Piknic Electronik is the sister event to January and February’s Igloofest. Starting May 18th and running until October, Piknic is a Montreal mainstay. Now in its eighth season, the festival takes place every Sunday under the statue at Ile Ste Helene’s Place de L’Homme, bringing in local and international talent for an afternoon of music, dancing, drinking, sunshine, and good eats (The Grummann Taco Truck sometimes drives over!) This year’s opening weekend will host the likes of local hero Ostrich, house duos Soul Clap and Wolf + Lamb, as well as Infine labelhead Agoria, Madben, and Oniris. The rest of the line up will be revealed on May 1st, so stay tuned.
MUTEK Montreal started over a decade ago, by Montrealer Vincent Lemieux, who continues to run the festival today. One of the best known boutique festivals in the world, MUTEK attracts some of the most respected, authoritative, interesting, and unique producers, DJs, artists, and VJs from around the world. Taking place at different venues across the city from May 27th to June 1st, this year’s line up boasts international artists like Ricardo Villalobos, Holly Herndon, Voices from the Lake, Richie Hawtin, Mike Shannon, Audion, and Max Cooper, alongside locals like Fake_Electronics, Magnanime, and Hooll. And if the Avant-MUTEK party with Minilogue is any indication of how this year’s festival will unfold, we’re in for a great week.
Heavy MTL is not for the faint of heart. The event is the premiere festival for lovers of rock, punk, and metal. Taking over Montreal’s downtown area and Parc Jean Drapeau with over 200 000 fans, the festival features musical acts like Anthrax, Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson. This year, Heavy MTL rebranded as Heavy Montreal to offer a wider range of musical styles. This year is headlined by Metallica, Slayer, The Offspring, Lamb of God, and Twisted Sister.
Easily the most well-known Montreal-hosted festival, the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (aka the Jazz Fest) takes places at the Place des Festivales in Montreal’s Latin quarter. From June 26th to July 6th, the downtown area hosts both homegrown and international talent in genres ranging from classical and indie to contemporary, soul, R&B, reggae, and of course, jazz. This year’s highlights include legends like Aretha Franklin, BB King, Andrew Bird, and Beck, as well as Emma Frank, The Heath Brothers, Gogh van Go, Stacey Kent, and Ben Harper. While many events are on the pricier side, there are a ton of free events that take place around Place des Arts.
In the seven years since Osheaga’s inception, the festival has grown at an alarming rate. Taking place at Ile Ste Helene’s Parc Jean Drapeau, the festival has had to double their venue space due to overwhelming interest. Weekend passes are almost already sold out, and the festival doesn’t take place until the first weekend of August. With six different stages, dozens of food trucks, and a multitude of other booths and activities to check out, Osheaga has definitely earned its reputation. This year’s line up includes stars like Outkast, Jack White, the Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Skrillex, Joey Bada$$, and Modest Mouse, alongside up-and-coming artists like Mahaut Mondino, Kaytranada, Dear Frederic, Basia Bulat, Cyril Hahn, and Ryan Hemsworth.