A Tale of Toronto’s Field Trip

There is a lot to love at Toronto’s Field Trip Music Festival. The atmosphere, the food and, of course, the tunes.

Unfortunately, my time at the two-day event is not to enjoy the eclectic line-up. No, I have somehow found myself working on location.

Nevertheless, the fest, a celebration of the Arts & Crafts record label, hits just the right mix. Hometown heroes including Broken Social Scene and Fiest mingle with up-and-coming talents such as Thundercat and LP.

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Photo by Myles Herod

My journey begins late morning on Saturday, June 3. Early attendees frolic about the green lawns of Fort York taking advantage of promotional giveaways while staking out spots close to the stage.

There is a lot to love at Toronto’s Field Trip Music Festival. The atmosphere, the food and, of course, the tunes.

Toronto’s alternative radio station, Indie 88, is also on hand, clad with branded signs and t-shirts, providing free high fives to willing participants.

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Photo by Myles Herod

Working for the Weekend

Running parallel to the gates, a long line of food trucks sit, having arrived the night before. They are unpacking and prepping their high-priced sweet, savoury, and sometimes gluten-free snacks.

I should know. I am here as an employee of Caplansky’s Deli, assembling similar menu items. With four servers including myself, we are assigned to the restaurant’s baby-blue truck, slapped with stylized insignia and cartoon pickles.

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Caplansky’s food truck. Photo by Myles Herod

Known for their signature smoked meat sandwiches, Caplansky’s holds a strong reputation with Torontonians.

[W]e are assigned to a baby-blue truck, slapped with stylized insignia and cartoon pickles.

Steeped in the tradition of delicatessen cuisine, today’s sandwiches, as always, are presented on rye or a bagel. At an extra two dollars, one can make it a combo with fries and coleslaw. Either way, a pickle is always served.

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Smoked meat with pickle. Photo by Myles Herod

Help from The Pharcyde

And so goes my Saturday. The sun-filled afternoon produces endless lines of hungry patrons. Even worse, within our cramped mobile kitchen, it starts to feel like a sauna. Thankfully, relief comes in the form of the on-going live music, seeping through the cash window.

Tunes by the likes of Walrus, Cloud Nothings and The Pharcyde help break the monotony. In fact, we find a common rhythm, with the music falling in step to our repetitive culinary motions.

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The Pharcyde. Photo by Myles Herod

The Pharcyde, a nostalgic dose of 90’s hip-hop, takes it one step further. It’s now night, and their energetic stage show indirectly whittles away our queue of customers. As a result, the truck closes early. I am forever indebted.

Same Sandwich, Different Day

Sunday proves to be an equal endurance test. Luckily, it is also a shorter day. As dusk begins to approach, we slice our last sandwiches and close shop upon, what I presume, is another successful Field Trip.

Alas, the truck cannot exit the grounds for another hour. There’s time to kill, so I walk to the main stage.

I’m in luck. Heavy with synths and guitars, I find myself deep in the crowd for French rockers Phoenix. Everyone erupts, cheering frontman Thomas Mars as he launches into fan-favourites “Lisztomania” and “Lasso.”


Phoenix closes Field Trip 2017. Photo by Myles Herod

After all my hard work inside the Caplanksy’s food truck, this is how my weekend finishes: A joyful dance party as I smell faintly of pickles.