Montreal’s Musical Summer Sizzler

Updated 2010-07-05 07:06

Montreal’s summer music scene is especially vibrant. It seems that when summer rolls around the music fans in this Canadian city come out in droves to see their favorite bands or musicians, or check new artists and styles they haven’t yet been exposed to. After each harsh Montreal winter, the city simply comes alive during the summer months. Let’s look at some of the musical offerings that Montreal has, for both natives and visitors alike.

Summer in Montreal means music festivals. One of the most popular is Piknic Electronik. Summer in Montreal wouldn't be complete without this tribute to electonica. During the festival, fans of techno and house can enjoy all of their favorite music, in addition to taking in the beautiful setting at Parc Jean-Drapeau, which sits on a stunning man-made pond. Piknic Electronik runs every week from the end of May through the beginning of October. You can dance and mosh with the other festival-goers on the dance floor, enjoy great food and beverages, or simply people-watch and relish the awesome scene.

The Montreal Tam Tams is another unique experience, particularly for out-of-towners to partake in. Basically drum players of all backgrounds gather around a city monument and play, such as the African drum known as the djembe. Visitors are encouraged to participate by dancing to the beat.

Then there is Osheaga, an arts and music festival held, similar to Piknic Electronik, in Parc Jean-Drapeau. The aim of Osheaga is to showcase and celebrate Montreal's local musicians, in addition to providing a venue for Canadians to enjoy world-renowned and international artists. As a festival that not only highlights and elevates art and creativity but raises awareness with regard to sociological and environmental issues, Osheaga is unparalleled. This year you can see everything from local Canadian avant-garde performers to Snoop Dogg, sample delicious food, and relish the beautiful park surroundings. The festival runs during the last weekend in July. If you're a music fan in general, Osheaga is not to be missed.

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
is yet another festival that music lovers should check out. An enormous festival in scope, the lineup includes three thousand artists from all over the world and literally hundreds upon hundreds of free concerts held outdoors. Even if you're not particularly a jazz fan, there are numerous other musical styles that visitors can check out, including blues, Cuban music, African music, Brazilian music, reggae, and electronica. With the sheer wealth of free performances, visitors are bound to find several concerts they enjoy. The festival boasts two and a half million visitors, many of whom are tourists. Vacationers often take the opportunity of visiting the festival to explore the surrounding area of Montreal as well, stopping into the local cafes, galleries, and parks. The festival runs from June 25 through July 6.

If you love music and you want to explore new artists, step outside the pubs this summer expose yourself to a wonderful and hip urban culture, and enjoy breathtaking settings, you've just got to come to Montreal this summer.

Samantha Wheeler

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.