Photos by Sean Chin.
Getting to return back to Montreal for a third tour of duty at Osheaga with Sean Chin was just as exciting as our first time going together back in 2016. Anticipation builds as the lineup gets released, to when the schedule comes out (with the added anxiety of deciding who to see and who you have to miss), followed by actually arriving in La Belle Province and taking the Metro to Jean-Drapeau Park. Crossing the bridge into the grounds leads you into the greatest place a music lover can envision, a festival. With seven stages spread out across the sprawling island I was in heaven. The first act I checked out was Sylvan Esso on the Green Stage, which having a dance party to start your weekend is always the way to go.
Sean and I are used to going to shows alone so we would meet up for shows we both wanted to see like Alice Merton and Milk & Bone and have a blast, then sometimes we would split up because neither of us wanted to compromise. When I was at Alan Walker Sean saw Billie Eilish and when I checked out Jungle, Sean danced to Dua Lipa on Sunday. Once again the uniqueness of having the electronic Island stage floating on water is a highlight of the festival.
Being at a music festival will always be great, but there are certain things that can take it to the next level and make experience it so differently you wonder if you are at the same festival as everyone else. First off getting access to the Virgin Mobile Member’s Lounge that sits high above the grounds giving you the best vantage point to see a show on the main River Stage is breathtaking. We were able to escape crowds (and the heat) early in the day sitting on lounge chairs while watching Lights, LANY and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs while never having to wait to order a drink thanks to the private bar. We could also over look the sea of people at the headliner sets while still having ample room to dance during the Arctic Monkeys and Florence + the Machine.
Other perks include getting front of the crowd access to watch legendary punk rockers Blondie in the super VIP section that normally costs festivalgoers an arm and a leg. We also got to go side stage to watch rock’n’soul singer James Bay. Seeing him perform “Wanderlust”, and “Let it Go” was super special and will always be a great memory.
Personal highlights for me were finally getting a chance to see both Franz Ferdinand and Future Islands. Both acts have been bucket list acts for me and they delivered hard, from Franz Ferdinand throwing a wild rock show and playing all their hits to Future Islands’ singer Samuel T Herring getting so invested into his performance he actually started crying at how much the audience gave back to him. For Sean he loved getting to see newcomers Dizzy before they blow up and Dua Lipa.
The biggest perk of going to Osheaga with Virgin Mobile was taking a golf cart behind the stages to Artist World, when the musical acts hang out, relax and most importantly eat some great food. Sure I enjoyed my poutine and panko crusted hot dog, but having fresh smoked brisket, calamari, BBQ chicken, a fresh salad bar and free beers was unreal. I won’t name drop names but we certainly saw some artists fueling up too, all under the supervision of celebrity chefs Danny Smiles and Chuck Hughes who curated the food area.
A festival, despite the great music, will only ever be as fun as the people around you. Striking up conversations waiting for shows to start is always fun like learning where people are from, their favourite sets so far and what late night food you need to be grabbing. The Virgin Mobile Lounge was filled with amazing people who, because they area Member got to experience this once and a lifetime opportunity amongst plenty of other excited people. Everyone was fun to hang around wanting to have someone confirm the jaw dropping experience they are having. A special shout out to our new friends from Edmonton who were the grand prizewinners and couldn’t believe the fun of everything. This year’s iteration of Osheaga was probably the most fun yet, and if you’re lucky you can live it up like we did next year!
Thanks again to the most rocking carrier in the country, Virgin Mobile Canada! They give their Members the opportunity to create life-long amazing memories. You can check out all of these everyday Benefits here. We love getting discounts at Freshii, Starbucks, and Cineplex just to name a few. . Anyone with a Virgin Mobile phone or SIM card automatically gets access, there aren’t any extra fees or registration. It’s simple and easy. Signup with one of their great mobile plans, and when you switch over you get to live like a Member just like us!