Of Jagermeister and Root Beer: Igloofest Is Back

11th Edition of the Electronic Music Festival Kicks Off on Thursday

Igloofest’s main stage last year. Photo courtesy Michael Legault

It takes a special kind of person to enjoy dancing in —20 C. Alcohol increases the probability of you being this person by at least 30 per cent.

Montreal winter is intense. The shrill cold can make you forget your humanity. t’s a season when going out on the weekend meant scrupulous calculations of the time exposed to the unforgiving wind between Mont-Royal metro and the doors of the bar.

But that was then, and this is now. Now, we have Igloofest.

As the name suggests, it’s not your typical music festival. It’s from mid-January to early February—quite possibly the coldest time of the year. For four weekends, Old Montreal will come alive with electronic music of all subgenres, from a carefully-selected variety of local and international DJs.

So meticulously hand-picked in fact, that you might not recognize more than one or two of the artists playing if you aren’t well-versed in electronic music. While Igloofest doesn’t invite big headliners like most festivals do, they do curate an interesting canon of artists who you should get familiar with.

With light snowfall, vibrant visual projections, and an outdoor dance floor warmed by the mass of people bouncing around, the ambiance speaks for itself. “The energy—it’s contagious,” said festival co-founder Nicholas Cournoyer.

“The energy—it’s contagious.” —Nicholas Cournoyer, Igloofest co-founder

With this in mind, here’s a few suggestions:

January 12—Opening night with CRi + Deadlift

Montreal DJ CRi dropped his EP Tell Her earlier in 2016, and it’s full of light, fluttery sounds that I can only imagine will blend up smoothly for an ambient dance party in the snow.

Deadlift, also a Quebec artist, has a heavier, more layered sound that should really amp-up the energy as the night goes on. With textural, glitchy technique and light sprinklings of synthy flare, Deadlift will get people going with the flow of the bass.

January 20—Mind Against + Zepha

Definitely one of this year’s great headliners, the well-known Berlin-native duo, Mind Against will draw Montreal’s most seasoned electronic listeners to the scene for what promises to be a legendary set to experience in snow. Those new to the artists will have a unique chance to experience this one-of-a-kind group in a beautiful environment. PS: this mix is great for working!

Zepha will present her earthy techno beats at the Scene Videotron at Igloofest this year, bringing us back to warmer days with psychedelic, fast-paced beats that put us in a dancing haze any time of the year

January 26—Claptone

Okay, we know. You want some house music. Finally, go see Claptone. Please, go dance your ass off to those indulgent drum machine beats and hi-hats and forget that it’s only Thursday.

Igloofest, now in its eleventh year taking over the usually tourist-filled Quai Jacques Cartier that overlooks the Saint Lawrence River, is the brainchild of the same peeps who started Piknik Electronik—Montreal’s summer-long Sunday dance party at Jean Drapeau Park.

“We wanted to transpose the spirit of people dancing outside… and finally at some point we had the silly idea of doing it during the winter time,” explained Cournoyer. “Dancing outside with a toque and a winter jacket, it’s not something that you really see.

Igloofest 2017 // Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Jan. 12 to Feb. 4 // Quai Jacques-Cartier // Gates open at 7 p.m. // $15 // More info