Canadian Music Festival Profiles

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

Montreal, QC

Over 135,000 fans can’t be wrong. The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival attracts about 100 artists and massive crowds to Montreal each summer. With its ability to draw major headliners and its pristine setting at Parc Jean-Drapeau, the festival offers attendees an ideal summer concert experience.

When it started in 2006, the event featured prominent guitar bands and alt-rock heroes such as Sonic Youth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Metric, while a few dance and hip-hop artists rounded out the lineup. Since then, Osheaga has diversified things considerably, adding electronic acts such as Four Tet and Jon Hopkins, left-field pop performers like FKA twigs and rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino at subsequent editions. Through it all, the festival has represented Canadian artists such as Mac DeMarco, Ryan Hemsworth, K-os and more. The breadth and range of its lineup has proven attractive to music fans, with over 70 per cent of attendees travelling to Montreal from outside the province.

Its setting is part of this draw. Each year, Osheaga kicks off on Ile Ste-Hélène, separated from the city by the Saint Lawrence River and all part of the Parc Jean-Drapeau grounds, its green space and forests bringing a natural vibe to the festival. Stages are integrated with the landscape, resulting in memorable spaces such as the Tree Stage, where a forest surrounds performers. The great outdoors make Osheaga a hotspot for festival fashions, and organizers have made socially conscious decisions that include banning appropriative headdresses in 2015. The festival also holds a series of concerts at venues throughout Montreal in the months leading up to the festival. Past acts have included Courtney Barnett, Braids, Of Montreal and more. With the sheer breadth of its lineup, Osheaga has proven to be a dominant summer festival.