, a yearly outdoor rock concert festival that primarily promotes Canadian
rock music, began in 1987 as a thank-you gesture to the listeners of Toronto
radio station 102.1 the Edge
and as a birthday party to commemorate both the station's tenth birthday, and the coinciding Canada Day
. Since then, it has spanned 20 years, over 300 bands, over 500,000 attendees, and 4 locations (Molson Park
, the Ontario Place
Forum, the Molson Amphitheatre
, and most recently Downsview Park
). It is now the longest running rock show in Canada.
The early years (1987-1989)
Edgefest began in 1987 as a conversation between Edge staffers in the lunchroom. The station had launched ten years earlier in 1977, and in order to celebrate their tenth birthday and Canada Day, the idea was given to throw a large outdoor rock festival. Although such a festival was seen at the time (before the likes of Lollapalooza
, Warped Tour
and Another Roadside Attraction
) to be a giant financial risk; the idea to hold a one-day festival with a bunch of non-superstar groups, was not regarded as a smart thing to do.
A lineup, including Blue Rodeo
, The Pursuit of Happiness
, Teenage Head
, and the first foreign act, The Saints
, was easily arranged, but finding an appropriate location deemed to be difficult. Locations such as a farmer's field in Oakville, Ontario
were considered, but scrapped due to complications with staging, electricity, bathrooms and parking. Other suggestions included......