Open Tuning Festival – A sweet community event!

Well hockey season is over, the ice has melted and finally the daily temperatures are now in the +’s; it’s SUMMER … WOOOHOOOO!!! Therefore, it’s time for me to find a new way to entertain myself over the weekends. I’m sensing that live concerts and music festivals in Toronto will definitely be part of it; the first of them being Open Tuning Festival.

Last Saturday, June 10, I was able to experience one of the coolest community based events.

Open Tuning Festival is an annual free festival held at over 20 makeshift venues throughout the Seaton Village neighbourhood of Toronto, Canada. Attendees can access a map via the website or simply follow their ears and temporary signs pointing in the direction of mini-concerts held out on the street, garages, shopfronts parks and houses.

One of the bands from Open Tuning Festival playing in a driveway.

Performers throughout the event included: high school rock bands, jazz/fusion collectives, solo acoustic acts, and the grand finale at the local park: a taste of some of the performances, followed by a supergroup to wind the night up at 10.30pm.

My old community development lecturer would be impressed, there are no major sponsors, it is completely funded through the generosity of local residents and a crowdfunding page. It reminded me of watching some kids movie where all the community banded together for a concert; it’s something I can’t picture happening in Australia, but would love to see in the future. There were no police roaming around, no portable toilet blocks or corporate branding anywhere – just a bunch of people who love their neighbourhood sharing their love of music. Totally something all communities should aspire for!

The finale performance for Open Tuning Festival.

If you’re ever in Toronto the same time as the event, I highly recommend that you check it out!

Until next time,


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