Changing Tides: How Camp Wavelength 2017 became Day Camp in the City

How did Camp Wavelength 2017 become “Day Camp in the City”? There’s more to the story than a flooded Island. Wavelength Board President and long-time crew member/writer/performer Dean Williams has got the scoop…

Wavelength Isn’t a Place

Toronto Island’s idyllic glades, slightly melancholic shores, and – above all – soothing isolation was a perfect backdrop for the ALL CAPS! Island Festival, and later, Camp Wavelength’s special blend of awe, revelry, and consistently surprising bursts of off-centre music and art. But that spirit, and our values of inclusivity, diversity, and spontaneous moments of wonder are in no way geographically bound – in fact, that’s almost the point. What we’ve shared together, or are yet to share at future Wavelength Festivals, is not about any one band, place, or season. By its very definition, Wavelength is adaptable to changing conditions and climates, be they meteorological, political, or otherwise. The ark we’ve built to escape the great Toronto Island Floods of 2017 is spacious, comfortable, and arranged to provide a full weekend of amazing programming across the city. It begins on Friday August 18th at the Garrison, followed by two free daytime shows at the lovely, hidden gem of Sherbourne Common park, and some stacked club shows concluding with a killer Sunday night at the Great Hall’s Longboat Hall.

Get Your Ass to Mars

In much speculative fiction, and also in the imaginations of children and titans of industry alike, a frequent flight of fancy involves humanity escaping a taxed and crumbling earth to distribute the species to far-flung, untapped corners. The Moon; Mars; orbiting Earth in cobbled-together tin cans, or conversely, beneath the ever-encroaching waves – whatever the theatre, the message is the same – the human spirit is resilient. We will press on, irrespective of the obstacles. Poison our air, we will go underground. Send us an asteroid, we will deploy Bruce Willis’ immense forehead and squinting skills. Flood our islands, we will occupy your parks and high-ground venues. Well – not that high – the two free daytime concerts at Sherbourne Common replacing our daytime programming on the Island afford attendees a secluded, special experience on the water with some amenities the Island couldn’t offer – easy access, transit, and the opportunity to arrive showered and free of fire ants (unless you plan to BYOFA). At night, starting on Friday, August 18th, a series of shows at the Garrison and the Longboat Hall offer a warm, dry, licensed environment to have your mind fucking blown by Jessy Lanza, Dilly Dally, and Deerhoof, among many, many others.

My Heart Will Go On

The adaptation of a new format for Camp Wavelength is well-trod territory for us, truth be told. This is far from the first time Wavelength has had to change locales – in fact, those of you that have been with us from the beginning might wistfully remember the days of Ted’s Wrecking Yard, or enjoyed $2.75 beers and revelry at Sneaky Dee’s. Wavelength has known many forms, but what has endured and even grown is a DIY spirit and a desire, above all, to broaden minds, give a stage to one-of-a-kind art, and to bring the spirit of discovery and togetherness to the outside world. The diffusion of our little semi-private event to locations across the city spreads those spores even further than ever before, and we hope to pollinate Toronto with amazing acts, arts, and maybe even giant papier-mache robots.

Takin’ it to the Streets

So what do you do when your archipelago archipela.. uh.. goes.. away? You take your fight to the mainland. We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th, for our free Day Camp shows at Sherbourne Common park, looking out over the water at the foot of Sherbourne Street (12-7pm), or at our Night Camp at the Garrison (Friday August 18, 7pm, featuring Jessy Lanza) and the Longboat Hall (Saturday August 19th, 7:30pm, featuring Dilly Dally & Rich Aucoin, and Sunday August 20th, 7:30PM featuring the legendary Deerhoof). Camp is what you make it!

– Dean Williams