The juggernaut of the music festival season is fast approaching: Montreal’s Osheaga is right around the corner. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this August long weekend, the three-day event is always a highlight on the summer calendar. If you’ve never been before, it’s well worth the train ride to the land of poutine and French-speakers. And trust me when I say: take the train or take a flight. If you’re going to drive or bus (especially on the Monday coming back,) expect to sit in traffic.
Taking place July 31 to August 2 at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Osheaga boasts both a strong lineup of Canadian talent and international headliners, as well as an understanding of the festival experience. The layout of the park has been refined over the years and provides a great experience for attendees, including a dedicated area for the DJ set fans. Venturing over there is like finding yourself in another world because the atmosphere is so different from the rest of the grounds. Whether you want to get up close to one of six stages or would rather sit back on a hill overlooking the grounds, there’s options at Osheaga – and also plenty of shade to take a much-needed break from the sun.
You can either plan your schedule meticulously or wander around and hope you stumble into something great. Just know that it will be a busy festival, so make sure to stay hydrated and SPF-ed. There will also be a ton of people, so make an in-case-we-get-lost plan with your friends. Also please be patient when it comes to getting on the Metro at the end of the night. Everyone else is, too. It can take a while to get on board a train, but you’ll get there eventually. Don’t be the jerk that tries to cut everyone else in line.
Before you strap on the wristband and go, we’ve rounded up the list of lineup favourites and highlights we can’t wait to see.
Caribou at Scène Verte
Saturday, August 1 @ 9:50 pm
Closing out Saturday night on the Scène Verte stage is Caribou, touring 2014’s still-spectacular (and now Polaris Prize short-listed) Our Love. See why everyone wants you to see Dan Snaith and company.
Catfish and the Bottlemen at Scène de la Rivière Virgin Mobile
Friday, July 31 @ 1:00 pm
Every time Catfish and the Bottlemen come to Toronto, I say to myself: “I’m going to see them!” Every time, they get booked on a day when there are 400 other shows happening that night and I just can’t make it. So I guess it’ll take going to Montreal to do it. Show up early: they’re one of the first bands to play and they’re a really good reason to start your Osheaga early – or a least on time.
Father John Misty at Sceène de la Rivière Virgin Mobile
Sunday, August 2 @ 3:45 pm
It’s been a huge year for Father John Misty and his live show is always so impressive. I’ve been waiting a while now to see J. Tillman again and it’s finally happening. Gather up all your friends for an impassioned singalong at Osheaga.
FKA Twigs at Scène Verte
Friday, July 31 @ 8:00 pm
Notably absent from other festival lineups like Wayhome means FKA Twigs is topping my need-to-see-at-Osheaga list. Don’t sleep on this one.
Glass Animals at Scène de la Vallée
Sunday, August 2 @ 2:45 pm
If you’d rather skip the big alt-J crowd, then you can get just about the same thing from Glass Animals. While the comparison is lazy (sorry), it’s also inevitable. That’s not a bad thing if you’re measuring it by success: Glass Animals is pretty much poised to be the next big thing.
Hot Chip at Scène de la Montagne Molson Canadian
Sunday, August 2 @ 6:10 pm
My one Governors Ball regret was not seeing Hot Chip. I plan to rectify this situation at Osheaga where I will spend their entire set moving a limb or two or all of them.
Kendrick Lamar at Scène de la Rivière Virgin Mobile
Saturday, August 1 @ 9:20 pm
The last time I saw Kendrick Lamar, he was on opening duty for Kanye West. At the time, I was excited for the double bill and Kendrick did a great job – even if it was just a brief preview of his capabilities. Now, with the excellent To Pimp a Butterfly added to his repertoire, it’s going to be a huge, huge show from the best voice in hip hop right now.
Run the Jewels at Scène Verte
Friday, July 31 @ 3:25 pm
Killer Mike and El-P are the best. The absolute best. Their live show is amazingly fun and they’re engaging as anything. Turn up with that 36″ chain.
St. Vincent at Scène de la Rivière Virgin Mobile
Saturday, August 1 @ 3:40 pm
This is the last time I’m seeing St. Vincent in 2015. This will be number 11. I see St. Vincent a lot. You should too!
Stars & friends at Scène de la Montagne Molson Canadian
Friday, July 31 @ 6:25 pm
I’ve admittedly never been blown away by Stars‘ live show, but my expectations for their Osheaga set are way, way up there. For one, it’s a hometown show. For another, they’ve promised to pack the stage with a bunch of their friends to perform their iconic album Set Yourself on Fire.
Sylvan Esso at Scène de la Vallée
Sunday, August 2 @ 4:10 pm
Sylvan Esso put on a great show during the pair’s 2014 visit to a sold-out Horseshoe. You’re probably going to be hypnotized and you’re probably going to sway. Don’t be alarmed: just let it happen.
For more on Osheaga 2015, head to their website. Also tell @beets what bands you can’t wait to see. We’ll be there, capturing all the moments of the festival – so check back soon for Live in Limbo’s coverage!