Published on July 10th, 2022 | by Stacey McLaughlin


Festivals: Osheaga 2022 (Preview)

Osheaga is an acclaimed indie music festival, held from July 29th to July 31, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, at the world class venue, Parc Jean-Drapeau.

While Osheaga is physically located within the city, the site itself is reminiscent of a  countryside escape located next to the water. It maintains that pastoral feel while still maintaining a close proximity to the hotels, restaurants, and other amenities you would except from a city like Montreal.

Organizing the festival this year was ambitious from a booking perspective, as the festival was already fully booked for both 2020 and 2021 but had only announced the headliners, and then did not end up going ahead with either of those years due to the pandemic. Trying to find a balance between all of the confirmed acts from those two years, and prioritizing artists who had new records out with those who did not proved challenging as the goal was to keep the festival as current as possible. Adding to this, The Foo Fighters were set to be the headliners for Osheaga 2022, but in light of their recent tragedy, they are unable to attend. The festival organizers had been so excited to have them, as the band hadn’t played in Montreal since 2011, and they were the only ones through the whole pandemic who re-upped every time, they were scheduled to play in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

This year the headliners include Arcade Fire, A$AP Rocky, and Dua Lipa. There are dozens of bands per day at multiple stages. Some emerging artists to keep an eye out for include British indie rock band Wetleg. They are a young band from from the Isle of Wight, who perform at a level beyond their years. The band Turnstile, while not new as they have been around for 20 years, are really starting to make a name for themselves recently. Their most recent album “Glow On” is getting a lot of attention. 100 Gecs are an American hyperpop duo who come strongly recommended due to their unique sound and performance style. Lastly, Skiifall, the Carribean-Canadian rapper who just signed with the XL Recordings, the label represents a wide range of artists, including Adele, Radiohead, the White Stripes and Jack White, as well as fellow Montrealer Kaytranada. This innovative and imaginative new artist is looking like they may be the next big thing out of Montreal.

A lot of festivals focus on how to maximize the money coming in, so they don’t prioritize the experience. The people who organize Osheaga have a customer first focus. They go to festivals all over the world to sees what different groups are doing from the consumer standpoint. For example, if you just don’t want to be in the pit with the 25-year-olds you can buy a VIP pass that includes access to a platform, better bathrooms, and other amenities.

The group responsible for Osheaga run three festivals in a row on the same site. Osheaga is first, followed by Île Soniq, which is a DJ/EDM festival, and the third is brand new this year, it’s a country music festival called Lasso. Because they have the same site for three weekends and have the same set up, it makes it easier to provide that next level experience for people. Also, bring your water bottle (make sure it’s see through), stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and use the app (make sure notifications are turned on) to get the most enjoyment out of this festival.

The on-site experience at Osheaga is exceptional. There are six stages, all kinds of genres of music, and all kinds of different things happening like a ferris-wheel, a huge water fountain you can jump and play in. Even if there are only five bands a day that you want to see, and you don’t know the rest, it’s great opportunity to discover new music. A lot of these bands that play at the 2:00PM or 3:00PM slots, like Post Malone or The National in the past, often end up becoming the headliners in future years, so it’s really fun to see a lot of these acts grow up through the festival. Music discovery, the site itself, the food on site is great too, it’s not just hot dogs and beer. The experience is as “Montreal” as possible, as opposed to just an old school festival experience, there really is something for everyone.

The festival started with couple thousand people and two stages — now it’s 50,000 people a day and six stages.

For more information visit https://www.osheaga.com and download the app from the GooglePlay or Apple app stores on your phone or smart device.

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is a writer and photographer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her work can be seen at http://www.smcwrites.com

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