Montreal’s summer festivals awaken the city

The warm weather has finally arrived in Montreal, and the city is as busy as it gets, proposing an array of events specially designed to fill your summer days with excitement and cultural richness! Discover this city as it shakes off its winter chill and unveils its lively atmosphere. Montreal becomes almost unrecognisable as sidewalks become restaurant terraces, as parks turn lush green and as our coats are left forgotten in the closet. From world-class fireworks to music festivals and cultural celebrations, North America's first city to host international events promises an unforgettable summer experience. So get ready to step onto that playground and enjoy some of the most interesting festivals the city has to offer!

© Vincent JIANG / Shutterstock

Montréal Complètement Cirque

Until 14th July

You may know Montreal as one of the world's most emblematic cities when it comes to circus arts, since the discipline is so popular here, several circus companies have made the city their home, including the famous Cirque du Soleil. Thus, you won't be surprised, to learn that you can make the most of your summer days by heading to "Montréal complètement cirque" festival. Indeed, for a week, the city is dedicated to this art form, and you can easily find incredible shows for free in parks, streets and sidewalks, or make reservations for private shows in theatres. With more than 30 daily performances all over the city centre, you're in for a real treat!

Festival of fireworks: L'International des Feux Loto-Québec

Until 1st August

Fire up your nights at the annual international fireworks competition “l’International des Feux Loto-Québec”. This not-to-be-missed event takes place during several weeks on Sainte-Hélène Island, with fireworks launched from the La Ronde amusement park. The best place to see this tournament is inside the park, however booking is required. If you'd like to see it for free, don't worry, the 30 minute show mixing music and pyrotechnics can be seen from many places. We recommend you see it from the Village au Pied-du-Courant, a temporary sandy site with free admission before 7pm. There, you'll see the fireworks reflected on the St. Lawrence River while listening to live music and DJs.

Piknic Électronik

Until the 6th October

Join in the fun and dance to the beat of old-school music and emerging DJs in the bucolic setting of Parc Jean-Drapeau. Make this occasion a ritual with your friends like most Montrealers do, and come along every weekend by buying a season pass. Not only can you watch the various stages, but you can also sample delicious food from the various food trucks, try your hand at all sorts of activities, relax in a hammock and even enjoy the view of the river from the park. If you'd also like to get your kids hooked on music from an early age, don't hesitate to take them to the "Petit Piknic", as the park opens its doors, for free, to young children and adults from 12 to 3pm.

Just For Laughs: ComediHa salue Montréal

From 18th July to 28th July

Laugh out loud this summer at the world's biggest “Just for Laughs” comedy festival, organised by ComediHa. In the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, immerse yourself in a varied programme ranging from stand-up comedy to musicals, drag shows and more. Comedy fans can enjoy the festival free of charge, with a host of outdoor activities and shows. However, if you want to see indoor shows, you'll need a day ticket or a festival pass. With these festivities, you'll quickly learn to prepare for the unexpected and not take anything too seriously!

Osheaga

From 2nd to 4th August

As you can imagine, Parc Jean-Drapeau is the highlight of the summer, hosting numerous events thanks to its ideal location, being part of the magnificent Sainte-Hélène island. So it's no surprise that, for three days every summer, it plays host to the world-famous Osheaga music and arts festival. We hope you'll find yourself under bright skies listening to your favourite artists, such as the legendary band Green Day, SZA, Martin Garrix and even the soulful sensation RAYE. In addition to a wide range of musical genres, the festival will also feature a number of artistic installations to delight the eye. If you need to recharge your batteries over the long weekend, don't hesitate to visit the relaxation station, and if you're in the mood for a bit of adventure, take a ride on the Ferris wheel for a better overview of the festival. Make sure to book your tickets as soon as possible before they sell out!

International First Peoples' Festival (IFPF)

From 6th to 15th August

Immerse yourself in culture and tradition at the International First Peoples' Festival, which celebrates the heritage of the First Nations through a variety of concerts, exhibitions, visual arts, workshops and more. This free open-air event on Place des Arts will showcase talents handed down from generation to generation, with craft shops, traditional meals and traditional dances. One of the festival's main activities is the film competition, which features over 60 films. So don't miss out on this festival, to honour indigenous art, while discovering an immersive setting with traditional teepees.

Ile Soniq

From 9th to 11th August

Electronic music enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that Parc Jean-Drapeau will be transformed, once again, into a huge dance floor for a few days, ready to welcome the biggest names in the genre, including DJ Snake, Tiësto, Zedd and GIMS. Ile Soniq music festival will vibrate to the beat of music, and thanks to its many stages, bass, techno, house and dubstep artists will be ready to share their discography. Check their website for admission!

Lasso festival

From 15th to 17th August

Put on your best cowboy hat and boots and get ready to line dance, because your favourite country festival is back in Montreal. Whether you're a die-hard country fan or just looking for some good music in a fun and special atmosphere, join Parc Jean-Drapeau for this special event. With renowned artists such as Sam Hunt, Eric Church and Brett Young, all the ingredients for a Wild West party are there. All you need is your tickets and the energy to dance the night away!

by Clara Uveteau
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