Montréal August festival guide

Jamie O'Meara

While there’s an argument to be made that Montréal’s festival season is more of a 365-days-a-year situation, there does come a point when a wave of major festivals – like Osheaga and MUTEK – suddenly appears on the horizon. That point is now. To help you ride it out in style, we offer you our Montréal August festival guide.

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Have a blast

L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (July 7 to August 8) World-class pyrotechnicians representing their respective countries are invited to participate in this competition. The best spot to watch the fireworks is from the grandstands at La Ronde where you’ll see them take off from Lac des Dauphins and illuminate the night sky. 

Scarily good

Fantasia International Film Festival (July 12 to August 1) Premiere magazine called it “one of the most exciting genre film festivals in the world,” and the approximately 125,000 festivalgoers who attend Fantasia’s 150-plus films every year would be among the first to agree. Underground, international and retro films in the realms of horror, fantasy, sci-fi and much more are on offer at this 22nd edition, as well as numerous associated conferences and industry/social functions.

Three days of amazing music

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival (August 3 to 5) Osheaga is a truly exceptional, world-class outdoor music and arts experience that takes place in picturesque Parc Jean-Drapeau on Ile Ste-Hélène across from Montréal’s Old Port. This year’s 13th edition will again deliver the best in rock, pop, hip-hop, indie music and more. 

A Montréal pride

Montréal Pride (August 9 to 19) Taking place over the course of 11 days, the programming includes a sports tournament, conferences, large free outdoor concerts each night, a food fair on Sainte-Catherine Street, a “grandiose” Community Day and, of course, the presentation of the annual Pride Parade.

Big time bass dropping

ÎleSoniq  (August 10 and 11) And a completely different kind of Parc life will spring into action for the third edition of wildly popular electronic dance and urban music festival ÎleSoniq, which brings out 40,000 beat-happy partiers. Spectacular, state-of-the-art special effects will overload your circuits to the sounds of big headliners.

Get into fashion

Fashion & Design Festival (August 20 to 25) This major outdoor event at Quartier des Spectacles, in the heart of downtown Montréal, features approximately 50 shows, with as many as 300 participants and 550,000 visitors expected. This one-of-a-kind occasion provides an inside look at the world of fashion and design through activities like fashion shows, live creative sessions, film screenings, tons of conferences, design showcases and musical performances.

Innovation nation

MUTEK (August 22 to 26) Over 150 multi-sensory events and adventures are scheduled at this year’s world-renowned MUTEK festival, which this year reaches its 19th edition. For five days at a new time of year, MUTEK will again be promoting artists and innovators at the forefront of electronic music, digital creativity, technology and live performance at venues throughout the Quartier des Spectacles (including a free outdoor stage).

Dancin’ in the streets? Check

MEG Montréal Festival (August 30 to September 2) For 20 years now, the MEG Montréal Festival has been at the forefront of contemporary music trends in Europe and North America, showcasing established and emerging electronica, hip-hop and indie artists. This year the groove-fest has moved its dates to the end of August.

Jamie O’Meara

Jamie O’Meara, blogger

Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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