The M in Montréal is for music

Mark Hamilton

Montréal’s indie music scene is one noted around the world for its undeniably deep well of talent and trendsetting sounds. Artists like Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, BRAIDS, tUnE-yArDs, Wolf Parade and countless others have called Montréal home, and the spirit of the city arguably infiltrates every note of the music they’ve made here. Brightening up the early days of winter (or “extremely late autumn,” as we’d prefer to call it), the 12th annual M for Montréal music festival brings together over 100 up-and-coming bands to 15 of the city’s coolest venues for four days of shows and industry shenanigans November 15-18, 2017. (124)

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Musicians in their natural habitat

M for Montréal’s packed line-up features familiar names like shoegazy popsters Alvvays and hip-hop poet laureate Cadence Weapon (sharing the stage with the lengedary Del the Funky Homosapien) alongside plucky upstarts like lo-fi pranksters Freak Heat Waves and the gobsmacking Un Blonde. If you’ve ever wanted to brag that you “saw them first,” then M for Montréal is the festival for you.

Hitting the festival also acts as a de facto tour of Montréal’s storied club scene, as you’ll run from venue to venue to catch the next hot tip on the schedule. From the cozy rooms of Casa del Popolo and La Vitrola to the ballrooms of La Sala Rossa and grander Fairmount Theatre, there’s a space for every taste. And M for Montréal’s inviting atmosphere guarantees you’ll see some of the artists you caught on stage earlier in the festival nodding along right beside you later on.

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More than just a music fest

M for Montréal does more for its musicians than just providing them with a stage. As an internationally recognized showcasing festival, over 200 industry players will be in attendance to check out the artists hand-curated by M for Montréal’s discerning programmers. So that band you just saw an intimate performance by could potentially be big news by the next M for Montréal.

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Our M for Montréal survival tips

We suggest checking out the schedule early – the M for Montréal website links to each artist’s Soundcloud or Bandcamp pages to take an early listen and help make some preliminary picks. Stock up on foam earplugs for the louder acts (don’t miss Yamantaka // Sonic Titan) and pack your most comfortable shoes for those venue-to-venue dashes and long nights on your feet. But above all, trust the ears behind M for Montréal and take some chances. Your next favourite band that you haven’t even heard of yet could be on-stage next.

Mark Hamilton

Mark Hamilton, blogger, Queer MTL community manager

Male, mid-to-late 30s, tall and bearded. Likes romantic walks on Mont Royal, long-distance cycling, beard oil products and antique travel guides. Has a bad habit of falling in love with men in vintage photographs who are certainly long dead. If he could be anything, he’d live his life as a professional flâneur. Until then, he spends his time writing, making music, and wandering.

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