Every single chilling and bitter winter always ends with positive results. Luckily for the city of Montreal, those positive results are at the beginning of winter and last entirely throughout the season because of one legendary long-lasting festival; Igloofest.
Igloofest stretches four weekends long and twelve dates total in the coldest period: from January 16th to February 8th. The festival takes place on Montreal's beautiful old port where everyone crowds together for warmth beside the water. The total audience reached over 80,000 people last year alone and is only expected to grow in 2015.
Whether a frequent Igloofest attendee or a new comer to Montreal's frosty season, you can always learn a few points before visiting the festive frenzy again. EARMILK has exactly what you need with a series of tips and good advice to make sure every Igloofest experience is at maximum positivity.
LEARN THE SCHEDULE AND KNOW WHO YOU WANT TO HEAR AHEAD OF TIME
One of the most versatile features of Igloofest is the attention in detail that goes into the lineup. Festival management choses music they enjoy and personally listen to, as opposed to music that the masses might prefer. This way they guarantee that there will always be new artists on the lineup.
There's realistically a few artists you've never heard of, so it's a good idea to check out artists playing the same night or weekend as artists you are interested in seeing. This insures you have an open ear to sounds you might have already heard and liked.
When the Sapporo Stage can become too hectic and you want to go one deeper, the Videotron Stage is the perfect place for you. The more intimate vibe is completely surrounded by high walls with a perched DJ booth. Yet this private space can still fit a crowd of over 700 people.
Photo credit: Élise Apap
DRESS WARM, BUT COMFORTABLY TOO
To survive at Igloofest when temperatures drop anywhere around -25 degrees Celsius, it's always best to dress warm enough to be prepared for a sonic snowstorm. People come in creative disguises, colourful puffy coats, ski suits, gorilla costumes, and just about every imaginable costume to stay cosy. Join the chaos and throw on your favourite bright jacket to match the sea of commotion that swarms under snowfall.
Photo Credit: Vivien Gaumand
COME WITH A FULLY CHARGED PHONE
Going to any major event without a fully charged phone can be disastrous for more than not being able to socialize about it online. Without a proper channel of communication with friends and new acquaintances at Igloofest, you can be left off the grid all night. Planning ahead by bringing a charged phone can save a potential hassle and guarantee you'll get that signature video to boast about for all next week.
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EXPLORE THE FESTIVAL GROUNDS
The entire festival set up on the old port is expansively structured and elaborate in design. If dancing ever becomes too exhausting in a big coat, then an easy stroll over to the other side of the park can leave you with the ice sculptures or fires to warm up.
February 1st is one very special date to mark down for two distinct reasons. First, Keys N Krates has just been announced as the last headliner for Igloofest along side Montreal's own techno talented Tiga. If this isn't good enough news, then hopefully Beaux Degat's art competition will improve the night when two teams compete in painting murals live at the Videotron Stage.
Photo credit: Nicolas Dupont
BRING CASH IN ADVANCE
Short and simple, cash can certainly come in handy. Whether you're purchasing a new Igloofest tuque, a shot of Jagger, or a tall boy of Sapporo, you're realistically going to want quick cash to make any transaction that much easier.
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MEET NEW PEOPLE
Igloofest draws in a massive crowd every single night of over 10,000 attendees. People come from all around Canada to Montreal's winter spectacle with intentions of dancing, raging, and finding a fun time.
Sometimes the cold is too bitter and sometimes the wind stings your nose, but it's always important to remember that people are here all as friends. So step outside your usual routines and get to know the widespread culture that spans a typical Igloofest night.
Photo credit: Vivien Gaumand
WOOLY SOCKS ARE A SAVIOUR
When the cold starts to creep in through each shoe and the collective warmth of everyone fades away, the first place you'll really feel the freeze is your feet. Don't fool yourself in thinking this is a rave, Igloofest is outside in the winter and wooly socks can save your toes from frostbite.
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KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING AFTERWARD
Every night during the festival runs from 7pm to 12am. All bars, pubs, and clubs close at 3am in Quebec, so there is always somewhere to occupy the crowd once the event ends. Igloofest's location proves difficult to find anywhere close by being down on the docks, so plan prior where you and your friends are going afterwards.
Photo Credit: Léa Lacroix
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