Recap: Open Roof Festival, August 11th, 2011

Last night marked the 9th week that the ingenious Open Roof Festival took over the lot space at Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewery. Over 600 Torontonians – running the gamut from young professionals to arts enthusiasts to movie buffs and the like – showed up to grab a seat under the stars for a live performance by Locomotive 8 and a screening of Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop.

amsterdam brewery

open roof festival

The Open Roof Festival is unlike anything else in Toronto. The Amsterdam Brewery provides the lot space for the outdoor (hence “Open Roof”) mix of music and movies, as well as the taps for cups of some of Canada’s favourite brews. While sitting in a fold-up, you can’t help but feel like Toronto’s city core is miles away…of course when you crane your head slightly the CN Tower in all its glory pops into view, but we’ll forgo the reality for the false sense of boonieness. Just after 8pm, a live band takes “the stage” – a little setup in front of the movie screen – and at 9pm just after the night sky has arrived the film begins.

locomotive 8 pic 1

locomotive 8 pic 2

On Thursday, droves of Toronto’s culture explorers descended on Open Roof Festival to seat-sway to the sounds of Locomotive 8 and laugh heartily thanks to Conan O’Brien’s candid documentary showcasing the aftermath of his being rescinded The Tonight Show by NBC.

locomotive 8 pic 3


Also on hand was Caplansky’s new food truck, Thundering Thelma, serving up some of their famous bbq brisket sandwiches – that is, of course, until their equipment stopped working and the famed sammies were no longer being served…right after we bought one…and waited 20 minutes before we were given the news…and a poutine as a substitute…yes, we’re still a little bitter. And in what world does a poutine make a viable substitution for slow-cooked brisket? (We jest, we jest.)

deep fried pickles

spin toronto

SPiN Toronto – which we’ve been anxiously waiting its opening and have now been told end of month is the “fingers-crossed” deadline – had three ping pong tables set up for Open Roofers to play a match or compete for the chance to win a PUMA bike or a 1-year membership to SPiN. It’s touches and partnerships like these that help make Open Roof Festival more than just your standard movie under the stars; what it is, simply put, is an outdoor arts experience.

spin toronto


There are only three weeks left to Open Roof Festival. We suggest (implore, demand, whatever) you get some tickets and hit up at least one of the final nights. It’s only once a year, do you really want to be “that guy” or “that gal” who missed out?