MTL is a city with a vibrant underground culture, you know. This may be the last major city in Canada where one can still lead a Bohemian lifestyle and not starve. We got musicians, artists and creative types for days. FTB was at the annual 420 marijuana gathering held every April 20th at Mount Royal park. This year the weatherman dealt us a weak hand: it was windy, cold and raining those fat drops that are only welcome on hot summer days.
I got my effects sorted out early in the day and put on my worst pair of shoes to brave the wet. We get it in. There were hundreds of people in rain slickers dancing through the muck. A ramshackle tent made of tarps was strung up over the DJ table. His set was pure 90’s dancehall gold. Buju Banton and Beenie Man. Staccato patois injections by the DJ—
I even heard a Beres Hammond track at one point.
There were lots of student organizations handing out info on drug policy, which was a new thing, and maybe portentous of changing drug laws in Canada. MTL would be wild if you fly in, hit the hotel, then drop by a super lush lounge where you could purchase the finest green from a menu with gold embossing. One can dream, right!?
At one point some dude thrust a water pipe up into the grey sky and started dancing like mad. In that same instant the sky broke open and the rains came heavy and sideways. I stayed until 4:20 proper, huddled around the huge angel on the obelisk. Pretty smoky by 4:25— that’s MTL.
420 is a sanctified party holiday in MTL: no police, no violence (other than that kid who was chased into midday traffic on Parc) . No problem. Just beautiful young people smoking weed in a downpour and listening to classic Caribbean rhythms. Happy 420 from FTB. Hope to catch you at the party next year.
Photography by Jesse Anger and Hannah Hackney