Travel Blog

15 Jun

A toe-tapping musical time at the Montréal Folk Fest

Festival Folk de MontralExpect sunshine and all kinds of live music, good food and happy people at the family-friendly Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal this year, June 15 to 19, from genre-spanning indoor shows to three days of free music at a picturesque outdoor venue.

The 9th annual Montréal Folk Festival on the Canal starts June 15 with an opening gala with platinum recording artist John McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and instrumental in preserving original and traditional folk and acoustic music – he’ll be singing those songs and more while deftly playing guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. Check out the future of folk on Thursday night with artists Stefanie Parnell, Alexander Brown and Tamara Weber-Fillion. Friday night is all about letting loose and singing along at A Long, Strange Trip: les chansons de Grateful Dead with acclaimed local artists Joe Grass, Andrew Barr, Brad Barr, Steve Hill, Katie Moore, Li’l Andy and more – it’ll be nothing less than a party.

The free outdoor entertainment happens Friday to Sunday on three stages next to the historic Lachine Canal, not far from the Atwater Market and the neighbourhood of St-Henri. With a community-centred vibe and French and English artists from Québec, Canada and the U.S., the festival draws a diverse crowd to its sprawling site. Among the not-to-be-missed main stage acts: vaudevillian Sheesham and Lotus and ‘Son are a sight to behold followed by the talents of Whitehorse on Friday night; legendary Canadian children’s music stars Sharon and Bram get us all dancing on Saturday afternoon while Melanie Brulée and Joel Plaskett cap the night on an indie-rock note; on Sunday don’t miss the captivating voice of Katie Moore and the Celtic-inspired music of Lizzy Hoyt in the afternoon, while Socalled and Yves Lambert close out the festival on an energetic high.

Along with seeing the festival’s main stage acts, be sure to drop by the Lhasa de Sela Youth Stage to discover young artists honing their craft, while more great local artists impress on the Montréal and Emerging Artists Stage all weekend, entertaining kids and adults alike –on that note, musician Ben Spencer performs songs tailor-made for kids on Sunday – plus  there’s a special family area with kids activities and amenities and the option for families to camp on site. Learn a few new moves on Friday night at a good old-fashioned Old-Time Square Dance, and stay up up at Bar de Courcelle’s official after-parties. All weekend long, have your pick of excellent food and drink at over a dozen fabulous food trucks parked in the festival square and shop for locally made creations at the festival’s artisan tent.

Up next: Your ultimate 2016 guide to Montréal’s many summer music festivals


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