A free Pharrell concert, a screening with John Legend and four other can’t-miss events this TIFF

A free Pharrell concert, a screening with John Legend and four other can’t-miss events this TIFF

In September, the 6 is awash with more celeb-studded parties and hush-hush exclusive events than we can count. To help you navigate the madness, here are six sweet parties, screenings and concerts (that you actually stand a chance of getting into)

Photograph from Instagram

A free Pharrell concert
On Saturday, Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer—stars of Hidden Figures—and producer Pharrell Williams will chat about their TIFF flick, which documents the efforts of the women of colour behind NASA’s 1969 moon landing. After a quick Q&A, Pharrell will deliver a bite-sized open-air concert for TIFFers on Festival Street. Saturday, September 10. Free. Festival Street, King West and Peter, tiff.net.

A chat with John Legend
John Legend and Mark Duplass (one half of the filmmaking Duplass brothers) present a trio of films from the TIFF Vanguard Programme—a collection of edgy, badass flicks. Between screenings, the guests will chat with programmer Colin Geddes about just how much grit a film needs to considered for Vanguard. Tuesday, September 13. Free. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 50 Bloor St. W., hotdocscinema.ca.

Wavelengths, TIFF’s little (less expensive) cousin
Want to see some stellar films without splurging on rush-line tickets? TIFF’s Wavelengths program is setting up a series of free installations and quirky illustrations around the city. Give Singularity a shot—it’s a five-screen film about labour exploitation—or check out Nightlife, a psychedelic import from Berlin that gives a voice to the city’s plants. Various dates. Prices vary. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.

A virtual-reality bonanza
The 41st season of TIFF rockets into the future with a pop-up series of virtual reality flicks. Among the selections: a look at holy shrines in India, an immersive tour of Cirque du Soleil and an interactive animated film featuring an alien invasion. Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18. Free. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street W., tiff.net.

The Drake Hotel’s pansexual paradise
West Queen West’s swankiest hotel hosts another TIFF blowout. This year, DJ collective A Club Called Rhonda throw an art party with some sleek house, electro and disco beats. It will be, in the Drake’s words, “a pansexual party palace where anything goes.” Be safe, kids. Thursday, September 15. $10. Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., thedrakehotel.ca.

An early-morning dance party
This year, there’s one TIFF party that begins when most others end. Vega Shake Up is a sunrise dancefest hosted by YouTuber Lauren Toyota, with free nibbles, on-site fitness instructors and a Sia video’s worth of synth-poppy tunes. Friday, September 9. Free with RSVP (list is now full). The Addisons Residence Backyard Patio, 456 Wellington St. W., wakeupshakeup.splashthat.com.