August happily arrives in Montreal to the tune of Osheaga’s three-day outdoor music festival alongside even more festivals filling the city with music, film, good food, and a fair amount of dancing in the streets…
(sunshine & music) The massively popular and music-filled Osheaga festival packs the weekend with some of the best indie-rock, hip hop and electro music around – hear international Outkast, Skrillex, Jack White, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, The Replacements and more great international and local bands on six different stages at Parc Jean-Drapeau. LGBT festival Divers/Cité adds glam and dance beats to the Old Port’s Jacques Cartier Quay with Vendredi Tribal on August 1, a Sunset Party with Misstress Barbara and more on August 2, a Sunday afternoon Brazilian carnival followed by La Grande Danse finale show and dance party. Meanwhile, the MEG festival launches its annual MEG Boat on Saturday night, making waves to 3am with UK techno producer Benjamin Damage, French duo Acid Arab, DJ Marty McFly and DJ AKTA.
(outdoor fun & food) Dozens of the city’s new food trucks gather for First Fridays at Olympic Park – sample gourmet fare from some of the city’s best chefs and street food with a Montreal twist. Two outdoor markets add music, fresh food and more to the weekend: downtown Montreal’s Village Éphémère just east of the Jacque-Cartier bridge (near Papineau metro station), open Thursdays to Sundays, and Mile End’s Marché des Possibles, open Friday to Sunday. And for even more delicious adventures, try some of Montreal’s best oyster bars or opt for the best of a summer staple: ice cream.
(sports & open-air entertainment) Tennis fans rejoice as the Rogers Cup women’s championship – featuring Montreal tennis star Eugenie Bouchard – wows with world-class skill August 1-10 at Uniprix Stadium. The Olympic Park also hosts the Mini Rogers Cup tennis tournament for kids, while in the park’s esplanade, kids of all ages can try out the rope-climbing challenges of Parc Exalto. For more ideas on outdoor activities for the whole family, see our Family Guide to Summer 2014 and our Swimming and Beach Guide. Take a restful break as music and nature go together beautifully at the Botanical Garden, where this Sunday world-famous soprano Marie-Josée Lord performs a classical concert outdoors at 4 p.m. And the 30th edition of the International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition ends with the psychedelic bang of grand finale show Tribute to Pink Floyd, pairing the beloved band’s music with pyrotechnic feats.
(screen time) See dozens more wild and wonderful films during the final week of the 18th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, including Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank (starring Michael Fassbender), Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York, Keiichiro Kawaguchi’s animated Hunter X Hunter, Canadian comedy-horror WolfCop, Bradley King’s eerie Time Lapse, Dirty Movies: A History of the “Stag” Film, and many more features and short films from around the world. On August 5, Présence Autochtone, the Montreal First Peoples Festival, screens director Michel Poulette’s Maïna, an adventure tale of life in North American before European colonization – see it outdoors at Peace Park at 9pm. While inside the SAT’s Satosphere dome, see immersive musical film Harmonielehre, featuring the Montreal Symphony Orchestra playing a work by American composer John Adams. In the Old Port, catch two multimedia shows: archaeology exhibition Tutankhamen’s Treasures and the sensory-overload of Peur Dépôt. And along with a sold-out screening of Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days on Earth, the Phi Centre continues its monthly cinema series with Cannes favourite Chloé Robichaud’s Féminin/Féminin on August 5 at 7:30pm, Gillian Robespierre’s comedy Obvious Child on August 6, and Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas (featuring Lena Dunham) on August 7.
(more live music) On Friday night the MEG music festival joins the Montreal First Peoples Festival in their annual free “Électro-Choc” concert at downtown’s Place des Festivals, featuring Chris Derksen, DJ Shub and Parisian dance-music duo Acid Arab. The awesomely-named Rrroooaaarrr punk/rock/metal DIY-driven music festival comes to Casa del Popolo, Sala Rossa and Katacombes August 1-3, with dozens of bands playing loud, hard and in-your-face. American roots reggae band Groundation comes to town to get down, August 2 at Club Soda. Festival de Lanaudière, the largest classical music festival in Canada, continues just outside of Montreal, featuring German chamber music orchestra the Die Deutsche Kammerphilarmonie Bremen on August 2 and 3. Outdoor dance party Piknic Electronik has its own stage at Osheaga not only on Sunday but all weekend, always worth checking out for a good, sweaty time. Also outdoors on Sunday, the Harmonie Calixa Lavallée de Sorel orchestra plays at Olympic Park Esplanade. Monday, August 4 sees Ian Svenonius return to Montreal with his newest band of noise rebels Chain & The Gang, with openers Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and The Famines at Divan Orange, while hard-rockin’ metal-tinged Norma Jean and Night Verses hit Il Motore. On August 5, it’s New Zealand folk-pop sensations Tiny Ruins at Casa Del Popolo. And on Wednesday, August 6, check out Los Angeles indie-rockers Wildcat! Wildcat! at La Vitrola.
Come to Montreal and save with our amazing Sweet Deal Hotel Package!
Photo credits: Susan Moss and Tennis Canada