Okay, so I’m actually not positive this is true*, but apparently the infamous Bathurst & Queen hotspot is closing on January 31st and I, for one, cannot be more devastated. The historic venue might be replaced with a condo development. (RIP GUV)
Yes, I will admit that The Hoxton is a questionable venue at best for viewing live music. As Dillon Francis once said, “It’s like a giant f***ing furnace it’s so sweaty.” It’s a weird space and is basically a long hallway. They have a weird bathroom attendant, and if you’re a girl and you’re not wearing a Rebecca Minkoff purse, then you’re unlikely to ever get a drink. However, you can’t deny that they don’t book the best talent – if there’s a major festival or concert happening in Toronto, you know that there’s going to be an after party at the Hoxton. DJs also love it, so you’ll usually find some weird combination of producers hitting the decks. B2b sets reign at the Hox.
Thank you, Urban Dictionary.
Anyways, I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about one of my favourite Toronto memories. My best friend was living here at the time, while I was attending university in Halifax. Myself and two other friends flew up to visit her during the summer and take in a few shows, the most exciting being Skrillex’s Full Flex Express Tour. Now, I know Skrillex is kind of overrated now, but at the time, he was SO new and so DIFFERENT that I simply could not pass up the opportunity to see him live.
His actual show was at a field in Fort York. I can’t even describe my happiness when I saw him on stage, dancing with all of my friends! It was an amazing two hours, and we couldn’t help but feel so lucky to be seeing him.
Steph and her baby friends do Skrillex in 2012. Image courtesy of my personal instagram.
ANYWAYS. When were leaving the show, somebody in the crowd yelled that Skrillex was going to play an after party. We quickly trolled Twitter, and much to our surprise, Skrillex had tweeted that he was going to play an after party at the Hoxton.
It’s funny writing this now, because like I said, at the time, attending something like this was so unheard of to me at the time. Now, you see things like this in Toronto all the time – the electronic music scene is much larger. But regardless, we quickly scooted over to the venue (did I mention we had been dancing in a field, so we were covered in mud?!) and got in the line up at the Hoxton. We paid $40 (again, a lot of money to me at the time, especially since I had just paid $60 to see him an hour ago), but MAN was it ever worth it. The venue wasn’t even that packed and we were able to get super close to the DJ booth! He played a lot of different tracks that you wouldn’t expect from a mainstream artist, and management actually had to kick him out at 4 AM because he wouldn’t stop DJing until all of his fans had left.
Skrillex at the Hoxton circa 2012. Image courtesy of my personal Instagram.
I know this may seem silly now, but I’ll say it again, at the time, this experience would have been the equivalent to seeing Adele at a dive bar.
Hoxton, if it’s true, you’ll be missed.
*I saw a post on the Toronto Rave Community Facebook group by the owner, so I think it’s pretty legit, but I can’t find the original post, so…