Ever wondered what’s it’s like to enter into a vast green space, filled with talented musicians, fun adult activities, and an array of people wearing eclectic outfits that redefine the term “free spirit.” This wondrous place, where so many Montréalers and out- of- towners have been flocking to since 2006, is famously known as Osheaga, a 3 day art and music festival.
What’s in a name?
The name “Osheaga” refers to the area we now know as Montreal. It was a name first heard by French explorer Jacques Cartier as he and his men headed down the Lachine River in 1535. Yes- that long ago! As the story goes, Cartier and his men are said to have begun waving their arms, I presume to make their presence known. The surprised Mohawks reacted by calling the French “O she ha ga,” or “people of the shaking hands.” Fitting, as you’ll often see concertgoers at Osheaga waving their hands and arms in a sea of people, rocking out to their favorite bands!
What to expect?
Weather it’s your first time going or you’re tenth time, Osheaga will surprise you every year! As of last year, the festival changed their grounds, while still occupying the iconic Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Île Saint-Hélène. This new layout allows for more green space to lounge on and a more “open concept” feel. When you’re not wetting your whistle with local craft beer, you can cool off in their urban water sprinkle. With our notoriously hot and humid Montreal summer days, trust me—it’s worth a dip!
Osheaga’s impressive lineup is always off the charts and this year is no exception. With headliners like: Florence+ The Machine, Arctic Monkeys and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The festival also boasts bands like: The National, James Blake, St. Vincent, Franz Ferdinand, Lord Huron, Portugal the Man, Odesza and so many more. Not sure which bands to see and when? You can find out the full lineup and schedule here.
What to bring? Your Osheaga Essentials:
Water. Plenty of it. Osheaga has refillable water stations throughout their festival grounds, allowing people to fill up whenever they want. Plus, it’s environmentally conscious! Win-win.
A small backpack with a raincoat. You can never be too over prepared and Osheaga drizzle has a way of sneaking up on you. If you know it’ll rain, why not throw in an extra pair of shoes?
Sunglasses. I mean, Osheaga without sunnies is like peanut butter without jelly. One just can’t go without the other!
Photo Credit: V. Boudreau