As we all attempt to get back into the daily grind of transit gridlock, never-ending dull workdays and annoying colleagues it doesn’t hurt to remember a little thing called Summer. Remember those last minute plans – out of town debacles – party riots? Of course you do. While some promos promised packaged deals and overused slogans (“this is the best party of the summer”) other shindigs simply delivered with talent and spectacle.
When: July 29th – 31st – [Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal]
Price: $80 and up
Montreal exudes a fun-loving affection that can be infectiously toxic. There’s something about Osheaga; perhaps it’s the freedom of a major music arts festival OUTSIDE of Toronto that undoubtedly unites people? This year it also could’ve been the return of Eminem and Death Cab for Cutie.
With two main stages (one sponsored by Blackberry, the other by good ol’ Budweiser) the list of talent exchanged between risers surely was appreciated. Acts like Flaming Lips, Lupe Fiasco, City & Colour, Bright Eyes and seemingly Canada’s rock god Elvis Costello all made noteworthy appearances.
Eminem’s crowd turnout of 50,000 was undeniably one of the biggest show spectacles I’ve ever seen. From watching that kid who totally died his hair blonde in high school, to the mechanics who blasted Marshall’s anthems at the auto body shop to those smooth chicks that love to dance – the crowd was the most diverse in supporters that one could hope for. Most importantly Eminem delivered his full brashness and gutting vocals in copious amounts. Imagine 50, 000 people reciting Stan & The Way I Am. Picture it.
Although the main stages housed many top acts it was the quest of the trek that made for some rather insane performances. Scène Verte was the stage I found myself most at, or trying to get to. Whether it was bolting over the crowded bridge of lost boys or through the back forest (stopping to watch some interactive gaming] the Scène Verte stage seemed to have those acts that you just couldn’t miss.
Acts like Bassnectar, RATATAT, White Lies, Crystal Castles – it predominately worshiped the electro heads, but didn’t neglect hometown staples like Yoav.
Your typical wine and beer stops were quite easily accessible. Water refill stands, charge points and serene recouping retreats also brought you through the day to night bender. I even got suckered into a $7 Redbull vodka, which consisted of a shot of vodka being poured on top of a Redbull and presented with a cheeky (rather sexy) smile. I faked smile and chugged.
Being a UK enthusiast it was great to see acts like Jamie xx, The Sounds, The Joy Formidable and Ellie Goulding all hyped and respected. This was a festival that had a sealed lineup (minus a Kid Cudi last minute drop out) with stacked slots.
With the last set of each night running until just before midnight, the Parc Drapeau subway became the next party cycle. The “carry me I can’t walk” pleas and full on love zest were in full effect.
Choice Pick (s): Bassnectar & Eminem
Photos by Kathryn Kyte