Montreal and Osheaga: Coldplay, Beastie Boys…

Posted on July 1st, 2009 by .

If you haven’t noticed yet, Montreal is a city that loves its festivals. From the huge (like the Montreal Jazz Festival) to a bit more off the radar (like Les Nuits D’Afriques). So, when a new fest comes to town it needs to a way to stand out.

Enter Osheaga, the music festival that launched in 2006, which is happening on August 1st and 2nd. It has two major wildcards up its sleeve: it brings musical acts like Coldplay and the Beastie Boys to Montreal and it’s hosted on Parc Jean-Drapeau, a beautiful outdoor space that seems to have been designed with this very fest in mind…

Parc Jean-Drapeau, of course, was not designed specifically for Osheaga. Housed on two islands across the water from Montreal (Saint Helen’s Island and Île Notre-Dame), it was first brought to the world’s attention when it hosted Expo 67– in fact, Île Notre-Dame was built from scratch for the massive international event. Because of this, it’s a space made for entertaining, and, from the huge field that houses the main stages to the small second stages nestled in the words, it does so very well. Honestly, I would go to Osheaga every year if they only played polka.

But thankfully, they don’t. Besides the huge names like Coldplay and the Beastie Boys, this year’s line-up features The Roots, Artic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rufus Wainwright, Girl Talk and much, much more. And though the fest itself happens on August 1st and 2nd, there’s a whole lead-up of shows, called Osheaga in the City, in Montreal itself that make this into a weeklong party. Going down from July 28th to July 31st, there’s something every night, but make sure you don’t miss Osheaga partners MEG’s infamous boat party

I’ll be doing lots of coverage of Osheaga as it draws closer, but if you’re trying to decide whether or not to make the trip to Montreal, just picture the sun going down as your favourite band starts playing your favourite song….

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