Go on a musical adventure at Osheaga

Jamie O'Meara

Osheaga’s continued, not-so-secret romance with its multitude of fans is all about one thing: mad love for new music. And while the phenomenally popular outdoor music and arts fest is never short on monster marquee names – this year’s heavy hitters include Lorde, Muse and The Weeknd – anyone who’s ever been to Osheaga knows that the essence of the experience can be neatly distilled into one simple word: discovery.

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You and 44,999 of your best friends

The rollicking, three-day Osheaga Music and Arts Festival – which this year unfolds August 4-6 – is one of the most-anticipated summer gatherings on Montréal’s summer festival calendar. Last year, the fest welcomed 45,000 concertgoers each day for exceptional programming that spans pop, rock, indie, hip-hop, R&B, electro, soul and more. It all goes down at its utterly unique site on the pastoral, tree- and pathway-lined Parc Jean-Drapeau on Montréal’s picturesque Île Ste-Hélène, located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River just minutes by car, metro or bike from downtown Montréal. The sprawling greenspace is also home to the Heavy Montréal (returning in 2018) and ÎleSoniq music festivals (August 11-12).

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Musical discovery (and rediscovery)

Osheaga’s yearly promise is of an unparalleled festival experience and journey of musical discovery. This year it looks to keep that promise yet again with a head-spinning lineup of 110 top-tier and up-and-coming acts performing on the site’s six stages. Among the many key artists joining the aforementioned headliners on the two main stages are former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, blues rockers Alabama Shakes, hitmaking electro trio Major Lazer, indie pop and rock royalty Foster the People and MGMT respectively, Scottish indie-folk legends Belle and Sebastian, Canadian pop-rock super sisters Tegan and Sara, musical chameleons Cage the Elephant and trailblazing New York hip-hop trio De La Soul, to name but a very few. But be sure to take a wander past the smaller stages too – that’s where the future Osheaga headliners can be found.

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Prep your fest

While so much of the Osheaga experience is, indeed, about discovery, a little advance preparation never hurt anyone either. To that end, organizers have come up with an innovative way to help you choose which shows you want to see: an artist recommender app, based on Facebook likes and other criteria. While on the topic of apps, the Osheaga 2017 app is your key to all things fest-related, including activities in the Osheaga Play Zone (think giant crazy playground for adults), the Wi-Fi Chill Zone (exactly what it sounds like), beard trimming and massages, art installations and loads of other recreational amazingness.

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How about a little pre-Osheaga warmup?

As you, ahem, may have heard, Montréal’s celebrating a significant milestone this year, and Osheaga’s getting in on the anniversary action with the Sessions 375X Osheaga Block Party on July 22, a free event based on the traditional hip-hop block parties that raged in New York neighbourhoods in the ’70s and ’80s. Taking place under the Van Horne overpass in the city’s très cool Mile End district, Sessions 375X will see legendary producer and artist DJ Premier with his new live band, The BADDER Band, as well as loads of local urban luminaries. Also not to be missed is a breakdance demo, a live painting exhibition, great grub at the YUL EAT Picnic Zone and more.

 

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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