Features Articles 4th Annual Pitter Patter Festival on This Weekend

4th Annual Pitter Patter Festival on This Weekend

Southern Ontario's most affordable music festival is happening this weekend in Toronto and eight other cities. With over 45 shows in Toronto alone, there are many great up-and-coming bands and local favourites hitting stages around this and other towns.

The two big corporate music festivals in this city, Canadian Music Fest and North by North East, offer some great programming and create a lot of excitement among musicians and fans, but they can be expensive to attend. Bands can get some buzz and press coverage, but the sheer numbers of acts performing mean the experience can be a letdown for some. Understanding the concerns of bands and fans alike, and with his keen ear for talent, Keith Hamilton created the Pitter Patter Festival. The festival, now in its fourth year, is happening this weekend, Thursday, May 27th, through Sunday, May 30th, 2010.

If you're interested in checking out up-and-coming bands, you can do so pretty much any night of the week in Toronto. Hamilton, talent booker at Kensington Market hotspot The Boat, is one of the people responsible for that. The benefit to us of a festival like this is that a whole slew of great bands will be performing in close proximity to each other, and all for whatever you care to pay. That's right, instead of a potentially confusing, expensive wristband system, the Pitter Patter Festival is offering up more than 45 shows in Toronto, all on a pay-what-you-can basis. ($5 or $10 would be awesome, of course.) The bands will take home every cent that comes in.

A unique feature of this festival is that it's happening not just in Toronto, but throughout southern Ontario. Look for shows in Windsor, Guelph, Hamilton, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peterborough, Kingston, and Cornwall. As with the Toronto shows, Hamilton is behind all the bookings and most everything else, too, ensuring each concert isn't just a mish-mash of bands, but is programmed to make sense as a whole.

Head over to the festival website for more details and the full Toronto and elsewhere schedules. There are a whole bunch of acts I don't know — just like with CMW and NxNE — but here are some of my picks out of the bands playing Toronto. Thursday: Allie Hughes, 22-20s, The Craft Economy, The Mark Inside, Jordaan Mason & The Horse Museum, The Strumbellas, Cursed Arrows, and The Hoa Hoa's; Friday: Burn Planetarium, The Love Machine, All Day Driver, Terror Lake, The Famines, The Rest, Soft Copy; Saturday: Pants & Tie, Braids, Flotilla, The Sleepless Nights, The Baird Brothers, The Cheap Speakers, Anagram, and The Diableros (feat. Keith Hamilton on bass); and Sunday: Innes Wilson, The Sour Notes, Proof of Ghosts, Henri Faberge & The Adorables, Huddle, and Young Doctors in Love. Phew! Plus lots, lots more.