: There is no overarching theme to each day but there are different characters to each. The first day, the Friday, sort of lights a fire. It gets the party started by going from garage punk to a rave; it starts with Kurt Marble and the Dirty Frigs and goes to Doldrums and Holy Fuck. Saturday is a bit more sprawling. It has rock and roll, indie pop and we have some curve balls in there to with Prince Rama. Saturday ends with Moon King and The Wooden Sky. There will also be a full moon that night and it will be really cool. Sunday is when we come down. It has more thoughtful, experimental, ambient and cinematic music, like The Weather Station and Anamai. There’s some folk and some orchestral. That is the only day that I want it to be a little bit cloudy so that it matches the mood.

You have some pretty cool things happening, like art exhibits and a morning run with members of A Wooden Sky. How did you get all of this together?

We had an open call for submissions. We actually had about three hundred and fifty submissions and we filled up most of our slots through that method. We were looking for people who are very creative, and we know the island and we know what works there. We were looking for acts and exhibits that fit that specific mood.

As for the jogging thing, Gavin (Gardiner, lead singer of The Wooden Sky) and I are both joggers and we know each other. We sometimes run into each other while jogging in Trinity Bellwoods Park. That happened again and we had the idea. It seemed pretty cool.

What are you most looking forward to?

Camping on the island definitely, but really the whole experience. As for specific sets, on Sunday I’m really looking forward to Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche, who have never played before in Toronto, and Pierre Kwenders, who has only played once or twice before in Toronto. I’m realy excited to have those sets back to back because they’re great bands and I think it will really kick off a following here.


Camp Wavelength takes place this weekend, 28-30 August on Toronto Island. Tickets and information can be found at hereNathaniel Dove will be at the event and tweeting the whole time. You can follow him at @nateevod


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *