Jason C. McLean and Dawn McSweeney discuss Balarama Holness launching the Bloc Montréal provincial party, the return of Montreal’s summer festivals and the SQDC workers going on strike.
Osheaga is back! After being forced to cancel in 2020 and offering a stripped-down all-Canadian October edition last year, the summer’s biggest music fest is back in full force in 2022.
They just announced this year’s lineup and it’s as big as ever.
Foo Fighters, who were supposed to play both in 2020 and 2021, will finally make it across the border and headline Friday night. They will be joined earlier in the day by indie rockers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, British singer/songwriter Charli XCX, American rapper Big Sean and more.
New York-based rapper and producer A$AP Rocky is the big name closing off Saturday. French DJ Sébastien Léger, Hamilton rockers Arkells and New Jersey indie pop act Bleachers are among those also performing on the middle day.
Sunday night, English singer-songwriter Dua Lipa closes out the night and the festival for the year. She follows rapper and Pete Davidson buddy Machine Gun Kelly, Quebec City singer songwriter Safia Nolin, British indie rockers Glass Animals and many more local, Canadian and international acts.
This is the kind of mix Osheaga is famous for and once will be again.
Osheaga 2022 runs July 29 – 31, for the complete schedule and tickets (single day tickets on sale this Friday) please visit osheaga.com
It may be fall, but this weekend is Osheaga Weekend in Montreal! More specifically, it’s the Osheaga Get Together this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Sure, the three days in early August chock full of both international, Canadian and local musical talent and tons of audience members (aka Osheaga Proper) skipped this year and will return in 2022, but this weekend’s event promises the same level of excitement with some key differences.
Osheaga Get Together will exclusively feature Canadian talent. We’re talking some of the biggest Canadian music stars as well as up-and-coming acts to look out for. Plus many of the performers are also local.
While it will be the usual three days, there will only be two stages, which, of course, gives you a chance to catch more of the acts. The event is limited capacity (so get those tickets while you still can) and will be implementing all current Public Health protocols.
Normally when we cover Osheaga, we focus on the local and Canadian acts instead of the headliners. This year, though, the Canadian and local acts ARE the headliners, so I’ll just talk about some of them.
Here is some of what you can look forward to:
Montrealer and pop-electro-jazz singer songwriter Charlotte Cardin is the big name capping off Friday night. She is currently on tour supporting her Canadian chart-topping studio album Phoenix.
Friday will also feature Toronto-based R&B duo DVSN (signed to Drake’s label), Montreal band The Franklin Electric’s first show at home in a few years and much more.
Saturday boasts a hip hop and RnB-heavy lineup. Toronto-born and Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez makes her Osheaga debut in the headlining spot.
Majid Jordan, the Toronto-based RnB duo also signed to Drake’s OVO Sound label will perform as will rapper Roy Wood$ and many more.
On Sunday, it’s largely an all-out rockfest, featuring Montreal-based headliners Half Moon Run, Montreal-based festival favourites The Damn Truth, and Montreal punk rockers Les Shirley all play. Come to think of it, Sunday is largely an all-out Montreal rockfest (well, there is some Toronto, Quebec City and New Brunswick thrown into the mix, but I did say “largely”).
Osheaga Get Together is October 1, 2 and 3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. For the complete lineup and tickets, please visit Osheaga.com
Featured Image from Osheaga 2018 by Joe McLean
Now that the hybrid Just for Laughs is over, festival season continues. This week, we’ve got two Montreal summer mainstays back in different forms and a Rouyn-Noranda-based festival running a mini-fest in our city for the first time.
Let’s get started:
Osheaga Through the Ages
While it’s sadly true that Osheaga won’t be returning to Parc Jean-Drapeau with its 15th full event until summer 2022, the people behind one of Canada’s most popular music festivals have found a way nonetheless to be a part of Montreal’s 2021 festival season. Three ways, that is.
Osheaga Through the Ages will run in the Quartier des Spectacles during the month of August. The first part of this, Music on Paper, starts this Friday at l’Astral and runs until August 21st.
It’s an art and photo exhibit featuring the “most jawdropping and eye-popping photos from years past featuring images courtesy of acclaimed photographers like Susan Moss, Patrick Beaudry, Tim Snow, and others.” The exhibit will also showcase silkscreen posters created for the festival over its previous 14 incarnations.
The second part is a series of concerts at MTELUS and l’Astral featuring local acts that have performed at Osheaga in the past. The third part is a fashion show in collaboration with the Fashion and Design Festival on August 21st featuring over 50 artists, dancers, musicians and models
Music on Paper runs August 6-21 at l’Astral, 305 Ste-Catherine Ouest. For details on this event and the emerging schedules of the other Osheaga Through the Ages events, please visit Osheaga.com
FME de l’Avent Mini-Fest on the Banks of the Lachine Canal
The FME Festival (or the Festival de Musique Émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue) has been welcoming up-and-coming and top-name Canadian talent as well as audiences to its idyllic Rouyn-Noranda setting for close to two decades. This year, for its 19th Edition (September 2-5), capacity at the site will be limited and some might forego the nine hour drive from Montreal to avoid travelling far when the pandemic situation isn’t completely resolved.
With that in mind, organizers are bringing a mini-version of the fest to Montreal this weekend. Called FME de l’Avent, it runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the banks of the Lachine Canal (Parc Riverain de Lachine, specifically) and features local talent performing in the genres of folk, rock, hip hop, funk and electro. Featured performers include Gab Paquet, Paul Jacobs, Mort Rose and more.
FME de l’Avent runs August 6, 7 and 8 at Parc Riverain de Lachine. Admission is FREE but limited to 500 people. For the complete lineup and tickets, please visit fmeat.org
Under Pressure is Back Online
The Under Pressure International Graffiti Festival is back for its 26th Edition. Last week, it held a street exhibit and dance party, but the official battles and DJ sets are this Saturday and Sunday. The big difference this year of course being that they will be streamed online.
The DJ lineup for Saturday from noon to 8pm is Killa Jewel, Manzo, Noyl, Eazy El Dee, Overflow and Ashl$n. There will also be an after-party from 8 to late, guided walks of the site and more DJs and MCs added for both days.
Featured Image: Beach House performing at Osheaga by Pierre Bourgault from the Music on Paper exhibit
If you know of an event that you feel should be covered, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
No promises but we’ll do our best
Osheaga and Île Soniq, two huge music festivals run by Evenko that have become summer staples, won’t happen in 2021 as planned. Instead, the 15th anniversary of Osheaga will take place July 29th-31st, 2022 and Île Soniq will happen August 5th and 6th, both at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
This is “due to an ever-evolving COVID-19 situation and our commitment to the safety and health of festival attendees,” according to organizers in social media posts announcing the postponement.
With hopes that the COVID-19 situation would improve and everything would be back to normal or at least semi-normal by late July, Evenko scheduled these events and even announced the Osheaga headliners late last year. Unfortunately, there is still much uncertainty over where we will be pandemic-wise by then, and festivals like this can’t be planned on short notice.
Osheaga founder and Evenko Senior Vice-President Nick Farkas explained in the same Facebook and Instagram posts sent out this morning:
“We’ve been working since last summer to try to deliver the full festival experience to fans. We are keenly aware of how important live music is to our fans and our city, and how much everyone misses it. We want to be back there in the midst of it too, but the truth is it takes several months to line up the various elements to create a festival, and with the current uncertainty, we don’t have that luxury. We remain hopeful that the situation will improve enough.”– Nick Farkas
Evenko’s other summer events, such as Heavy Montreal, hadn’t already been scheduled for 2021. Those who purchased tickets for the 2020 or 2021 events can have those tickets honoured at the 2022 events or get a full refund.
Featured image from Osheaga 2018 by Joe McLean
Jason C. McLean and Special Guest Dawn McSweeney go through the week’s big news stories:
Quebec Premier François Legault injects himself into the campus “free speech” debate and considers restricting English school enrollment.
What Montreal events and festivals will go online in 2021 and which will happen in person?
Ted Cruz leaves Texas freezing.
Justin Trudeau’s new gun control measures.
Dawn Mc Sweeney is an author and FTB contributor, follow her on Twitter @mcmoxy
Jason C. McLean is the Editor-in-Chief of ForgetTheBox.net, follow him on Twitter @jasoncmclean
In what has got to be their earliest partial lineup announcement ever, or at least in a while, Osheaga has given us the headliners for its 15th Edition. It will be Foo Fighters on Friday, Cardi B on Saturday and Post Malone on Sunday.
The event is scheduled to take place July 30, 31 and August 1 in Parc Jean-Drapeau, so it might still be a bit of time before we get the full lineup. Those are usually released in March, anyways.
This early announcement, while sparse, is quite welcome. After a summer devoid of in-person festivals and a spring and fall devoid of live in-person shows of any kind, it’s good to know that what is arguably Montreal’s largest music festival will be roaring back next year, and with some huge names, no less.
It’s also a reminder that while Montreal is pretty much locked down now, there are some things on the horizon like a vaccine, a return to semi-normal and, by the end of the summer, Osheaga.
Yesterday, the Quebec Government requested suspending all public cultural and sporting events across the province until August 31st in order to keep fighting COVID-19 through social distancing. Following the request, Evenko announced that Osheaga, Île Soniq and the new country music festival LASSO won’t take place in Parc Jean-Drapeau late July and during August as originally planned.
“We are truly saddened by this situation, but everyone’s health must remain our top priority,” evenko President and CEO Jacques Aubé said in a press release. “It is too early to specifically announce the status of each of our events. We want to take the time to properly think about each of them and evaluate our options. Of course, we will do everything we can in order to minimize the impacts of this decision on all parties involved, by trying to postpone events, when possible.”
evenko now says it is in “solution mode” and will announce the fate of these events as soon as they work that out. They had already announced months ago, before COVID-19 was a concern, that their other festivals Heavy Montréal and 77 Montréal would be taking a break in 2020. Now we’re waiting to see if the other festivals will do the same or if they will be rescheduled, fully or in some form.
We previously learned that the Montreal Jazz Fest, Francofolies and Fringe Festival won’t happen this year and that Just for Laughs has been moved from July to late September/early October. This request by the Quebec Government, in effect, extends a municipal Montreal decision to cancel all festivals, public events and sporting events until July 2nd. is
It is clear that even if we flatten the curve and social distancing restrictions are loosened and things get back to something that resembles normal, summer in Montreal will look and feel very different this year.
Featured image from Osheaga 2019 by lamyazpixels
Osheaga was a great three days of hardy drinking and music and all I can say about this year’s festival is that there were so many pleasant surprises.
Let’s get right to it: Sunday night was the big night because of its two headliners: Tame Impala and Childish Gambino.
Tame Impala put on a near perfect show. The crowd was transfixed with the neat light beams coming from the stage that seemed to put everyone in a trance. They played most of their songs from their latest LP but did a few good oldies like Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Elephant.
Childish Gambino then brought the crowd to complete ecstasy by hitting it home and closed out the night with some spectacular fireworks right after the crowd sang along to This is America.
Earlier in the day Metric got the crowd going. At times Hains started speaking what seemed to be poetry about getting shit done in your life.
Mac DeMarco was acting all goofy all day. It culminated in him doing a funny cover of Metallica’s enter Sandman.
Saturday night’s romp with chemical Brothers was one for the bucket list. These superstar DJs were definitely one of the highlights of my festival experience.
Teke:: Teke, Fisher and Vladamir Cauchmar to name drop a few, were as entertaining as ever. And Kurt VIle put on one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen him do.
Black Tiger Sex Magic was definitely the strangest act of the festival with helmets that light up and the oddest crowd mix of electronic dance music bros, pretty ladies and weirdos.
The coolest performance trophy goes to Reignwolf to for their use of the space to play their guitars and bass and the final meshing of the guitar and bass together to end the set.
Side note: As for the venue the park new old location was definitely noticed by people for being more spacious and with a lot more amenities.
The only one negative thing I noticed with the amount of dust I was at this year’s festival maybe it was caused by the amount of construction in Montreal or on site or perhaps it was the sand that was laid out at the base of the mountain but whatever reason a lot of people were covering their face as because of it. Hopefully next year it won’t be as dusty.
Featured image by lamyazpixels
Day Two is now in the books, let’s try to recap the blur that just happened, shall we. Like with any festival you’re always experiencing something while missing out on something else. It’s the nature of events like this so someone else’s snapshot of the day might be completely different.
We at FTB went into the Saturday with a plan that we wouldn’t at any point make a plan. Just follow a friend to what they’re going to, ask a stranger for a suggestion or wander aimlessly. Here’s a few of the places our wanderings took us to.
We happened in on King Princess who a friend told us was the next big thing waiting to blow up. She didn’t disappoint, we’ll have to remember to check her out again.
We decided to hang in the back for Janelle Monáe, see the big picture of the festival.
It can’t all be high energy, met up with some old friends and made some new ones hanging out on the hammocks
The crowd for Black Tiger Sex Machine was a drum of gasoline waiting to go up and the Montreal based trio didn’t waste any time lighting the match that set the whole thing off.
The best hidden gem for the day (and strong candidate for highlight of the festival) were garage rockers Reignwolf who used every possible inch of the stage and every ounce of energy they had during their performance.
Frontman Jordan Cook seemd hell bent on climbing to the top of every structure he could find while playing his guitar solos. Amps were swaying, patch cords were being pulled tight around beams, security was having a panic attack. You know, standard rock and roll stuff.
He even jumped into the crowd for a little bit one on one time with everyone. All this while singing the chorus “Are you Satisfied?” Yes Jared, very much so.
The Chemical Brothers capped the day off with an immersive performance combining their music with a multimedia light and video show complete with confetti, giant robots and beach balls. Probably the most complete top to bottom performance we’ve ever seen and a masterclass on how to combine music with other medium.
Featured image courtesy of lamyazpixels
Osheaga 2019 finishes today (Sunday). Tickets at the gate or through Osheaga.com
Day one of Osheaga 2019 is now in the books and it set a pretty high bar for the rest of the weekend. Here’s a quick recap of some of the highlights, awards ceremony style.
The best improvement award goes to the venue itself. Last year renovations pushed Osheaga out of its normal spot on Île Sainte-Hélène and most, myself included found it to be a bit of a headache. This time around they’re back in their usual spot and it seems to have been very well received by most concertgoers.
The best stage presence award goes to Mitski who brought a table and chair on stage with her and played lovingly with them all set. What at first looked like a one or two song gimmick turned into a set long love affair with inanimate objects.
The coolest dude at the party award goes to Interpol’s Daniel Kessler who decided to attire himself in suit and shades. Despite temperatures soaring in the afternoon he kept the full coat and tie on the whole time! That’s some serious commitment to looking like a rockstar there Daniel.
The best surf rock goes to Teke Teke, because we love them and love surf rock and we wanted to give them a shout out.
The most touching moment award goes to the Lumineers for deciding to ignore standard procedure by reserving the encore for one of their big hits and instead chose to pay homage to Montreal legend Leonard Cohen by covering has classic Democracy.
Their low key version, dropping the classic drum beat and musical hook till the very end, made the song something a little bit Cohen and a little bit themselves while still capturing the important part of all Cohen songs, the lyrics. Maybe the crowd didn’t know all the words to this one but the overall message, which like most Cohen songs is still relevant today, was quite clear.
Photos by Jerry Gabriel (except featured image by Joseph McLean)
Osheaga continues through Sunday, tickets at Osheaga.com
Osheaga‘s back this weekend for 3 full days of music, art, food and fun in what is likely to be very hot sun. The lineup this year is as impressive as ever with some very big names sure to draw big crowds.
Here at FTB though we try not to focus on any of those big names. It just seems a little silly to preview what you already know.
Instead we’ll be talking about the hidden gems playing earlier in the day when you might be more inclined to wander aimlessly and get to know a new artist. Here’s who I’m most looking forward to getting to know, feel free to check out their full lineup and form your own opinion.
Stay hydrated my friends!
Disclaimer: This list is totally biased to what I’m into at the moment so don’t tell me I missed someone or it’s in some way wrong.
I’ve always had a soft spot for surf rock bands, especially when they list Takeshi Terauchi as their biggest influence. If you don’t know who he is I advise you to do a quick little google search.
It also doesn’t hurt that Teke::Teke are from good ol’Montreal and what would Osheaga be like without a little hometown bias in the preview.
Give them a listen and you’ll see they’ve got the old surf rock vibe but with some twists. There’s a lot of modern elements as well as some traditional Japanese instruments mixed in for good measure.
While I’m not super familiar with grandson, his track Apologize keeps showing up everywhere and I’m curious to get to know a little more about him. He’s a relatively young artist and starting to get chart-level success so this might be a “I remember when” situation where you get to catch someone before they really blow up.
I’ve always found it funny that “fashionably late” even applies to concerts in Montreal. If you’re like me and actually make it to places at the correct time you can check out Mallrat bright and early at the crack of 1 pm on Sunday.
I know, what an ungodly hour to be awake, and on a Sunday no less! But it will be well worth it. At just 20 years old, this Australia singer/rapper is already starting to make waves, best to get on the boat early.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
The elevator pitch for why St.Paul & The Broken Bones is on this list, the dude can sing like it’s nobody’s business. A whole lot of soul, a little bit of funk and a superb horn section have me curious to see what the live version of the tracks I’ve heard will sound like.
Ok so Mitski is definitely not a lesser known artist but she’s on in the afternoon so it might still count. Besides, this is my list and I’ll do what I want!
She’s the winner of the “Osheaga Artist I’ve Been Listening to Most Lately Award” and as the winner of this completely arbitrary prize she wins a spot on this list.
In this case I have no excuse, it’s super duper duper breaking the rules to put Mac DeMarco on the list. So he’ll go at the bottom and I won’t dwell on it for long but I had to since the “hipster Jimmy Buffet” is absolutely nuts live, don’t forget to go see him, who knows what craziness he’ll get up to.
You might even get to hear his tone deaf drummer sing classic rock songs like he did last summer at Lollapalooza. Like who does that?!?
While this year’s line-up at Osheaga is heavy on the electronic and hip hop acts, there are still plenty of bands for those of you who want to rock out. And personally, while it’s nice to have the mix, sometimes you just want to rock out.
Here my picks for the best indie rock performers playing Osheaga this year:
Indie pop sensations Real Estate have found themselves at a crossroads with their last LP, with longtime lead guitarist Matt Mondanile leaving the band, but still have the chops to take it all the way.
In Mind (2017), their fourth studio album and one recorded in the absence of Mondanile, shows the band is still very viable. With this album taking them in new directions, the future looks for Real Estate.
Sunday, August 4, 4:30pm @ National Bank Stage
I was supposed to avoid writing about the headliners, and let’s face it Mac Demarco is a headliner even if he isn’t the top bill. He has played shows in front of tens of thousands, spawned a resurgence in semi-psychedelic lo-fi sound (and many have tired to copy his trademark sound), and he smokes the king of all cigarettes, Viceroy.
His lo-fi sound started in Mile End but has now reached the four quadrants of the world. And boy has it been one long strange trip.
He’s known for being an oddball and goofing around on stage, so expect to see some serious antics! But his unique sound gives him the tight niche of laid back slacker rock that is just very compelling and very good.
Sunday, August 5, 5:15pm @ Bell Alt TV River Stage
The eclectic coming together of musicians from well-known Montreal bands (Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Boogat, Pawa) created Japanese-influenced post-punk psychorockers Teke:: Teke.
If you yen for some traditional Japaneese surf rock infusion then this might be the band for you.
Friday, August 2 3:45 @ Perrier Tree Stage
Montreal Art rock band Braids will take the stage a year after winning the Juno for Best Alternative Rock group.
They got me with their 80s electronic beats over Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s vocals, which can be pretty haunting at times especially when infused with some pretty interesting vocal effects.
Sunday, August 4th, 1pm @ Honda Valley Stage
Kurt Vile and the Violators
I’ve been a fan of Kurt Vile ever since the first time I saw him play at Casa del Popolo. He was alone at the time playing his guitar with crazy pedal effects and his sweet nasal voice. Sufficed to say, I was pretty impressed.
His lo-fi sound and voice fills the psychedelia of his songs with wry, sardonic lyrics. His last album Lotta Sea Lice, co-written with Courtney Barnette, was truly inspiring and now he’ll be on stage with the Violators, a band that adds overall emphasis to his unique style.
Friday August 2, 8:15pm @ Honda Valley Stage
We Are Monroe
If you really need to rock out at Osheaga this year then check out Montreal’s own We Are Monroe. They are part classic rock with a new twist Their singer brings a great voice in the singing style of The Black Keys complimented by some terrific backup guitar.
Friday August 2, 2:20pm @ Perrier Tree Stage
Part metal, part rock, this band knows how to riff out an amazingly catchy song. They flew under the radar for a long time until Rolling Stone magazine called them one of the top 10 artists you need to know.
Now, with their new album out Hear Me Out (2019), they are set to go on tour with The Who later this year. Catch them while you can.
Saturday, August 3, 8:40pm @ Perier Stage
Osheaga runs Friday August 2nd to Sunday August 4th at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Tickets available through Osheaga.com
Featured Image Courtesy of Laura Fedele/WFUV
Day 3 of Osheaga seemed like any other. Folks both young and old lining up for the attractions in between the long awaited sets of their favourite artists.
The atmosphere was jolly, friendly and exciting. There was much to be entertained with and everyone seemed delightfully entangled with the surrounding crowds and atmosphere.
With seesaws, contests, and plenty of freebies, Osheaga is certainly a place where one could relive their youth.
Even with 95% humidity day two of Osheaga was still was packed, energetic affair. As we arrived this afternoon, it was hard not get swept up in the crowds of kids singing “Ole, Ole, Ole, oh LEY!”
It really set the tone of what Osheaga is all about; swarms of people heading off island to get rowdy.
Here are a few snapshots of the day:
— Stephanie Laughlin (@StephLMtl) August 4, 2018
— Joseph McLean (@joemclean24) August 4, 2018
A day at Osheaga is like a rollercoaster. It’s fast, crowded and constantly in movement.
The key, just like a roller coaster, is to stay focused on the spot right in front of you and keep your wits about you.
It’s impossible to do everything and trying will result in truly doing nothing. Instead pick what you like the most and stick with it.
Here are a few brief moments in time that capture some of what went on today:
The Music (Of Course)
— Joseph McLean (@joemclean24) August 3, 2018
— Stephanie Laughlin (@StephLMtl) August 3, 2018
— Joseph McLean (@joemclean24) August 4, 2018