As the New Year rolls in every year, Igloofest opens its doors to Montreal’s partygoers. Started in 2007, this winter music festival has attracted crowds to the city’s Old Port year after year, despite sub-zero temperatures. Hosted by Piknic Electronik and the Quays of the Old Port from Jan. 16 to Feb. 8, this four weekend long party is the perfect way to escape the constraints of midterms as well as the McGill bubble. The party is set up right by the Saint Lawrence river, with the city’s skyline painting the sky behind the icy architecture.
Alcohol sponsored activities are set up throughout the venue to keep everyone’s blood pumping and mind off the cold. The centrepiece of the ice-capped site is a slide carved from ice, on which bundled up people can slide down. Throughout the venue, various beverage stands offer activities from “Sapporo Hero,” a game similar to the widely known Guitar Hero, where contestants beat to drum patterns attempting to outdo their friends—to Bacardi’s curling game, in which rivals slide a miniature puck back and forth on an ice table for points. Rivals can make amends at the picture booth while showing off silly warm clothing. When all the activities leave folks parched, the many ice bars located around the site are available, and when the cold becomes unbearable, there are fire pits to help regain feeling in your toes.
Dancing the night away, the crowd huddles by the main stage with the clear star-studded sky watching over the picturesque party. The event hosts some of the biggest DJs in the electronic music industry. During Igloofest 2015, the stage welcomed names such as Dubfire and Flosstradamus, while entrancing lights beamed across the masses. Many colourful and abstract visuals play on the high wall of screens, right above the stage. The friendly atmosphere encourages everyone to let loose. The top of the crowd stays lined with elated people on their friends’ shoulders, while some even surf the crowd.
One way to know Igloofest is in full swing is by noticing the popular accessories sold at the event. Soon after the festivities start each year, the growing appearance of Igloofest gear makes its way into downtown, primarily on the McGill campus. Meanwhile, at the event, individuals rock their wackiest winter apparel to partake in the Sapporo Iglooswag contest, which welcomes people in snowsuits and various costumes to compete for the craziest outfit and determine who wins a prize trip for two to Cuba. Many people wear onesies and jumpers over their winter apparel, disguising themselves as animals and cartoon characters. While there are themes for every weekend, there are also smaller scale prizes awarded more regularly.