Osheaga: “We just want to forget”

It’s like being in a bubble at Parc Jean-Drapeau this weekend. Festival-goers seem to have left their worries at the entrance to the venue, ready to indulge in their carefree vibes and the melodies of the 33 artists on the programme.

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Osheaga organizers have called for caution days before the festival begins, though everyone would have liked to ignore the elephant in the room, which represents the seventh wave of COVID-19. However, no hygiene measures were imposed on the 40,000 people who gathered and it took a long time to search to find a person wearing a face covering.

“Because the event is outside, we feel more comfortable,” notes viewer Jessica Aqui, who is having her first experience at a festival. I wore the mask for 30 minutes and took it off… but I’m still thinking about the pandemic. At the same time, it’s nice to see an event like this where people can put all that in the past behind them. »


Jessica Aqui and Jenny Mai, who attended their first festival, shared the excitement.

Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

Jessica Aqui and Jenny Mai, who attended their first festival, shared the excitement.

Diversity, inclusion and colour

This letting go was shared by all the festival visitors surveyed, who seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after three years of uncertainty.

“With the pandemic in recent years, we just want to forget, enjoy with our friends and find all the festivals and events as before,” affirms Zineb Boukkad, his face covered in glitter.

The Osheaga Festival has had one message hammered onto its scoreboards since it opened: be yourself and don’t be afraid to show your colors.

The participants followed this advice word for word and wore outfits that were as colorful as they were provocative.

“There is a nice one Mix, remarks Alexe Simard, who is visiting Parc Jean-Drapeau with his friend Justin and their friends. There is a great variety, there is everything! [Et] there are fewer children than in other years, which I appreciate! »

Festival-goers over 35 and under 18 were indeed rare. Open-mindedness and inclusivity – key values ​​of Gen Z, at least in Montreal – were the order of the day.

“I think it’s great that everyone dresses how they want,” Zineb Boukkad continued. It’s nice to see a lot of color at a festival like Osheaga. »

According to his companion, British-born Kate Spree, this attitude is specific to Montreal and not just the festival.

“It’s very welcoming, everyone has good energy and seems happy. I’m from England and as soon as I got here I noticed that Montrealers wear what they want. There is no discomfort. »


This isn't Cassandra Carreiro's first visit to Osheaga to declare her love for Montreal.

Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

This isn’t Cassandra Carreiro’s first visit to Osheaga to declare her love for Montreal.

“I love Montreal,” concludes Cassandra Carreiro, who has not been to metropolitan Quebec for the first time. [Osheaga] is always a safe space. »

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