Osheaga Music & Arts Festival hits all the right notes again in triumphant return to the festival original site for its 14th edition. This year return to the iconic ”Espace 67” of Parc Jean-Drapeau brought more than 130 00 festival goers from August 2 to 4, thriving the city into one of its best weekend of the year.
While not having as many traditional big name stars as we’ve seen in the past, the festival showcased a broad variation in musical styles with both new and old headliners including Childish Gambino, the Chemical Brothers and the Lumineers.
After two years within the temporary Ile Saint-Hélène site that could often feel over crowded and difficult to navigate, the new site brought back the classic Osheaga festival thrill that made it known as one of the best in the world. The new site handled a larger capacity and featured a smoother layout, on-site restaurant and paved walkways among many other changes. Perhaps the most impactful change though was a significantly upgraded layout at the main stage area with new 360 audio/light towers, better viewing and fluid crowds navigation. This helped give the entire crowd from front to back a loud and exciting experience. Between the lights and psychedelic visuals of the Chemical Brothers and the Stage Production mastery of Childish Gambino. Festival goers got the perfect example of what a world class festival site can do.
“Every year, the profile of OSHEAGA continues to grow and expand, making it the ultimate festival destination for Montrealers as well as fans from all over the world,” says Jacques Aubé, President of evenko. “The festival is a major economic driver for the city of Montreal, and it does wonders for our reputation as a world class purveyor of music, arts, and culture on an international scale.” Featuring over 100 artists, on 6 different stages for 3 days of pure sun and fun, OSHEAGA had something for everyone, and fans came from far and wide (including ticket buyers from 60 countries).
The Lumineers_by Pat Beaudry
5 high notes from the weekend:
Meals & Treats !
Festival food isn’t always great. Maybe I’m biased being from Montreal, but now most good festivals around the world have learned that you don’t need to limit yourself with vendors and classic ‘fast-food’ to produce for the masses anymore. Osheaga knows this and had something for all taste with amazing food from famous high quality food trucks, classical concession stand and catering service. Not to Mention the YUL Gardens who featured signature dishes from delicious local favourites, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. With so many variety you rarely had to wait in line, even at peak times.
‘‘Artist’’ Moments – Mac Demarco
It’s always nice when artists deliver unique performance that suits the crowd and situation. Fans have come to know Osheaga and have high expectations from the festival ; great music, great performances, good crowds vibe and Passionate fans. Artists recognize this too and often comments on Osheaga’s ways of breathings out this unique energy and crazy spirit. So when Mac Demarco entered the stage for his Sunday afternoon set, he felt like an animal and wasn’t planning on being a chills smooth hippy artists like he usually is. He had everyones heads banging despite his traditional mellow music. He entered like a rockstar, gave one of the wildest acts of the weekend and won the hearts of his former hometown crowd.
Big Scale, Big Time Production
The new layout and grounds had a great impact on festival experience across the site. But as mentioned previously, the big value was in the high quality production capability that the big acts displayed this years. Super-folks group, the Lumineers kicked of the festival with an intimate giant campfire singalong moment, playing in the middle off the crowd and not losing the sense for larger audience. But Childish Gambino had the crowd hanging on his every lil syllable and showed what one of the industries best all-around performers can do, especially with a new site!
Perrier – Scène des arbres
Perrier Scene des Arbres was more than a treat this year and made quite a grandiose return. definitely a popular spot for day-light’s sets, particularly with hot weekend like the one we got. The area being completely covered with a vegetation-like roof was the perfect scenic spot to cool down and listen to some of the most refreshing music of the weekend. Local’s bands ; Les Louanges, Anemone, Fouki and We Are Monroe represented Montreal on that stage and brought total pride in our music scene .
The Electronic Impact
The Chemical Brothers showed many why they’ve been at the top of the game for almost 20 years. Pioneers and now giants, After a 17 year long break from Montreal, they reminded us why they were on the big time slot and left with their name engraved in everyone’s mind. Fans or not , they captivated the entire crowd into jumping and dancing for a long satisfying set, closing Saturdays with a dose of pure energy and unbelievable visual. It was worth the wait !
But electronic music was celebrated throughout the weekend and in spectacular fashion. Featuring many great sets including FLUME, Rüfus Du Sol, Black Tiger sex machine, Bob Moses, Black Madona, FKJ and local favorite Kaytranada, who undoubtedly killed it,
Day to day highlights
Day 1- Australia’s Dean Lewis reminded fans why he is one to watch with a swoon-worthy set of songs from his album A Place We Knew; Denzel Curry didn’t need anything but a mic in his hand to get the crowd jumping and bouncing in unison ; while Rosalia heated up an already scorching day with spanish fire and pop flamenco, Joji was prompting improv and mastering his DGAF skills. We wish had those skill to forget J Balvin and Jessie Reyez last minute cancellations but electronic duo Mstrkrft saved the day.
Rosalia_by Pat Beaudry
Day 2 was an eclectic mix of performances with the dreamy pop psychedelia of Beach House, an unforgettable set from Top Dawg hip hop star Schoolboy Q, and noisey rock and roll from Canada’s Reignwolf. Rüfüs Du Sol had huge set at the festival and then tore the roof off at their sold out after party at la SAT. Seasoned festival acts Young Thug and Young The Giant showed the kids what it’s like to own the stage, while Janelle Monàe unexpected outfit danced her way to her PoP R&B throne.
Young The Giant_By Pat Beaudry
Day 3 kicked off with unforgettable sets from Aussie newcomer Mallrat and Local’s Franklin electric, whose voice and new music gave chills to everyone. Also blowing everyone minds at their Osheaga’s Pre-Party at L’astral on Thursdays – Don’t miss the release of their new album. Festival’s regulars Hozier and Metric returned to the stage, while Koffee’s Jamaican toasting was a revelation for many in attendance. The night wrapped up with killer sets from the festival’s most exciting and dynamic performers ; the highly anticipated Rock and Psych Sonic Boom from one of Australia’s hottest bands, Tame Impala that lead us straight into the performance of the night, Childish‘s big finale.
Tame Impala _ Pat Beaudry
OSHEAGA is back July 31 and August 1-2 2020 for the 15th edition! It will undoubtedly be the best weekend of the year! Meanwhile keep the spirit going with these Osheaga Presents show
Susan MossPierre Bourgault
Franklin Electric’s Official Pre-party _ Xavier Hébert
Les Louanges _ by Pat Beaudry
You might like : 50 Best Moments from Osheaga 2018
Written By Xavier Hébert