ÎleSoniq: a successful edition! | The Journal of Montreal

After a two-year hiatus, ÎleSoniq returned this weekend to the delight of electronic music, house and hip-hop fans. The event presented itself under the sign of heat with around 85,000 party-loving festival visitors.

• Also read: îleSoniq: The temperature rises with Sean Paul

This weekend, at Parc Jean Drapeau, electronic music lovers enjoyed three full days of celebration instead of two as in previous editions.

Program Director Evelyne Côté.

Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

Program Director Evelyne Côté.

“It had been a goal for a number of years, but we had to find the ideal program for it. There was nothing we could do to extend the weekend if this programming wasn’t there. When we saw that Sweedish House Mafia’s dates coincided since they were in New York and Toronto last Thursday and Friday, the stars kind of aligned,” explains Evelyne Côté, IslandSoniq program director, very happily.

“It’s amazing, I’ve wanted these headliners for six years,” she explains. First Eric Prydz, who represents the underground a bit more, Illenium and Excision, who play together once a year somewhere in the world and this is where it happened, and Swedish House Mafia, world famous for their house music,” she continues.


These headliners partly explain the event’s success this year, with 85,000 festival-goers, a number that equals the 2019 record.

“Swedish House Mafia doesn’t play festivals anywhere in the world except Coachella. People from Detroit and Brazil came to see her in that context, outside and not in the arena. Ditto for Illenium b2b Excision, a planetary event for grassroots fans,” she adds.

So there is a 10-15% gain in international origin on ÎleSoniq this weekend, in contrast to Osheaga where the opposite happened last week and where Quebecers compensated in terms of entries.

A monumental scene

In order to increase its presence on the international stage, the festival has been given a monumental stage. With an area 2.5 times larger than the previous edition, ÎleSoniq positions itself as one of the largest mobile stages in North America.

The huge Oasis main stage left no one indifferent. “She’s unbelievable,” testifies Andréanne to her friends in front of the neon stage. And the sound is really good.

With the exception of the rain on Sunday evening, the festival took place in glorious weather.

Sun protection and hats were mandatory on Saturday on the festival site, which was heavily exposed to the sun and had few shaded areas. The festival goers went wild and of course we needed to hydrate!

“We water the festival-goers frequently, there are signs on the big screens reminding them to drink and the presence of several water points,” recalls Evelyne Côté, who maintains that logistics are also important so that people don’t have to wait too long at water stations and change your mind to see a show. A reminder to stay hydrated will also be sent to the festival’s mobile app. A few cases of heat stroke have been reported but have been treated well with the presence of paramedics on site. But overall, people are thinking about hydrating themselves and knowing how to take responsibility,” says the director.

In fact, some festival-goers had equipped themselves with a backpack and an integrated hydration pouch that they could use to quench their thirst via a hose held near their mouth. Like Samuel who came with Élise for the three days, but especially for Wooli, or even Mathieu, Olivier and Emmanuel. Simon and Oliver, who thought the space was well ventilated and loved the new stage, also made sure we could easily drink 7-8 bottles of water.

Markus Schulz


Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

Shortly before 5 p.m., a horde of festival-goers flocked to the neon stage. The ground overflowed for veteran Markus Schulz. The veteran, accustomed to performing at sunset, delivered his set just before the end of the day when the sky was shrouded in cloud.

Apparently the German DJ was more than happy, always smiling, raising one or both arms like the crowd, which he showed to be very skilled more often than his round. The moving spotlights dropped as the audience danced to trance remixes of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams or Camelphat & Elderbrook’s Cola, broadcast quadraphonically.

Simon Doty


Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

Rising star of the progressive house scene, Simon Doty, came to offer an insight into his soundscapes. Dressed in a casual white and black shirt, the Albertan got people dancing to his distinctive universe, where a multitude of music genres collide, from house, yes, to melodic, groovymelodic and techno, in particular.



Photo agency QMI, Toma Iczkovits

Wearing a short neon green sweater, the star of the Montreal scene performed on the neon stage in the middle of the afternoon.

With her new project, TDJ, Geneviève Ryan Martel wanted to explore and have fun, TDJ being short for Terrain de Jeux. Smiling, the producer, singer and DJ known for bringing Eurodance up to date was obviously having a good time.

His performance ended with a brief refreshing rain shower just before the scorching sun returned.

– Marie-Eve Blanchard, special collaboration

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