Manifesto returns to Toronto

Toronto will celebrate the return of one of its most beloved and buzzed about urban community festivals starting Thursday Sept 19, with the introduction of new events into this year’s line-up.

The Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture, now in its seventh year, has been known to promote and support urban culture and music by providing attendees with art exhibitions, musical performances, conferences and lectures, parties and a free outdoor concert at Yonge and Dundas Square

Living up to its expectations, Manifesto2013 will do the same by jamming into one weekend a launch party, the 20th year anniversary celebrations of two prominent Toronto artists, street dance battling, and the introduction of an extra day to its festival line-up, making it a four-day event instead of just three-days.


That extra day added is to facilitate a new event called The Beat: Producers Showcase, a listening and networking event for music producers being held on the second day of Manifesto, Fri Sept 20.

“It’s not a battle. It’s more so of music producers coming together and collaboratively showing what they have,” said Jesse Ohtake, Manifesto Programming Director.

Ohtake has been involved in the organization and execution of Manifesto since it first began in 2006 and said it’s far from just a music festival.

“From the beginning the idea of the festival was more than to just be a ‘stand there’ festival where people come and play. It’s very much a building and networking event throughout the festival, and beyond just catering to Toronto,” said Ohtake.

Ohtake also said young people can expect to continue learning from “programming that’s actually catered towards them” at this year’s Manifesto with the So Much Things To Say: Evolution Summit, which will take place at the George Brown Waterfront Campus on Sat Sept 21, the third day of the festival.

“The value in that is really educating people and transitioning people from a performance-based mindset to one that teach how to build a proper business and knowing the process of being an artist,” said Ohtake. “There are so many facets to cover than just music.”

Ohtake also said he hopes Manifesto will keep growing and continue to be a free event for the public, despite its “shoestring budget”.

“We’re hoping in the future, through media coverage, to get those bigger sponsors that allow us to continue as being a free event. I think it’s important that even if it’s a huge artist we get, we can still offer that for free,” said Ohtake.

The 7th Annual Manifesto Festival begins Thurs Sept 19 and runs through to Sun Sept 22. For a complete listing of the festivals events, costs and line-ups, visit