Montreal is famously a festival city. Especially in the summer, when the city explodes all over parks and other outdoor music venues for big name events like Mutek, Francofolies and Osheaga. We can hardly stand the anticipation, especially with these new lineup announcements…
OSHEAGA: The big news is that this year Osheaga has extended its mini-music festival into a three day event from July 27 to July 31. Osheaga, held in Parc Jean Drapeau, has typically been a festival that has something for everyone and this year is no exception. The lineup on July 29th mixes veteran artists like Eminem with an up and comer like Janelle Monae and old favourites like Broken Social Scene. Osheaga is also showcasing several bands that are touring in support of new albums like Bright Eyes, The Mountain Goats, Death Cab For Cutie, Fucked Up, Malajube, Beirut and even Cypress Hill! Also keep an eye out for Montreal’s Sam Roberts, who will be playing songs off his forthcoming album, Collider.
But July 30 features two shows you don’t want to miss. The legendary Elvis Costello and the Imposters and later Death From Above 1979, who played their first show in 5 years at Austin’s South By Southwest fest and incited a riot among fans, the police showed up and had to stop the show and apparently someone threw a beer bottle at a horse. Osheaga closes with The Flaming Lips, perennial Osheaga faves, who are playing songs from the fan favourite album Soft Bulletin, and Canadian favourites, The Tragically Hip on July 31. With such a diverse line up, it’s impossible for this festival to disappoint.
MUTEK: The popular electronic music festival Mutek takes place at 6 venues throughout the city during the first five days of June and attracts acts from all over the world. Notably Ninja Tune artist Amon Tobin, who makes his Mutek debut in support of his new album, ISAM. His performance is going to feature a 3-D art installation synched to Tobin’s music that encloses him and the audience. Sounds pretty wild. If you prefer something a bit more mellow and atmospheric, try Vancouver’s Babe Rainbow and simply relax.
On June 4, Keiran Hebden aka Four Tet, is slated to perform a highly-anticipated collaboration with Rocketnumbernine. However most people are probably excited for June 3, when home grown talent Richie Hawtin, often known by the moniker Plastikman, returns to Canada to take the stage. Hawtin is widely considered one of the best abstract minimalist electronic artists and one of the first and finest DJs of this genre.
FRANCOFOLIES: Francofolies takes place from June 9-18 and features top franco recording artists, but that doesn’t mean that anglophones can’t have a good time too! Bonsound’s Yann Perreau returns to the Francofolies festival to play Club Soda, he’s a dynamic performer and one of the festival programmer’s personal favourites. Other highlights of the festival include a solo show from Mara Tremblay, whose wildly successful performance last year inspired a return visit, and Alpha Blondy et la Solar System playing their popular Afro-Reggae jams.
Not to be missed is multidisciplinary artist Charleie Couture. He’s a painter, photographer, reflection writer and musician who is gracing the festival on June 13 with a highly anticipated show. If you’re in the mood for some sweet Quebecois folk, the young Jimmy Hunt’s show is sure to delight. On a slightly different note, France’s Catherine Ringer of the famous band Les Rita Mitsouko is a singer, dancer, choreographer, wearer of striped shirts and porn star. Finally, there’s a tribute to Serge Gainsbourg with Pierre Lapointe and Random Recipe among others.
Guest Blogger: Sophie Naima Caird
Photo Credit: Osheaga, Music and Arts Festival- © Tim Snow; MUTEK- © MUTEK; Les FrancoFolies de Montreal- © Frederique Manard-Aubin