Osheaga comes back to life | The press

The wave of return-to-normal for festivals continues to sweep across the island of Montreal and has just gripped Osheaga. On the first day of his 15the Edition, one of the most important events of the Montreal summer, brought together smiling, enthusiastic and happy people.

Posted at 9:35pm

William Theriault

William Theriault
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“I am excited, relieved and stressed. 33% each,” Osheaga founder Nick Farkas told us as he neared his baby’s big comeback this week. Don’t worry: the event got off to a good start.

Just before 7pm on Friday it was already difficult to get around as the different areas of Parc Jean-Drapeau were so crowded. By nightfall it had become virtually impossible. Tens of thousands of people, mostly young people in their twenties, made use of the on-site facilities – and the six different stages at their disposal.

It’s a panorama that Osheaga organizers have been eagerly awaiting for three years, affirmed Nick Farkas. After a cancellation in 2020 and a reduced edition last year, this return to the usual format meant that he “could hardly wait for the reaction of the crowd and the artists”.

Of course: sunglasses, hats, diamonds, bodices, colorful shirts and other summer clothes were on the program. Finally everything that makes a festival.

“All of our teams really thought about doing it in 2020 and then we thought about doing it even more in 2021,” he admitted. We ended up making a smaller version anyway fun, but it wasn’t six stages and 45,000 people. »

“It was difficult to stay motivated for so long, preparing everything for the festival and not being able to present it. But one thing is for sure, we learned in the dark. »

In the afternoon and early evening, artists from different registers took turns to the delight of the audience.

Despite his delay, singer-songwriter Dominic Fike received a warm welcome upon his arrival. From the age of 18, Kid Laroi inspired the metropolis with his hits. Dealing with the crowd during his interpretation of Stayhis number one hit caused (good) chills.

That enthusiasm carried over into the performance of Charlie XCX, who especially got the onboard crowd singing I love it on one of the main stages. Further afield, Australian group Parcels have used their straight hair, mustache and guitars to set the mood.

As the sun went down, rappers Big Sean, 6lack got festival-goers jumping while Les Louanges got them high.


Visitors Jake H., Maurice, Cassandra Tardif and Luca Kong enjoy the festival

real village

The wait was long enough to enter the premises, so much so that some ticket holders had to wait up to two hours. That didn’t stop her from smiling once at the festival.

“It feels good”, “We can discover artists”, “I wanted to introduce my friends”, “I’m not afraid to be myself here”… with a smile on their face, all the people consulted by became The press had a good time.

In the afternoon, several thousand festival-goers were already criss-crossing the site. And as the hours went by, their number grew steadily. Grocery stores, clothing stores, games: for a weekend, Parc Jean-Drapeau is transformed into a veritable village.

We’re building a city for Osheaga. We’re like the 12e big city [en population] in Quebec this weekend.

Nick Farcas

A maximum capacity output of Osheaga is 45,000 people per day. The organization admits that this mark was not reached this year. But attendance is better than 2019. It is also the first time since this edition that the site’s physical layout has returned to normal.

On one side of the site’s central walkway, the main performances took place on the duo of river and mountain scenes. Electronic artists performed on the island stage. On the other hand, you could head to the (more intimate) Trees stage, or even the new duo of Green and Valley stages.

“We think it will work very well. That’s a good change,” supports the founder of the festival.

For the remainder of Osheaga, which spans three days, Nick Farkas recommends checking out the duo 100 Gecs, Sam Fender and the group Inhaler (which also includes Bono’s son), among others.

American rapper Future is the headliner on Saturday. His show is preceded by performances by Burna Boy, Khruangabin, Porter Robinson and Mitski. Machine Gun Kelly, Glass Animals, Idles and Girl in Red will be featured on Sunday. Popular singer Dua Lipa will wrap up the celebrations.

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