The Long Weekender: Drake’s music festival, Caribana and six other events on our to-do list

The Long Weekender: Drake’s music festival, Caribana and six other events on our to-do list

Drake launches his music festival this weekend (Image: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images) 

1.    THE OVO FEST
Lucky for us, Drake is over his fear of the mean streets of Toronto just in time to launch a new music fest, the October’s Very Own (OVO) Festival. The inaugural concert features such big-name rappers as Young Jeezy, Bun B and our hometown boy, as well as super-secret, as-yet-unannounced special guests. Please be Lil Wayne, please be Lil Wayne, please be Lil Wayne…. Aug. 1. $37.75–$105.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-870-8000, livenation.com.

2.    ISLAND SOUL FESTIVAL (FREE!)
With a strong focus on traditional Caribbean music, food and dance, and that of the widespread diaspora, this Harbourfront fest is definitely worth checking out. Especially—and this should come as no surprise to regular readers—the food: roti, doubles, Jamaican patties, plantain, rice and peas, jerk chicken? Yes, please. To all of it. July 30 to Aug. 2. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

3.    SING-ALONG SUNDAYS AT CAMP DRAKE (FREE!)
While our summer camp experience wasn’t as exciting as Camp Nowhere, Meatballs or The Parent Trap, we’re nostalgic for those summers of poison ivy, bad food and Red Rover. Hence our reluctance to miss any of The Drake’s Sunday camp-inspired variety shows. The cheap beer doesn’t hurt, either. Aug. 1. The Drake Hotel Lounge, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca.

4.    BEAUTY DISSOLVES IN A BRIEF HOUR
Love must be the world’s oldest source of inspiration; sonnets, ballads and poorly written acrostic poems have all been penned to woo or mourn. Despite a millenniums-long history, love’s still a compelling topic, as evidenced by this evening of modern chamber operas. A trio of compositions by Fuhong Shi, John Rea and Pierre Klanac, sung in Mandarin, English and medieval French, respectively, address love in three different cultures and time periods. July 29 to 31. $29. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., Bldg. 49, 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.

5.    CARIBANA PARADE 2010 (FREE!)
Everyone calls Caribana a parade, but really it’s much more than that, although “all-day moving street party with copious palancing, ramajaying and wining” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? July 31. Parade travels along Lake Shore to Parkside, 416-391-5608, caribanafestival.com.

6.    NEWMINDSPACE LED LIGHTSABER BATTLE (FREE!)
While we are usually the hippest of hipsters (except writing that probably results in the docking of several hundred cool points), we do occasionally geek out. Proof? Head down to the ROM this Saturday. We’ll be there engaging in Newmindspace’s epic light sabre battle. July 31. In front of the Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, newmindspace.com.

7.    IRIE MUSIC FESTIVAL (FREE!)
This weekend, if getting decked out in many, many pounds of sequins, glitter and feathers in order to shimmy down Lake Shore Boulevard isn’t on the agenda, check out the Irie Music Festival. The dance, art, spoken word and musical performances will be spread across three stages and will include such big names as reggae artist Gyptian, soca singer Shurwayne Winchester and musician and author Dan Hill (brother of Lawrence). July 30 to Aug. 2. Various locations, 905-799-1630, ext. 28, iriemusicfestival.com.

8.    THE OFFICIAL TWILIGHT CONVENTION TORONTO
Toronto members of Team Jacob are, like, such lucky Twihards this weekend. While Taylor Lautner himself won’t be in town for the first official Toronto Twilight Convention, members of his silver screen wolf pack will be. Better than nothing, right? Team Edwardians, take heart; some vamp characters will also be in town. None of them is Robert Pattinson, though. Sorry. July 30 to Aug. 1. $25–$30, weekend pass $80. Westin Harbour Castle, 1 Harbour Sq., twilightconvention.com.