Electronic music in the snow at Igloofest
This article was updated on December 18, 2019.
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 14th edition parties hard with Kaytranada, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Charlotte de Witte, The Blaze and many more incredible producers and visual artists from January 16 to February 8.
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 compliment to summer-long Piknic Électronik, Igloofest mixes major international names with local stars and extraordinary VJs over four extended weekends – every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night on two stages on the Jacques-Cartier Pier in the Old Port of Montréal. 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. Everything kicks off with the first OFF-Igloo Night on Thursday, January 16, featuring the electro melodies of French duo THE BLAZE, German Italo-Disco producer Lauer and, as with every night of the festival, a roster of talented Québec artists heating up the snowy dancefloor. Friday night wows with Anjunabeats label artists Alpha 9, Gabriel & Dresden and Ilan Bluestone, while Saturday night is epically techno with British producer ANNA, the Netherlands' Reinier Zonneveld and the Honey Soundsystem crew.
Return for weekend #2 starting January 23 with another OFF-Igloo Thursday night, this time with Netherlands drum 'n' bass trio NOISIA and the Vahalla Sound Circus gang's Vahalla Snow Circus bass blowout. High-energy Canadian REZZ and Garrett Lockhart's dark techno alter-ego i_o rule on January 24. And it's a major star-studded Saturday night with Nina Kraviz, back at Igloofest after seven years, and Detroit legend Robert Hood, plus Swedish melodic house maker Jeremy Olander and Montréal's CMD.
Weekend #3 starts with a bang on Thursday, January 30, when Igloofest parties to local rap and hip hop by award-winning Québec vocalist LOUD, White-B and Charlie Shulz. Dance to Australian alt-dance trio RÜFÜS DU SOL plus Québec's CRi and French producer Bellaire on Friday, January 31. And Saturday's a celebration when famed Montréal artist Kaytranada returns to Igloofest with hits from his excellent new album Bubba, with openers High Klassified and DJ Kelly.
Igloofest's final weekend goes out, as always, in fine wintery style, starting with a one-of-a-kind Igloofest Boiler Room Special on Thursday, February 6. Joyously whoop it up with star Canadian duo ZEDS DEAD and L.A. producer VNSSA on Friday night. And don't miss Saturday's festival sendoff with all-around incredible Belgian producer Charlotte de Witte and the exuberant club sounds of New Zealand's Chaos In The CBD.
If you're here for a long weekend of festival-going, pick up an Igloopasse to save money and time in the line. Or go for gold with VIP packages and Igloofest bonuses including hotel packages, meals at restaurant festival Happening Gourmand and amenities like a signature Igloofest tuque! 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.