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'The Roast', hosts with the most!

  • By Cory Crossman


'The Roast', hosts with the most!

Although a chill fills the air at night and the major festivals have wrapped, London continues to bring the community together around music. Friday, UnLondon combines food, drink and music as they present the 3rd annual Thanksgiving weekend event, The Roast! As you’ll learn from this event, The Roast is a truly communal event emphasising partnership, collaboration and neighbourhood pride.

The Roast, really does host with the most. The slogan says it all... Swine, Cider, Slice and Song! London Music Office took some time to chat with UnLondon founder Titus Ferguson about the upcoming event.

LMO: ‘The Roast’, what is this event all about?

UnLondon: The Roast is a Fall kick-off event. A great opportunity, before winter gets nasty, and its still nice out, to get together outside for an all you can eat roast! It takes place in a backyard in a gorgeous part of Old East Village with a big communal harvest style family friendly event where you can meet your neighbours. Local businesses also come together and welcome everyone.

LMO: You’ve done this for three years now. What have you seen change with the event?

UL: Attendance has grown from 150 to 350 and hopefully 500+ this year. The growth has been a big part of the property and its story. The property was originally our (UnLondon) second space for the Hacker program. The property is becoming a hub of cultural and community activity. A summer version of veg fest was hosted at this location over the summer. It has continued to evolve organically over the past couple of years. The Roast has always been a place for talent to emerge. The Early Morning are playing again this year, the sound quality and performance have really gone up a notch. Fraser is also performing, he’s a stalwart of the OEV area. This is a chance for him to play in his own backyard. We’re excited to have a hyper local performance taking place. We’ve learned a great deal over the past couple years getting to this point.

LMO: How have you been able to maintain a hyper local focus?

UL: People get excited! They continue to talk about it long after the event. Holding it on the Friday of the long weekend people know its coming. We’re in a very DIY and culturally strong neighbourhood. We don’t have to look far for our performers, food vendors or artisans. It would be much tougher to put an event on like this in another neighbourhood. It’s really all there for us already.

It’s elegant in its simplicity! You end up with a great event that is family friendly. Things kick off at 6pm with the first couple hours with families and kids running around. Then you see the kids head home and a different audience arrives giving it more of a true festival experience.

2016 crowds lined up to enjoy local music, food and drink!

LMO: It’s great to see all your performers are local. How do you continue to introduce new emerging artists?

UL: This year is a bit different as my partner on the project is pregnant. We’ve had to build it a bit differently this year and be more aware of it for future years. We get approached by locals looking to perform. We’ve always been very public and grassroots about it. There always seems to be new artists interested in performing

LMO: With everything taking place, what do you look forward to the most?

UL: Seeing the community out in a way that we don’t normally. It’s a public event in a private party setting. We’re in the backyard of a space. We’re technically on Dundas St. but we aren’t. We’re in the business core of the community but were technically in a back yard. People are juxtaposed in two environments really. It’s just so unique. But, I’m really most excited to see the community come together through a gate into a transformed backyard. It’s a once a year opportunity!

Except more great music this Friday from Antonio Alas Mariachi, Fraser Teeple, The Early Morning and Roozbeh.


Festival Details

Local Acts:                    4

Total Acts:                     4

Volunteers:                 10

Staff:                               5

Cause:                          Funds raised support youth digital literacy programs. 

All Ages :                     Yes

Licensed:                     Yes

Free to attend?           $30 - tickets available online 



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