NXNE is known for it’s BBQ’s and parties giving bands, music industry and media get a chance to network and “schmooze” while usually enjoying some complementary cocktails and appetizers. This year was no exception and for some reason the day filled with parties was Friday (when most people are still working) instead of Saturday.
On our way to the first party we did a quick stop at the hotel (conference), which we found super empty. Absolutely no one there but the tradeshow booths/tables. So our stay was brief.
Starting things off early at 11am was the rooftop patio party at The Porch hosted by Osheaga and Halifax Pop Explosion. An early start meant a slow build on attendance, the weather was perfect and the drinks were refreshing. We met a bunch of new people as well as reconnected with some old friends. Our posse for the day started to build as plans were being made as to what parties we should hit up for the day. We tried the caesars which came in a boot mug, and then a margarita in a pail with an upside down Corona. Yup not a bad way to kick things off.
We made a short stop into the Horseshoe Tavern for the Hidden Pony Records party where we caught the band Rah Rah. I love seeing bands I haven’t heard before and liking them. I really dug their songs and overall vibe. We ran into a ton of peeps here including George from Sneaky Dee’s (who was handling the catering), Cameron Carpenter, Craig Laskey (Collective Concerts), Nicole Rochefort (Artists in Motion) and Sari DelMar (Audioblood) and some of The Agency Group crew.
After finding a cab that would be willing to fit the now five of us in, we heading West to the Edward Day Gallery for the SOCAN party – which we found out was at 5:30 not 4 as we thought. Back into a cab and off to the Spoke Club for the NXNE rooftop mixer. It’s funny on days like these as you start seeing the same usual suspects who are party hopping as well. This party was well attended, open bar of course and free food going around. All the ingredients for another good time. The schmooze factor was in full effect and connections were made, meetings booked, and business happened.
Our friend Karine convinced us to make a change of plans as she knew the Feldman Agency BBQ was going on. A few phone calls to make sure we are on the list and off we went. Feldman is a great, well respected company that books artists, so expectations were high. We got there and the person taking names was pretty easy going and just let us in.
The party was in the parking lot where a stage was set up along with catering and of course a bar. The food was provided by T.L.P (Three Little Pigs) Sandwich Co. which is owned and run by the people behind the legendary Barbarian Steakhouse – so you know it’s good. I tried three sandwiches – the beef brisket, the calamari and by Aaron Barbarians recommendation, the chicken. All were indeed flavourful and tasty. The calamari was probably my favourite.
I ran into some old friends which meant more schmoozing and possibly some new business partnerships! This was another short stop as the Exclaim / Jagermeister party was calling.
We left the big one for last. The Exclaim / Jagermeister party is legendary and it’s the place to end the day, not start. Upon entering you are given a pass which gives you an access to an assortment of cocktails and food. The pass is hole punched as you go. You then get your photo taken with jagerettes and then off to the party!
This party is all party – leave the schmoozing behind. Let’s face it, it’s one big mess. Long lineups blend into the crowd making it difficult to know where the line ends, start or finish. It’s a big mass of people and no one is complaining. It’s a great time every year and probably the most talked about party of the festival.
It was good to see Tito’s Vodka as one of the sponsors, also present were Smoke’s Poutine and Monster Energy Drink.
What a great way to end the day!
Our posse grew in numbers as members of The Rabid Whole, Sumo Cyco, Bathurst Station, A Primitive Evolution, staff from the Hard Rock, Fontana North, and many others all joined us onto our journey into the night where we did some club hopping, band watching and of course, schmoozing. It was a long, long day but it’s just par for the course for NXNE.