Osheaga 2012

Osheaga is a three-day music festival featuring performances spread across five stages at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Artists this year included Snoop Lion (formerly S. Dogg…), Feist, Florence and the Machine, Sigur Ros, Yeasayer, Metric, Block Party, Tame Impala, The Black Keys, MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Common… and many many more international and local artists.

I had no idea this was going to be happening in our backyard until Nick’s brother brought it up when we were discussing their road trip to Montreal. Considering he is as big of a music nut as I, I was not surprised when they moved their travel dates up three weeks for the show: Osheaga, here we come!

We decided on going to the Sunday line-up, though it was a tough decision, and A+C planned on arriving the day before. This was my first music festival experience, also my first trip on the Montreal Metro, and it will not be forgotten any time soon.

Montreal was at the time going through a heat wave, everything was dry and dusty, but Sunday they were calling for rain. No big deal, it wasn’t likely, it’s been so dry! It began to pour Sunday morning as we were leaving the grocery store, our first indication of things to come, but it cleared up as we packed our sandwiches, water bottles, cameras, and of course, rain coats. It was sunny, 90 degrees, and humid when we walked to the Subway but as we emerged on the other side the clouds opened up. We weren’t 10 steps into the festival before it began to pour. And it rained hard.

We anticipated as much and our excitement overshadowed any discomfort we felt. Decked out in rain gear and ponchos we explored the grounds before our first show: Passion Pit. I was particularly excited for these guys; they had finally released their new, highly anticipated, 3-years-in-the-making, album.

Passion Pit

Since, in my state of uncontrollable excitement, I had dragged everyone into the center of a crowded mud-pit, we sought higher (and drier) ground. They have two main stages right next to each other; one artist performs while the other sets up. So as Passion Pit went off stage, Common began on the other. After Common, Santigold.

By this point, the clouds cleared and it hit around 90 again and we found ourselves wishing for rain. We found shade and I sat on a flattened cardboard box because the ground was muddy and I guess that’s what you do at music festivals. I’m new at this.

Tame Impala was next, they put on an amazing live show, and we stood our ground for The Shins.

The Shins

It was crowded, we were uncomfortable, and it rained more. I could see it coming; the dark, low, saturated clouds quickly blocking out the sun. But we all welcomed it .  As soon as it began to pour, the crowed cheered and the lead singer began to laugh. Their set ended and everyone parted. This is what was left behind:

Exhausted, we decided to take it easy and explore the park. We missed out on seeing Metric and Block Party but I think we were all ok with that.

Montreal food vendors do it better: fruit cup, chef salad, and yes, crudités

We found ourselves on the other side of the park, situated on a hill for the M83 concert. This was the headliner for us and they did not disappoint. They put on a spectacular light show, rivaling Radiohead’s, and the concert itself was one of my life-time favorites. They were spectacular.

We had to move closer. There was dancing, I will not give out names, and it was wonderful.

Once the sun went down, the rain stopped. Everyone was dry by the time we reach the apartment, and luckily we were all together. No one got lost in the subway, no one was swallowed up by the sea of people, and no one fell onto the tracks.

First festival experience? A definite success. Will I do it again? Not likely.

We loved having A+C stay and help us get acquainted with our new place. It must be noted that we are extremely grateful for A+C’s generosity. Since they had their car with them they offered to do some driving for us; a massive haul from the grocery store and our virgin tip to Ikea. Now is also a good time to mention that “furnished” doesn’t always mean including a couch, dishes, shower curtain, linens… But that’s another story.

– Jes


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