The 2016 edition of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival is all about rolling the “R”s so far. The phenomenally popular outdoor tune-fest lit a veritable fire under Twitter with the announcement that headliners this year will include alt-rock and -pop royalty Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lana Del Rey. And it doesn’t end there.
The three-day Osheaga Music and Arts Festival – this year running form July 29-31 – is arguably the most significant festival of its kind in Canada. Last year the fest drew 135,000 concertgoers from around the world for exceptional programming that spans pop, rock, indie, hip-hop, RB, electro, soul and more to its one-of-a-kind site on the pastoral, tree- and pathway-lined Parc Jean-Drapeau on Montréal’s picturesque Île Ste-Hélène. (The site, located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River just minutes by car, metro or bike from downtown Montréal is also home to the Heavy Montréal and Île Soniq music festivals, and the raging weekly Piknic Électronik dance parties.) Osheaga’s promise is of an outdoor music and visual arts festival experience that is second to none, and year over year it delivers.
Again this year, over 100 carefully curated bands and artists will perform on six strategically placed stages located on the expansive festival grounds. Among the announced headliners so far are aforementioned alt-rock superstars Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and pop singer Lana Del Rey, as well as massive British pop-rockers Bastille, indie world band Beirut (who returning after opening the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal last year with a free outdoor show that drew an audience in the upper tens of thousands) and pioneering hip-hop crew Cypress Hill. And Osheaga’s rolling out some Montréal-born big guns in the form of ascendant indie-blues rockers the Barr Brothers, electro-pop star-in-the-making Grimes and indie-folk heroes Half Moon Run.
Among the many others that have Twitter tongues talking are U.K. electro duo Disclosure, granola-folk rockers The Lumineers, hip-hop artist Future (toting his third Billboard number one album, the just-released Evol), indefatigable Brit-rockers Bloc Party, L.A. all-girl pop trio Haim, and French electro-pop post-rock outfit M83. For a complete listing of artists and events, feel free to point your eyeballs here.
With so many choices already (and more to come), the good folks at Osheaga have come up with an innovative way to help you choose which shows you want to see: an artist recommender app, based on Facebook likes and other criteria. Three-day passes, which range from general admission to gold to platinum, are on sale now, and the festival is also offering a range of overnight and hotel accommodation packages. And do note that Osheaga has developed a happy habit in recent years of selling out, so best not to sit on your aspirations for too long.
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