The sun wasn’t shining, but Arts & Crafts Field Trip was full of warm vibes. The one-day music festival celebrated Arts & Crafts’ 10 year anniversary; the Canadian record label has done a superb job of signing local talent, helping them grow to become big international names, and creating a kind of cool Canadian culture that we are so incredibly proud to call our own.

And it’s amazing what the label has produced in 10 years: Feist, Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party, Timbre Timbre, Hayden, Stars, and more. I remember clearly sneaking into The Big Bop to hear Leslie Feist sing at NXNE in 2003. There were maybe 50 people in the dingy room that was full of smoke. Everyone there knew she was extraordinary, but we couldn’t have predicted how global her success would become. I mean, Sesame Street! There is nothing more affirming that you’ve made it in life than singing with Elmo and gang.

Since many of the original Arts & Crafts fans have grown up over the past decade the fields of Fort York welcomed a new generation of happy children running wild, playing with hula hoops, and showing off their face paint. It was a music fest that truly felt like a family event; everything was thoughtfully executed, from the wood signage to the horseshoe of local food trucks we love. There was even a groovy yurt!

For those who have never really resonated with the idea of being Canadian meaning ice hockey and crap beer, Field Trip offered a different kind of national identity to cling to: One that involves great design from The Drake General Store, inspiring style from The Bay, innovative and green small businesses like AutoShare, local artists like Norman Wong and Mango Peeler, craft beer from  Amsterdam Brewery, and the best damn lineup of Canadian music ever. Clever, creative, and colourful; everything about Field Trip felt right. It was an absolute joy to unite for one night under the stars to appreciate what Arts & Crafts has built and what they stand for. It’s far more than a record label. 

Check out all the amazing style from Arts & Crafts Field Trip.