On a Sunday afternoon ten years ago Piknic Electronik installed itself in sunny, breezy Parc Jean Drapeau, on an island in the middle of the St-Laurent River looking out over Old Montreal. A couple of DJs, a speaker system and a few hundred people who wanted nothing more than to dance: a phenomenon was born…
Now thousands flock to Piknic Electonik – and the 10-year anniversary celebrations show how far the event has come, with the same friendly vibe intact.
Piknic Electronik is its own breed of summer festival – instead of being concentrated into a few days or weeks, it happens every Sunday, from 2 p.m. until well after sundown at the Calder sculpture in Parc Jean Drapeau, all summer long, right up to September 30, taking advantage of the fact (yes, fact!) that weather in Montreal is some of the nicest, mildest weather around. This summer, Piknic has even added some special evening events, including a massive one this Friday, June 29, with Major Lazer, A Tribe Called Red and Poirier, all starting at 6 p.m.
Special 10th-anniversary evening shows are also set for July 28, with Squarepusher, Ikonika and DJ Kobal, August 25, with Josh Wink, Azari & III and Thomas VonParty, and September 8 with Sébastien Léger, Riva Starr and Forrest – pretty sweet ways to end the week and start the weekend. This Canada Day weekend continues after the Major Lazer show with Sunday (July 1) tunes from Pierre De Lux, Speakeasy Electro Swing and France’s Smokey Joe & The Kid on the main stage and Daoust and Germany’s Hubble on the Guru stage.
The following Sunday (July 8), Piknic moves over to the Jardin des Floralies for the day – dance among the flowers to Seb Fauteux, Phil Larochelle, Max Reynolds and Fred Everything. The MEG Festival programs Piknic on July 29, featuring Son Raw, Jacques Greene, Lunice and Machinedrum on the main stage.
During the first weekend in August, when Osheaga takes over Parc Jean-Drapeau, Piknic gets it’s own stage, with music to move to from Friday to Sunday night. August 19 and 26 stay hot will a slew of Canadian DJs, and September starts strong with a Labour Day weekend of dance-music love, September 1-3, featuring Thomas Schumacher, Mistress Barbara, Claude Vonstroke and many, many more. And on September 23, Pop Montreal programs a day of electro beats with Pierre Babin, Ezlvca, J.A.S.S., PillowTalk and Catz N’ Dogz.
Though Piknic has definitely grown in size and scope since the summer of 2003, it’s always focused on growing sustainably, implementing green initiatives that keep the Parc Jean-Drapeau site – and our environment – clean and sound. Part of that includes encouraging public transit (the metro goes right there!) and biking to the site (picturesque and easy), ensuring that all on-site containers are recyclable or compostable, a popular “green rebate” of $1 off a beer when you reuse your cup, and many other behind-the-scenes environmentally friendly acts.
With thousands of people going to Piknic Electronik every Sunday, to dance, people watch and relax with friends in the sun, that all makes sense to keep the good vibes going for at least another 10 years.
Piknic Electronik, at Parc Jean-Drapeau until September 30, 2012