Ohh-Sheaga. If you weren’t at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal this past weekend, you better have had a good excuse. The three-day seventh annual music festival was the biggest (and most sold-out) it’s ever been since its wee beginnings. Here’s why Osheaga is shaping up to be the next Coachella and why next year you should really consider dropping everything to head to this festival of sun and soundwaves.
1. Hearing fun.’s hit jam first on Day 1 set up our goals for the rest of the weekend: “Toniiiiight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire! We can go brighter than the suuuun.”
2. THE TREES!! Ohh, the trees. Those who’ve experienced the desert death, “Is that an oasis?” feel of music fests like Bonnaroo and Coachella would hug every tree in sight at Osheaga’s green spacious grounds.
3. It’s not every day you get a giant hose sprayed on your face while dancing to crazy French electronic turntablists (a.k.a. Birdy Nam Nam).
4. Flush toilets, whaaaat?! Running sinks with soap?! Unheard of at music festivals of this size, but that’s Osheaga for ya.
5. Mmmm, delicious blues from the king bee of music festivals himself Mr. Gary Clark Jr. Google him.
6. The double whammer main stages La Rivière and La Montagne was brilliant. You get less wait time and more dance space.
7. Weekend pass to Osheaga: $250. Round-trip fare from Toronto to Montreal via Greyhound: $130. Watching fireworks explode across the island during Justice’s epic set (“Because WE. ARE. YOUR FRIENDS!”): priceless.
8. Every time someone Instagrams, an angel gets his wings.
9. The gloriously excessive cowbells and possibly the best live rendition of “Wildfire” by the SBTRKT duo on the Piknic Electronik stage made Day 2 simply perfect.
10. 2 for 1 deal on sweet sweet corn on the cob. And yes, dancing hard to Yeasayer while eating corn will be the next big craze, guaranteed.
11. There seemed to be a cloud of mysterious smoke forming from the crowd during the Snoop Dogg a.k.a Snoop Lion set. But no one seemed to mind.
12. After the sweaty dirt film that built up over the course of the day, you get to go back to an air-conditioned Airbnb condo and witness that film transfer to the sides of the bathtub.
13. Prepping your Osheaga Survival Kit every morn, which consists of bubbles, Red Bull, sour gummy worms, air horns, garbage bags (for the rain), macadamian cookies, water and a blanket. Survival of the fittest.
14. A weekend in Osheaga means there’s no shame in wearing empty beer cups as flip flops, getting from Scène Verte to Scène Piknic Electronik.
15. Having conversations with my sister: “Imagine how our family dinners would be like if I was with A$AP Rocky and you had Common?” And ladies, yes, Common is a dreamboat up close, as one lucky fan brought on stage can attest.
16. Poutine. For breakfast, lunch and dinner.
17. Not caring about the massive rain and thunderstorms during The Shins set then booty popping in puddles during Buraka Som Sistema right after.
18. Crowdsurfing to Bloc Party despite the <<Pas De Crowdsurfing>> signs everywhere brought me back to Frosh Week at Western.
19. Setting off air horns during the 17-year-old French DJ Madeon’s set made us (and everyone around us) smile from ear to ear.
20. Witnessing hundreds of mini helicopter lights/pixie dust/glowing fairies cascade from the sky during The Black Keys’ “Everlasting Light” set our hearts aflutter. Le sigh.
~ Desiree Gamotin
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