It’s Friday night in Montréal and the métro is jam-packed. No big deal…but something in the crowd is a little odd. Nobody seems to be dressed up for a night out in town. Instead, everybody is wearing snowsuits of a bygone era. An era when mixing turquoise, purple and acid yellow was mainstream fashion. And where does this guy thinks he is going with ski goggles on his head? There are stairs leading to the top of the city’s only mountain…
While you’re thinking it’s a French thing, the whole train gets off at Champ-de-Mars and flocks through the Old Port. By then, you’re sure you’ve mistakenly stepped on the set of a cheesy 70’s ski movie remake. That’swhen you hear the beat.
Igloofest, man! You’ve never attended anything like this before!
It’s an exterior electronic music festival taking place on the quays of the Old Port. Its first edition in 2007 attracted 4, 000 festival goers…but last year’s drew 70 000 people from all over the world.
‘‘So it’s gotta be damn cool.’’
Cool? Icing bloody cold, my friend. It’s happening in January and February, and Montréal is no Rio de Janeiro.
‘‘Will I die in the cold?’’
Well, as we managed to come back and write about it…so should you. Each Igloofest lineup features some of the best DJs on the planet mixing house, techno, bass or dubstep beats. If your body doesn’t start bouncing by itself when you’ll get on-site, the -15 degrees will convince you to shake it out for sure. You’ll get caught by the amazing vibe and energy and you’ll be sweaty in no time. Take that winter.
Also note that the ice bar doesn’t sell flavoured ice cubes, but much welcomed warm-ups. Why don’t you try a cup of mulled wine or traditional caribou? It will get you dancing ‘till the end of the night. There’s also a shop that sells hot pads and Igloofest tuques – people go crazy every year with the launch of the new design – which brings us to the topic of fashion.
‘‘Will I be able to show off my muscles under a tight t-shirt?’’
‘‘How about this sexy shiny dress I just bought?’’
No and no. If you like to display your January fake tan you’ll be somewhat disappointed. Multi-layer is the key of a fun night and Igloofest is one in a few places where the more clothes you’re wearing, the cooler you are.
Your paradigms on beauty and fashion will be changed. We swear that you’ll find this girl smoking hot in her pink and turquoise one-piece. Or that her friend’s golden coat and snow pants really suit her eyes. Girls who don’t like hairy men will be dazzled by the swag emanating from that guy in a furry snowsuit. You may not believe it, but scavenging in your folk’s wardrobe will take you somewhere!
It’s such a fuss that there’s an official one-piece contest, and we suspect some people are coming only for that. All you need to do is dress up the cheesiest you can and get your photo taken. After that, get your friends to like your outfit on the Igloofest Facebook page.
A French proverb says that ridiculous doesn’t kill. Right, it’s great fun!
‘‘I can’t stand in place, my legs are itching. I would be there right now if I could. But how to be sure I’ll get tickets? How to be sure I’ll have a place to crash after? The whole world must want to come! ’’
You’re right about that! That’s why we got it all figured out for you. The HI-Montréal hostel sells individual tickets (no bookings allowed) as well as great packages (with guaranteed tickets) either in a shared or private room. Check them out here, but don’t wait too long before booking!
‘‘I had a blast and I will die if I have to wait a whole year before coming back. Help me, save me. What can I do?’’
Take a deep breath and come back to us in summer. Igloofest has its sunny counterpart, Piknic Elektronic, just across the river on Sainte-Hélène Island. It’s on every Sunday, and it’s just as hot. But leave your snow suit at home, flip flops will do just fine.