I went to check out Igloofest last night(Friday Jan 26) in the the Old Port of Montreal and I must admit I was pretty impressed. Damn, Montrealers like to have a good time! It doesn’t matter if it’s -10c and snowing out. If such conditions existed in Los Angeles or Houston, the entire civic population would be in lock down. But Montrealers, young and old alike, pile in to their snowsuits and head out in to the freezing night to shake their collective padded asses off to hardcore electronic music . It’s a sight to behold. By 11pm – around the time I departed – the festival grounds were almost too packed to get from point A to point B. The dance floor was a gyrating mass of fluorescent gore-tex that generated enough heat to sustain itself well in to the late evening hours.
Your ticket to the frozen festival gave you access to a lot of activities: There were two stages, the Sapporo main stage that could probably hold between 10 to 15 thousand people and a smaller round, semi-enclosed area hosted by Videotron. I spent most of my time at the Videotron stage as the music was better and it felt more intimate.
For those more interested in winter sports there was sumo hockey – players dressed in enormous fat suits trying to play 2 on 2 hockey. It was pretty funny to watch, especially when someone fell over and it took the combined effort of all the referees to get them back on their feet. This was next to a multi-player video game that looked like a cross between Dance Dance Revolution and the Blue Man Group barrel drumming skit. And there was also a Sapporo tent where you could get a certified Igloofest picture of you and your buds in your awesome Tigger outfits.
So clearly there was a lot to see and do. To name it all would be challenging but here are a few highlights:
Spiced Jagermeister and Hot Chocolate – a new winter favourite.
One song played by a DJ at the Videotron stage seemed to get everyone particularly excited. I’d never heard it before but I’m pretty sure the chorus repeated “I’m in love with a golf club” over and over again. Go figure. If anyone knows who wrote the song or what it is called, please let me know. I’d like to share it with my Mom, who is also in love with a golf club.
Pneumatic ski bunnies as far as the eye could see. They sure build ’em pretty in MTL.
At the peak of one song, someone in a day-glo Unicorn costume was lofted high about the crowd. The crowd responded with a massive roar and raised a sea of silver Sapporo cans in salute.
There was a heated indoor area with some bleachers where you could warm up. At one point I was sitting on the bleachers taking a break and two girls came over and sat next to me. One of the girls had clearly had a bit “too much” and her friend asked me to make sure she didn’t go anywhere while she went to get her some water. After sitting in silence for a while, I turned to her and asked “Are you OK?” Without skipping a beat she replied “I have a boyfriend.” You just can’t win.
All in all, though, it was pretty bumping for a sub-zero music festival. It kind of feels like Quebec’s answer to Burning Man. Freezing Dame anyone? You heard it hear first!