Hamilton’s emerging arts community has concentrated around James Street North in recent years, with a monthly ArtCrawl among the block’s many attractions. The annual Supercrawl festival sprang from this scene in 2009, showcasing some of the best local artists while also bringing international acts to the city.
Over 165,000 people came out in 2014 to see acts such as Terra Lightfoot, Charles Bradley, Dead Tired and more. The next year, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings played a legendary set, while Daniel Lanois, Ariane Moffatt, Humans and more also performed. In advance of the festival's 2016 edition, Supercrawl hosted Welcome to Hamilton, a benefit show for displaced Syrian youth settling in Hamilton, headlined by New York-based indie rock band the National. Hayden, Kevin Drew, the Arkells’s Max Kerman and more also performed at the event.