January 16th to February 8th 2014
Igloofest – The biting cold does not last long
Igloofest is not your typical music festival: while the Aussies enjoy summer sunshine and barbies on the beach to their favorite DJ’s, the Canadians are celebrating music with a different style. Igloofest is given a unique edge over all other music festivals because it doesn’t depend on the promise of sun and scorching weather to have a good time: it’s a frozen winter wonderland in Montreal.
Montreal celebrates Igloofest every winter at the Old Port where thousands of fans flock to The Igloo Village. The Igloo Village is the open air arena which becomes home to the world’s best international DJ’s for just a few short days a year. The architecture and décor is striking with ice and steel sculptures around the ice bars. Forget laser lights and tacky disco lights in favor of stars and moonlight! The only lights to flash are there to mimic the Nrthern Lights that can be seen in Canada. Lights flash in purple, blue and pink synchronizing with the beat of the electronic music and people enjoy the moving flashes as they sway to the music. You will imagine the scene better when you think of myriads of stars flashing across a large screen!
The Igloofest tradition first began in 2007 when the boys from Piknic Electronik introduced the event in Montreal in the Old Port. Numbers grew from 4,000 attendees in 2007 to 70,000 in 2012. In 2013, a fourth weekend was added to the three weekends of January when the festival traditionally runs in order to accommodate growing crowds. This year, the event runs has been extended until the 8th February…at this rate the snow will have melted before the party stops!
The Highlights of the 2014 Igloofest
Come dressed in winter wear for the festival but don’t expect to keep the layers on for long. The entire dance floor is surrounded by snow and the bars made of ice. As it is all open air, expect chilly balasts from the winter wind to whip through the dance floor during your favorite sets. But don’t be too concerned about the cold weather…it heats up pretty quickly on the crowded dance floor as people go crazy to top DJ’s. Women should avoid wearing high heels, something with grip on the soles is recommended! Snow and slush has been known to cause problems for drunken party goers, but this is really no different from the muddy fields of Glastonbury. In traditional festival style, a dress theme has been adopted: florescent onesie or all-in-one snowsuits. Mimic giant babies covered in bright paint on the dance floor and invest in a all-in-one snowsuit to stay warm and look fashionable (or a little bit crazy, you decide!). There is a competition for the best snowsuit onesie, with winners getting bar tabs and free drinks.
If you are brave enough and would like to immerse yourself in the below zero theme, stay at least for a night at the Snow Village, which is located southeast of the city. This is an ice hotel, made entirely of ice and snow. There are 15 suites and 25 rooms, carved in a New York style. The sleeping bags in the ice beds are warm enough to not turn you into an icicle overnight, even in temperatures of -30º.
Tickets to the event are cheap, only $20 on the door on any night, and ranging up to $120 for a VIP weekend pass. Purchase tickets online before the night for a little bit less, or run the risk of tickets selling out before you get to the front of the line.