Photo by Ashutosh Gupta
As far as North American techno and house music, Montreal is arguably a leading city in club culture and it comes as no surprise that they can throw some outdoor parties as well. Piknic Électronik is the ultimate outdoor electronic event and their venue at Parc Jean-Drapeau is a perfect setting. Running since 2003, the festival hit 1,000,000 all time attendees, with nearly 130,000 this summer in their 16th season. With two stages now, the Sunday excursion has become a ritual for the city's electronic music heads, and as a visitor from Toronto it was a breath of fresh air being on a dance floor (yes the area in front of the stage is a big wooden dance floor built over the festival grounds) with such energy during chilly 10 degree September temperatures. They even blew snow into the crowd from the front and if you didn't know what month it was you could have imagined it being late December instead – very fitting for our Quebec trip.
The 2018 season as a whole was impressive, highlighted by a June 3rd day which drew over 12,000 people to the Plaine des jeux site, and capped off by an amazing set from Henrik Schwartz on the finale September 30th. Musically, the festival varied from techno, house, electronic and everything in between, with names like Amélie Lens, Claptone, Bicep, Floorplan, Ciel, &ME and Adam Port, the week-to-week scheduling was perfectly balanced, and having two stages made it easy to enjoy the day no matter what your taste.
We're already planning our trip back for 2019 and we're looking forward to seeing which names peek our interest for next year.