Electronic music in the snow at Igloofest
This article was updated on December 20, 2018.
High-energy electronic music, mind-bending visuals, wild dancing and wacky winter parkas – expect all that and more at Igloofest, Montréal's famed outdoor winter music festival. Igloofest's 13th edition parties hard with Above & Beyond, Diplo, Maceo Plex, Chris Liebing, Four Tet, Gramatik and many more incredible producers.
Carving out its own brand of open-air winter party, Igloofest ranks high on the list of things you can say “only in Montréal” about. Part of the diverse fabric of Montréal's electronic music scene and the cool-weather complement to summer-long Piknic Électronik, Igloofest mixes major international names with local stars and extraordinary VJs over three extended weekends – every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from January 17 to February 2 on the Jacques-Cartier pier in the Old Port of Montréal. Each weekend, feel the music from deep in a crowd of dancers or on a VIP terrasse, illuminated by awe-inspiring visual artistry on the site's massive screens. Play icy games, hit the bar and snack on gourmet poutine, burgers and sweet treats in the Igloovillage.
Whether you're there for deep-house or dub-techno, relaxing by a fire or dancing in the snow, drinking beer or hot chocolate, Igloofest serves up something satisfying and stylish every night. The festival kicks off on January 17 with French duo Polo & Pan, playing an uplifting, genre-defying DJ set of reshuffled electro classics and deep cuts – get there early for Norwegian producer Skatebård's bass-heavy take on Italo-disco and the hip-hop-leaning electro of Montréal's Robert Robert, plus funky house and techno by Mightykat and Nymra & Sofisticated on the second stage. You know it's the first Friday of Igloofest when someone as big as Diplo shows up for a live set – hear him and openers Nina Las Vegas and Shaydakis, while the second stage rolls with deep house by Eagles & Butterflies and locals Nic Falardeau and Laurence Matte. Saturday gets us into the euphoric grooves of legendary British electro producer Four Tet and Montréal's amazing Jacques Greene and Clickbait – and head over to the second stage for thumping techno from Volvox, Taraval and Anabasine.
Weekend #2 starts with a bang on January 24 with British producer and Grammy-nominated chart-topper Chris Lake and heavy house openers AC Slater and Mizz Maxine, while NYC duo YOOKiE serves up hard bass EDM with locals Melek and Bawdy on the second stage. Friday night's on fire with UK trance-edged trio Above & Beyond (also the hit-making talents behind label Anjunabeats), plus Spencer Brown and Solid Stone's hypnotic dance sound. Go on Waze & Odyssey's lush journey through house alongside locals Mandiz, Aeiou, White and Marcbookpro on the second stage. And on January 26, we get a Saturday night run wild by legendary German techno producer Chris Liebing, Berlin-based Italian tech-house duo Mind Against and Debbie Doe on the main stage while the second stage is home to German label IlianTape's Zenker Brothers and Skee Mask and great Montréal talent Softcoresoft.
Igloofest's grand finale starts with a Thursday night of trap, grime and bass from US producers RL Grime and Baauer plus Montréal's Tommy Kruise, while Brainfeeder's Iglooghost and Montrealers Thomas White and Ryan Playground shake the second stage. On February 1, catch eclectic #DigitalFreedom rebel Gramatik, swank Parisian producer Kartell and Planet Gizz, plus French synth producer Danger and locals Le Matos and DJ Mayday. Get ready for a seriously good time on the snowy dancefloor with Maceo Plex, closing out the festival on February 2 alongside Montréal's Ostrich and second-stage house stars Baba Stiltz, 00:AM DJs and Lis Dalton. If you're here for a long weekend of festival-going, pick up an Igloopass to save money and time in the line. Or go for gold with VIP packages and Igloofest bonuses including hotel discounts and other amenities like a signature Igloofest toque! Dress up for the cheeky Iglooswag costume contest (or just for Insta LOLs) or put on your best cold-weather techno gear – just don't forget your dancing boots!
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.
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