Sonic Sundays in the sun at Piknic Électronik
Piknic Électronik is a must if you're an electronic music fan, love to dance or simply want to chill in the park among friendly Montrealers. For over 15 years, the weekly outdoor event has brought in some of the world's biggest DJs, giving crowds all the right reasons to spend the afternoon smiling, dancing and stretching out under the sun.
Party park life
Piknic Électronik's location is one of the most beautiful places in the city. Like last year, the whole event takes place overlooking the Saint-Lawrence River from among the trees in Parc Jean-Drapeau, just steps from the metro station on Île Sainte-Hélène. Every Sunday afternoon from May 20 to September 30, listen to music on two stages, dance, eat, drink and hang out with friends and family – there's even an activity zone just for kids!
Piknic opens its 16th season with a double-header weekend on May 20 to 21 featuring Brazilian Barcelona-based techno DJ and producer ANNA, influential Berghain grandmaster Marcel Dettman with fellow Berlin artist DeWalta, plus lauded locals Kris Tin and Atroxx. Saturday, May 26 interrupts the usual proceedings with an off-season special event featuring none other than famed Russian producer Nina Kraviz. Regular Piknic programming returns on May 27 with Irish techno chart-topper Matador and UK dubstep producer Kahn. In June, don't miss the glittering grooves of Claptone, techno adventurer Amelie Lens, a 30th birthday party for Paris' Rex Club on June 17 with Molly, Traumer and more. July 1, Canada Day, brings Keinemusik co-founder Rampa and label-mate Adam Port to the main stage. Hear hip hop-influenced electro by Brodinski on July 8 followed by L.A. EDM beatmaker Mija on July 15 and Berlin-based Detroit house DJ Palms Trax on July 22, while Ninja Tune's Bicep and Mall Grab rule on July 29. August brings us the rhythms of Kim Ann Foxman, Desert Hearts festival artists, Detroit's legendary Floorplan and the underground house of NYC's Anthony Naples. Summer extends into September with a Labour Day long weekend party with Misstress Barbara and Charlotte de Witte, while later in the month, hear genre-crosser Danny Daze, Kompakt artist Gui Boratto, Detroit producer Omar-S and a live set by German deep house pro Henrik Shwarz.
In keeping with its friendly, community vibe, Piknic always highlights incredible local artists too – Misstress Barbara, Poirier, Ouri, Bwana, Ciel, Aukufen show us how it's done throughout the summer, while a celebratory St-Jean long-weekend party on June 24 gives us an all-Québec line-up of CRi, Ryan Playground, Tommy Kruise and Clarian. As a rule, be sure to stop by and stay a while at Piknic's second stage, featuring incredible crews from local collectives NAFF, Front Rite, Musik Me Love, Bolting Bits, N10.AS, Lip, 00:AM and more, plus artists hand-picked by festivals MUTEK and MEG. For all the details, check out Piknic Électronik's full program.
If you're going to spend the day in the park, naturally you'll need plenty of cold drinks (with or without alcohol) and energy-providing snacks. Piknic's food and beverage options range from healthy whole foods to classic burgers and poutine, so go with whatever your gut is telling you at the end of a weekend spent in Montréal. And while bringing your own alcohol isn't allowed on site, packing a picnic is encouraged!
Since its beginnings 16 years ago, Piknic Électronik has committed to sustainable development and reducing its carbon footprint. Steps away from the Jean-Drapeau metro station, it's easy to take public transit to Piknic – and there's plenty of bike parking too. On site, you'll find reusable cups and recyclable or compostable dishes, a compost bin, and a water fountain for refilling (non-glass) water bottles. When buying your ticket, you'll have the opportunity to donate to an ecological project of your choice.
While Piknic Electronik transforms Sundays in the park, there's even more going on in Parc Jean-Drapeau throughout the week. You'll find entertainment and games of chance at the Casino de Montréal, thrills and family fun at La Ronde amusement park, intriguing Québec and international history at the Stewart Museum, and the Buckminster Fuller-designed Expo 67 architectural wonder Biosphère Environment Museum. And throughout the summer, festivals and major events fill the park, from the Formula 1 Grand Prix in June to family-friendly Week-ends du Monde in August and three-day music fest Osheaga in August.
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.
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