With the year winding down and the snow begrudgingly beginning to melt, thoughts of a long-awaited summer have begun to emerge. For those of us staying in Montreal over the break, it’s about time to start getting pumped for all the amazing musical happenings in the city, from weekly Tam-tams to Osheaga. Specifically though, there’s a diverse selection of festivals taking place in Montreal all throughout the summer, and being young and adventurous, it’s arguably our job to attend every single one.
Montreal Chamber Music Festival
For the classical leanings in all of us young adventurers, there’s the 19th annual Festival Musique De Chambre Montreal. Starting in May, it’s a laid-back first step towards smoothly integrating yourself into the summer music mood. In the past, this festival has featured some of the greatest classical artists from all around the world, including Jon Vickers and Oliver Jones, while also establishing itself as a stepping-stone for rising musicians, notably 18-year-old Canadian pianist Jan Lisecki. The festival was created to promote Montreal as the cultural capital of North America, and its organizers are dedicated to maintaining the high standard upon which it was founded. Taking place over 18 days, the festival will feature a wide variety of classical musicians from five violin concertos to Grammy-winning Broadway singer Kurt Elling.
Le Festival Musique De Chambre Montreal will run at St. George’s Church from May 8-31, ticket prices vary.
Interested in embracing Montreal’s francophone roots? FrancoFolies Montreal will be returning this summer as the largest French music festival in the world. Featuring the likes of Oxmo Puccino and Stromae in multiple venues—Bell Centre, Club Soda, and then some—this is one of those events where you have no excuse not to see at least one performer, particularly when you note that free concerts are included in the festival. Going on 26 years running, FrancoFolies is guaranteed to impress and take over the general Montreal area with the influx of francophones from around the world arriving to see their favourite artists.
FrancoFolies Montreal will run from June 12-June 22, prices and locations vary.
Montreal International Jazz Festival
One of the biggest music festivals this summer in Montreal is the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal; it’s the largest Jazz festival in the world and has gained a reputation for being absolutely amazing and only getting better each year. Main attractions at its 2014 instalment include Jordan Officer, Beck, and Buddy Guy; but just as with FrancoFolies, the festival includes tons of artists performing at multiple venues. The New York Times dubbed this one as “The king of Montreal’s assorted summer cultural festivals”—but don’t take their word for it; attend the Jazz festival along with every single other event in the Montreal area, funds permitting. The festival has been around for over three decades and features more than 3,000 artists from 30 countries. In addition, it will be staging two-thirds of the performances as free outdoor concerts. It’s free jazz at your fingertips, all you have to do is walk to the venues.
Festival International De Jazz De Montreal will run from June 26 to July 6, prices and locations vary.
Montreal Electronic Groove
If you get that longing feeling during the summer for school-year raves, don’t worry! Montreal Electronique Groove Music Festival (MEG) is here to provide you with non-stop electronic acts all over the Montreal area. If you’re feeling particularly vigorous, they’ve teamed up with Osheaga to give you an all-encompassing, potentially life changing concert experience. It’s too early to know the full lineup for this year’s instalment, but previous festivals have showcased Electric Rescue and DJ Championship. What’s fun about MEG is that although the main festival begins at the end of July, they showcase electronic artists all year long. Just like with the previous two festivals, there are multiple venues throughout Montreal featuring various electronic artists; with or without Osheaga stealing the summer spotlight, this is an event you don’t want to skip.
Montreal Festival Electronique Groove will run from July 24–August 2, prices and locations vary.