Minus the human loss, Toronto’s Warped Tour history has had a series of bad venue sites in the past, but this one was the oddest of all. Situated right beside an unused Molson Amphitheatre, several stages were scattered throughout the flats of East Island around Brigantine Cove at Ontario Place. The island setting might have been a bit better had the weather held out, but instead fans were left in heavy rain and thunderstorms with little to no cover.
This isn’t the first time the venue and heavy rain has affected Warped shows in Toronto. In 2008 the festival tried a location is Mississauga that wasn’t adequate enough and was also plagued with a massive mid-day rain storm leaving fans wet with rain and anger.
All this might have been forgiven this year had accurate band schedules been posted and an actual schedule been followed though. One stage which was to include a performance from Vampires Everywhere seemingly didn’t even exist. Topping off the whole mess was the fact that organizers were charging $2 for a photocopied schedule that was inaccurate and contained stages that were either mis-named or non-existent.
The venue had a built-in stage (the Molson Amphitheatre) that remained unused and despite the heavy rainfall (with nowhere for shelter), organizers remained strict on their no re-entry policy while the show seemingly remained going “rain or shine”. That policy left thousands leaving the venue drenched in disappointment and rain.
While the Warped Tour concept is a good one that has worked in many venues (RockStar Weekly was in Vancouver in 2009 for a fantastic show at a great venue), Toronto might need to be one of those cities that requires a better venue like Park Place (formerly Molson Park) foe the experience to work.
Like many of the thousands that left during the storm with no chance to re-entry, we left as well, trying to save our thousands of dollars in camera equipment. Sometimes things just don’t feel right, and judging by the tragic result at the end of the day, I’d say that feeling was accurate.