The stars come out at new-look Osheaga music fest
It’s music as far as the ear can hear when massive outdoor music and arts party Osheaga celebrates its 2019 edition with some of the biggest and baddest names in music, including The Lumineers, Janelle Monáe, Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers and the very highly anticipated Childish Gambino. And the fresh tunes will be complemented by a fresh look as Osheaga returns to its newly renovated original festival site.
Spacious new digs are music to fans’ ears
Taking place over three days, from August 2 to 4, the all-ages Osheaga Music and Arts Festival is one of the hands-down highlights of Montréal’s packed summer festival calendar. Each year, Osheaga welcomes over 135,000 concertgoers for first-rate 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, located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River just minutes by car, metro or bike from downtown Montréal. And this year festivalgoers will be able to take full advantage of a multi-year refurbishment of the Osheaga site that includes a new amphitheatre and more spacious and comfortable festival grounds.
Setting the stage for amazingness
Over 100 artists will spread out over Osheaga’s seven stages, including the two massive, side-by-side main stages (which come with exclusive viewing platforms and lounges for those holding special passes). Among the music industry A-listers mounting those stages will be Grammy Award-winning rapper, actor and director Childish Gambino, Aussie psych-rockers Tame Impala, innovating R&B/hip-hop artist Janelle Monáe, American folk-rock phenoms The Lumineers, legendary British electro duo The Chemical Brothers, pioneering future bass DJ/producer Flume, rising Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin, New York post-punk indie rockers Interpol, Toronto indie-pop rockers Metric, and Montréal’s very own electro/hip-hop sensation KAYTRANADA, to name but a few. Check out the full lineup.
A playground for music fans
While so much of the Osheaga experience is about living in the moment, a little advance prep never hurt anyone either. To that end, the Osheaga Play app is your key to all things fest-related: view the full festival schedule, get all the latest news, listen to the official playlist and get notifications 15 minutes before artists hit the stage. And be sure to consult the app’s interactive site map (complete with a “friend finder” function). It’s there that you’ll be able to locate places like the Osheaga Arts Village (exhibits, installations and even a pinball arcade), the site-wide Osheaga Play activities (think crazy playground fun for adults including a carousel and a Ferris wheel), the brand new Hammocks Zone (a chill spot nestled away in the woods) and the family friendly Kids Zone. Speaking of which, do take note that children 10 and under get into Osheaga completely free when accompanied by a pass-holding adult.
It’s a food fest, too!
If Osheaga = Montréal, and Montréal = food, it therefore follows that Osheaga = food. And how. Every year, Osheaga takes pride in providing a variety of different food vendors for a wide range of tastes. Many of Montréal’s famous food trucks, as well as concession stands and catering services from the greater Montréal area, will be sprinkled liberally throughout the festival site. Rumbling stomachs can expect loads of traditional fest fare (pizza, hotdogs, poutine and the like) as well as local specialties and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. In addition, the second edition of the YUL EAT Gardens will welcome the peckish with a full range of food and beverage options featuring pop-up restaurants from some local favourites like Agrikol (Haitian cuisine), Venice (Californian cuisine), Les Street Monkeys (Cambodian tapas), Foodchain (fresh salads) and Grumman ‘78 (Mexican cuisine).
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.