Since 1995, NXNE has been presenting thousands of essential emerging artists from across Canada and around the world, many performing here in Toronto just before they break big. From June 13 -18, 2023, over 20 of Toronto’s best live music venues will again come alive with great new music! 

NEW IN 2023

NX HQ, the festival headquarters, welcomes both musicians and live music fans to experience live performance, panels, parties, and more. Located at It’s OK Studios (468 Queen Street West) in the heart of Toronto’s live music district, this is the place to begin or end your adventures, and have an opportunity to connect with like-minded music lovers.

Queer Ears 

Looking for queer artists performing during the festival? Here’s a few to check out and support.

HOUSEWIFE – June 17, 12AM – Rivoli

Housewife write and perform their own songs and think genres are boring and reductive. They are queer and an ally, an activist and champion of the environmental organization Music Declares Emergency. In fact, Housewife sums it up pretty concisely in its Twitter bio: “Opinionated feminist indie band.” 
And they’re only getting started. At 19 years old, Brighid Fry (she / they) have already released a debut self-titled EP in 2017 and a follow-up EP, Better Daughter, which the CBC named one of the “22 Albums You Need to Hear” in the summer of 2020. Additionally, Housewife have already won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Toronto Independent Music Award, the Canadian Songwriting Competition (in the under 18 category), and the Slaight Music It’s Your Shot award. Housewife will release new music March through December 2023 via Hazel Street Records (Sony / Orchard).

CHINESE MEDICINE– June 15, 8PM – Paddock Tavern

Chinese Medicine is a queer/BIPOC-fronted punk band from Toronto ON. They are known for being a hard-hitting, side-splitting voice of strength in the Trans community. in Toronto. They had the opportunity to work with Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire to produce their debut EP Die Aspora which explores life and self-actualization.

PILLOW FITE – June 4, 8PM – Monarch Tavern

Pillow Fite is Halifax, Nova Scotia’s most exciting new musical duo. Pairing tender, heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics with catchy alt-rock instrumentals and folky ballads, the genre lines get blurred in a way that keeps the project dynamic and binge-worthy while giving listeners all of the feels. As a trans non-binary fronted band, Pillow Fite strive to represent queer experiences both on and off stage, and work hard to perform in safe and inclusive spaces. After releasing their EP, Flutter, they had the opportunity to perform at Reeperbahn Festival in September 2022. They are due to release their upcoming single, Overpass, in February 2023.

FRANKIE FLOWERS – June 15, 8PM – Monarch Tavern

Frankie Flowers is an emerging alternative artist from Waterloo, ON. She produces her own genre bending sound by merging her love for dark-wave and post-punk music. FRANKIE seeks to create a dark, psychedelic, and eclectic vibe at her shows that urges you to escape reality and experience the unknown.

Other artists highlights include, Jordan Occasionally (Memphis, TN), Paris Pick (Whitehorse, YK), We Are Domi (Prague, CZ), My Son The Doctor (Brooklyn, NY), Present Company (Minneapolis, MN) and Zenon (Calgary, AB).

Side Door Partnership Unlocks Touring Opportunities for Performing Artists

NXNE has announced an exciting new partnership with Side Door with an exclusive opportunity for acts performing at the festival. The On the Road with Side Door x NNXE incentive program gives artists touring Canada the opportunity to apply for a $200 CAD guarantee for each of their public Side Door shows, along with the net revenue split from ticket sales.

This program will assist artists in finding more shows, whether touring to and from NXNE or elsewhere in Canada. Promoting a closer connection between people and art in their communities, it will give artists a sustainable revenue stream, directly connect hosts and presenters with talent, and give fans access to memorable entertainment. More details on the application process and eligibility criteria can be found here.

It’s Your Shot

This year’s festival will see NXNE return to its roots, with an incredible lineup of emerging talent bursting back into Toronto’s hottest live music venues. An accessible festival with few barriers to perform or attend, NXNE is committed to welcoming acts from all marginalized communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+. Illustrating the festival’s commitment to giving up-and-coming artists a platform, NXNE is thrilled to be a partner for Slaight Music’s “It’s Your Shot” songwriting and artist development competition. 

NXNE makes great music accessible and inclusive with its low cost $25 full festival pass (all nights, all venues, all bands), and $15 single venue, one night admission.

New this year, fans can also score FREE full festival passes and a $10 credit by signing up for a NEO Financial product with no financial commitment at Full festival passes are also on sale now for just $25, with single venue tickets available for $15.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.