After 3 years of waiting, Montreal went off over the weekend with one of the biggest parties this city has ever seen! The much anticipated 15th anniversary edition of OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival presented by Bell in collaboration with Coors Light was a huge success, proving why this festival is renowned as one of the very best on the planet.
Between July 29 – 31, Montreal’s île Sainte-Hélène (Parc Jean-Drapeau) felt like the centre of the universe, with amazing artists from all over the globe performing to an adoring crowd. Fans were enraptured by the music and so excited about being together. This year, with 120,000 people in attendance over the course of the Festival, under perfect skies, surrounded by plenty of good vibes, OSHEAGA WAS THE PLACE TO BE!
Featuring over 100 artists performing on 6 different stages for 3 unforgettable days of fun and musical discoveries, OSHEAGA’s 15th anniversary was one for the books, and fans came from far and wide.
|“It is hard to describe the feeling we had when the gates opened – there has been so much planning to make this an unforgettable 15th anniversary, and when we saw the joy of all these people returning to their favourite festival, it reminded me of exactly why we do this. It is just so great to be back, but most of all to be back, TOGETHER!”, says Nick Farkas, Senior Vice President, Booking, Concerts and Events at evenko and Founder of OSHEAGA.
|SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FESTIVAL
The Festival’s 15th anniversary got off to a groovy start with Gus Dapperton, who delivered a breezy feelgood set, with the crowd swaying along with the gentle breeze, while Tones and I’s set became a massive singalong, which got the crowd right into it. Dominic Fike absolutely owned the stage, staking his place among the new vanguard of musical heroes with a set that ran the gamut from pop to hip-hop to pure rock. The Kid Laroi was pure fire and had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand, as festival favourites Yeah Yeah Yeahs delivered an explosive set of powerful tunes led by the best front woman in the business, Karen O, who was decked out in the most spectacular technicolour dream coat! Charlie XCX proved why she is the future of pop, and a sure candidate for a future headliner. A little bit of rain didn’t stop Kygo who had the crowd chanting along to his take on the Tina Turner classic “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, ending his set with a blaze of fireworks and pyrotechnics that lit up the place. Headliners Arcade Fire, were like a balm for the soul, offering an amazing performance for hometown fans! Their visually stunning set was all catharsis and hope, with a colourful light show courtesy of fellow MTL institution, Moment Factory, complete with fire, confetti, lasers, and disco balls, to create an audio-visual spectacle that put the stars in the eyes of the fans who could not get enough of their hit-laden set.
Early in the day on Saturday, Congolese-born local hero and musical ambassador, Pierre Kwenders, had the crowd dancing with sheer abandon to his electro-afro grooves. Sweden’s Tove Lo was a sight, strutting along to her perfectly crafted Scandinavian pop in her revealing leather chaps, while Bleachers were their best selves with a big, brash, brassy and frenetic set complete with double drum assault. Mitski was one of the festival’s major highlights, with a set reminiscent of the intensity and performance art of Bjork, while mysterious southern trio, Khruangbin delivered an incredible set of dusty Tejas dub that had heads bobbing all the way to the far reaches of the festival site. Among the most anticipated performances of the entire festival was Nigeria’s Burna Boy, the king of Afro Pop. From the very first note, it was pure pandemonium – with an explosive yet mesmerizing collection of songs that put fans into a trance, letting the crowd feel the infinite power of the African groove. Saturday night belonged to headliner, Future, whose set was all fire and lights, trap beats and swagger. The American rap legend `literally rose to the occasion, making himself right at home on stage, belting out verses that reminded the OSHEAGA crowd that Montreal’s love of hip hop runs deep.
For the last day of the Festival, fans were treated early to a set of heartfelt rock from the UK`s Sam Fender, who got the crowd in the perfect headspace for Festival life. Royal Blood delivered a blistering set, full of muscle, to the delight of fans who have been waiting a long time to see them rock out live, and they delivered in spades – special mention to the drummer sporting a particularly stylish Céline Dion T-shirt. British duo Wet Leg wowed the crowd with a set of indie rock gold, while Idles turned it waaay past eleven. Under an intense bright orange sunset, Machine Gun Kelly was pumped from the very first second he hit the stage, climbing his way through the immense stage props, launching into a set full of dynamic jams – part hip-hop, part rock, part bonzo drum solo, and all attitude. The crowd loved it! Dua Lipa was both electric and graceful at the same time, illuminating the crowd with her massive star power, and elevating them with a non-stop barrage of hits. With a stage set up, dancers and costumes to accentuate the over the top space disco vibe, Dua proved she`s got the goods to hang with the biggest divas in the world!
This year, the festival site itself was even more vibrant and full of pleasant surprises than ever before. Peppered all around Espace 67 of Parc Jean-Drapeau on the island, festivalgoers found shade and comfort in hammocks, refreshing themselves at the many water stations, and jumping in the giant water fountain directly across from Scène de la Montagne Coors Light. There was midway fun in the form of the Garage Big Wheel and the Tornado Machine; a very popular kids area with inflatable games, and all kinds of fun for children – speaking of installation, many fans marvelled at the very artistic Sea Monster placed at the base of the hill, as well as a giant greeting wall, where well-wishers could leave birthday messages for the Festival.
15th ANNIVERSARY ACTIVITIES
The 15th anniversary of the Festival was also celebrated with a few small gestures to please the fans as well, including:
- Massive birthday card that festival-goers were invited to sign
- OSHEAGA 15th anniversary badges were distributed for free
- Water (pistol) fights
- T-shirt canons
- Volley Pong
TIKTOK EXCLUSIVE LIVESTREAMING PARTNER
For the second year, OSHEAGA partnered with TikTok, allowing fans to tune in from all around the world. The Festival was streamed live, exclusively on TikTok, with all access content hosted by local radio host, Jason Rockman. While the TikTok-exclusive livestream went on for the duration of the festival, @tiktokcanada & @musicontiktok were on the grounds, giving users behind-the-scenes access to the festival and the artists that will be performing. Fans were given a view into the inner workings of the festival, with exclusive access to soundchecks, one on one interviews with their favourite artists, dance challenges for festivalgoers, and much more!
THE 16th EDITION OF OSHEAGA WILL TAKE PLACE FROM AUGUST 4 TO 6, 2023!