For those who don’t live in Toronto, or didn’t grow up here, it’s difficult to fully understand the impact that The Guvernment had not only on the city, but on the music scene here in general. For 19 years, the legendary nightclub was a staple of Toronto, a place where those who loved to party and dance into all hours of the night would flock to in hopes of creating friendships and memories that would last a lifetime. And, for most people, that’s exactly what they got. So much so, in fact, that a “Guv Family” of sorts was formed between the regulars who would show up week after week, always ready and eager to spread the happiness and love that music brought into their lives.
This past Sunday, The Guvernment closed its doors for good, leaving a massive hole in Toronto’s music scene. For many, myself included, it was an emotional moment. Though I’m not old enough to have experienced the club in its early days, or even what some may call its heyday, I do have many great memories of attending concerts there over the years and it has undoubtedly helped shape my love for music. And that’s in great part to the fact that The Guvernment was always, above all else, about the music.
More concerned with the actual concert-going experience, the club always prided itself on its superb sound systems, impressive lighting and top-notch artists, instead of trying to push their crowds towards the bar to buy more drinks. And while ticket prices sometimes climbed unfairly high, the focus was always on the show at The Guvernment, and with warehouse culture firmly in mind, it gave its clientele exactly what they wanted. The club’s impact on the city and the culture here was undeniable, and though it wasn’t always the prettiest scene in there, many people will always remember it fondly.
In order to give their loyal fans a proper sendoff, INK Entertainment, who run the club, assembled an impressive line-up of talent to close out the Guv’s final weekend. Kicking things off on Friday was Armin van Buuren, followed on Saturday by Knife Party and finally, hometown hero deadmau5 on Sunday. Bringing with it just as many smiles as there were tears, The Guvernment got the finale it deserved, with many of its regulars agreeing that it was the perfect way to commemorate what had been a tremendous 19 years.
With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the three shows and see what each of the acts brought with them.