Every year heaps of music fans from Toronto, much like myself, and Montreal alike pack up our finest festival garb and head to Osheaga Music Festival for three days. It doesn’t ever really feel like summer until we finally get through the festival gates and then it’s non-stop partying for the whole weekend where the beer flows cheaper than water. You don’t have to dress in wellies the entire time and wear floral crowns to fit in, but we did see the usual type cast boho/tribal/fluro get ups, like you often do at other festivals. I’d go so far as to say Osheaga is the Canadian Coachella. This was our third year attending the Montreal music festival and with confidence it was the best year to date. The festival has grown in both size and scope, expending the grounds, the stages and even the days.
What makes Osheaga so excellent is that it is so massive, it is a music festival on par with the big American ones, yet it is only an hour flight away, in the same country, which means no currency exchange or passport stamping. As per usual, we flew Porter from the Toronto island, which aside from the excellent service and free beer, is so close to our home that it is practically like taking public transit. Couple that with the Starbucks coffee and free wifi in the lounge, I can’t imagine traveling any other way to Osheaga, or any other short-haul flight for that matter.
This year we stayed at the Osheaga Hotel, a former Sheraton turned University residence, turned official hotel of the festival. It was a unique experience, not something we would have chosen on our own according, but one that lived up to the hype. It was definitely where the party was every night. Our room was always stocked with cold beers, vitamin water and coke, with a parade of artists and DJ’s making guest appearances in the lobby. The hotel was also as close as you would want to the festival while still being downtown in the heart of Montreal. Not bad, it made for a good Sidewalk Hustle headquarters.
The real point of this post is to mention all the fabulousness of the festival. This year, like most years, we found ourselves at the Green Stage, or Scène Verte as they call it, to catch some of our favourite buzzing and more established acts like Bombay Bicycle Club, Yeasayer, The Raveonettes, Austra, Bloc Party, and M83. We also hit up the Tree Stage or Scène des Arbres, to catch Dum Dum Girls, The Jezabels, and Young Galaxy, and watched many of the headlining acts following some interviews from the amazing VIP area. Yeah that’s right, we fancy huh.
Due to time constraints, schedule conflicts and simple desire to enjoy the music, we didn’t cover all the performances that we saw or even would have liked to. Some hidden gems not mentioned it our reviews was SBTRKT, A$AP Rocky, Common, The Shins, Justice, and Of Monsters and Men. All great shows, totally worthy of their own posts. But of course, for these shows I decided to actually party with my people rather than work it. Funny enough, the shows we partied to, ended up being the most fun. Weird huh?
If I had to, I’d say my favourite Osheaga moments were chatting with Matt and Russel of Bloc Party then dancing my face off in the pouring rain to their fantastic set. Watching hippies fly through the air during Yeasayers live set, spying Shirley Manson and the Garbage crew a couple of feet away from us in the VIP, and eating poutine while M83 played Saturdays = Youth on the final day.
I definitely have to give a big thanks to Virgin Mobile Canada for hooking us up as their Official bloggers and giving us a great HTC One S phone to use. I am not sure if it was the phone itself or the Virgin network, but I will be honest in saying that it worked a LOT better than and more consistently than my Rogers iPhone. Consequently it became my go to phone over the course of Osheaga Long Weekend.
I will also admit to taking some small delight in hearing about everyone’s traffic horror stories as they left Montreal and drove back to Toronto, whilst we happily flew through the air and were comfortable at home less than two hours later.
Take a look at the random shots below, almost all of which were captured on my Virgin Mobile HTC One S.