So you may have seen the visually-striking posters of people posing in their ski gear, or recently overheard someone bragging about having the best one-piece snowsuit. You may have heard stories of friends feasting endlessly on toasted marshmallows and beer while lounging around a bonfire.
Whatever it is, people are talking about it in one form or another. We’re talking about Igloofest; the city’s famed annual winter music festival. If you haven’t been yet, you’re in luck! For the first time ever, Igloofest has added a fourth weekend to its annual event, giving us the perfect opportunity to convince you to finally join in on the fun. You haven’t experienced Montreal until you’ve danced in a snowsuit in sub-zero weather.
Igloofest was created in 2007 and can be described as the winter sibling of Piknic Electronik, Montreal’s summer electronic music festival held at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Each weekend runs for three consecutive nights, from Thursday to Saturday. The nightly heart-pumping lineup is composed of seven DJs playing across three stages simultaneously in a multi-purpose compound smack-dab in the city’s Old Port. Do the math and you have almost 80 electronic musical acts from all around the world spinning hypnotic beats to fight off the freezing temps. Acts playing in the coming week include Taal Mala, VJ ZEF, Oneman, Gridspave, Tommy Four Seven, Jay London and Moody Jones, just to name a few. Be sure to check out the DJ list before you pick your night.
Tickets can be bought online or in person at the box office, but the earlier you get them the better. I would suggest purchasing them online to avoid the ticket line. The online tickets run for $18.50 per night and tickets at the gate are $20. If you’re a hardcore party-goer, you can get an IGLOOWEEKEND ticket, granting access to all three nights of one weekend for just $40. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and wraps up at midnight.
The Old Port is close to Place D’Armes and Champ de Mars metro stations. The STM is offering free one-way rides home as long as you purchased a bus tickets prior, going on every Thursday until Feb. 9. If you’re planning on bar-hopping until the wee hours of the night, another option would be the unlimited night pass for $4. The pass is valid from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Montrealers are well-known for their do-or-die party attitude. The most exciting part of Igloofest is the Sapporo-sponsored one-piece contest. The one and only rule is quite simple; you have to stand out—whether you’re wearing a medley of cornea-scarring fluorescent colours or sporting a unique design on your ‘80s-inspired splash pants. The prize, besides peer notoriety, is the sheer fact that you have gone through the festival’s rite of passage. But, before you flaunt your best suit, be sure to remember the large crowd and sometimes slushy conditions of the outdoor playground.
That being said, here are the most obvious pieces of advice: wear layers, get yourself a good pair of boots and try to get a good meal in your belly before heading out. You certainly don’t want to shiver and shake in the arctic temperatures when you should be moshing to your favorite musicians. Although the dance floor can get very crowded, take advantage and use the body heat to warm yourself up. If you’re freezing, you’ll end up being an Igloofest bore.
Another fun aspect about Igloofest is its dedication to social media. Right beside the dance floor is a huge screen showcasing each tweet that features an Igloofest hashtag, so be sure to bring your smartphone if you want to get in on the Twitter fun. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get your friend’s attention if you lose track of one another.
And if you’re planning on going, I’ll see you in the crowd. I might be trying to pull off a zebra onesie … or maybe not.