Rain and Riots at Santa Teresa Festival
How The Second Edition of the Festival Went Horribly Wrong
The second edition of the Santa Teresa festival located just north of Laval was probably one of the oddest festivals either one of us had ever attended.
The music festival that ran from Friday to Sunday was hectic to say the least. There was rain, cancelled shows, and riots broke out by the end of it all.
But there was nothing we couldn’t handle.
To start the weekend off we went to see Feist, the big headliner of the festival. She performed at the Sainte-Therese d’Avila church, whose entire front was under construction and covered in bright orange tarp.
Feist was an enchanting artist in her sundress. Her ballads were upbeat at times, but not enough to satisfy.
Having both been raised Catholic, it was like being at church with all our relatives when we were younger. Except this time the church was a lot fuller than any we’d ever been in before.
There was a crucifix of Jesus looking over us, making us somewhat uncomfortable, and in between songs, Feist interjected the lit church with odd ramblings and poorly spoken French.
“It’s interesting that you never really know anyone, not even Jesus. We didn’t know him,” she’d say.
“Look somebody in the eye–-and let them know that you want to leave the party with them…Is it even a party if you don’t leave the party with the person you wanted to leave the party with?”
She kept going on in a high pitched voice. The crowd started to sit around her on the ground. We felt overwhelmingly peer pressured by Feist to “leave the party with someone” (not in our plans for tonight), and so we left.
Despite being the headliner, Feist was a bit cringy. This left us wondering if Lil Uzi Vert would be better.
Alley Rave Party
We decided to scope out the closed-off street that made up the festival and found an alleyway that had been decked out with “old-school” video games like Dance Dance Revolution.
Someone had left a JBL speaker with an auxiliary cord for people to play their own music. A few ravers decided this would be the perfect time to “faire peter la teuf” with hardcore drum and bass music.
When “WOOP WOOP IT’S DA SOUND OF DA POLICE,” blared onlookers jumped, startled by the abrasive noise. An organizer hastily chastised the ravers, as apparently that music was too aggressive and not inclusive enough for the majority of festival goers.
The ravers weren’t going to let themselves be discouraged though, and continued playing friendlier sounding drum and bass music. I finally felt home somewhere I could shuffle. Onlookers joined the little party and flailed wildly while the confused bros decided this would make the perfect Snapchat story.
But when the 11 p.m. noise curfew came, the alleyway rave was shut down–with the promise of starting again the following evening.
After we got kicked out of the alley, we decided to check out Voyage Funktastic, a Montreal-based band that sounds like a Québécois Tame Impala.
The show took place in a small bar with slot machines. While the festival goers swayed dreamily to the funky music, locals continued to play their slot machines, seemingly annoyed by all the hipsters taking over their usual watering hole.
The Alice Glass That Never Happened
We woke up Saturday morning excited to see Alice Glass. Previously the lead singer of Crystal Castles, the now solo goth promised to make all our 16 year-old raver girl dreams come true.
And then it rained.
We started to wonder why hardly any fans were there. It seemed like most of the crowd trekked home, or had gone to Prohibition, a bar just down the street.
We got soaked while waiting. We tried to keep up our spirits by dancing to the jazz music playing, but our moods dropped as the stage crew started to disassemble the stage. We were panicking.
An hour past set time and she was nowhere in sight, and no one was telling us what was going on. One fan yelled at the stage crew, and our hearts dropped when we found out that “outdoor electronic music sets couldn’t be played in the rain.” Our hopes and dreams were crushed, so we left to go eat nachos at Prohibition instead.
Despite the rain having fallen to a drizzle, the stage crew had a hard time keeping up with the schedule. Nick Murphy (previously known as Chet Faker) started his set half an hour late, but our annoyance dissipated the second we heard the opening notes to Gold. We swayed and sang our hearts out, completely forgetting about the wet and the cold.
Murphy’s set was condensed as he only had half an hour to play, but he filled it with fan favourites like 1998 and Talk is Cheap. We left wanting more.
We soon walked into a small bar playing Pierce the Veil and waited while the bros strolled through. Tommy Genesis was also late, but the Vancouver rapper made up for it with her banging set.
With her cute and sultry aesthetics paired with her aggressive hyper-sexual verses, Tommy was on brand. She jumped, thrashed, and screamed on the stage while her fans mimicked her energy. She’s a bad bitch.
She had no reservations going into the crowd to dance with fans as her security guards looked #concerned. Fans were so impressed by her set they demanded an encore, but since her DJ had only prepped a handful of songs she played Tommy again. No one was upset. We were in love.
After seeing Mount Kimbie we decided to stop by the Couche-Tard to save some money on festival beer. We had to change plans since by the third day of the festival all media personnel got barred from the VIP booth where drinks were cheaper.
After waiting in a line that circulated through the street we finally got our beer. Upon leaving we were given plastic cups by the cashiers. Outside festival-goers and locals sat on wooden benches, but police didn’t seem to mind as we all sipped from Couche-Tard cups. We weren’t aware of this loophole in the law until recently. Maybe it only applies to festivals.
The Dead Obies
We wanted to check out local bands and heard the Dead Obies were hip and cool with the kids, so we were intrigued.
The Dead Obies make Québécois rap with a lot of Franglais. Their music is an odd mix of American-style hip-hop and Québécois culture. It could have made for an interesting sound, but they unfortunately didn’t pull it off.
Their energy was infectious though and the crowd was pleased. We trap danced ironically, waiting impatiently for Ghostemane’s set.
Ghostemane sort of looks like a Yugioh character, or a bit like someone who watched too much anime in his mom’s basement. He was clearly one of those former emos who then transitioned to $uicide Boy$-style rap.
We felt out of touch with the crowd. Ghostemane’s music obviously appeals more to teenagers, and the music was a bit too angsty for us. With ongoing suicide references in his lyrics, self-deprecation, and the attempted forming of a wall of death, the mood was not appropriate for this beautiful sunny day.
He asked the crowd to put their hands up after every song. The Lil Uzi Vert fans who were only there to save their good spots watched uncomfortably but refused to budge. There were a surprising amount of younger teens screaming along and we were #distraught.
Petit Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert was scheduled to play at 9:45 p.m. but never showed up.
Some fans sported clout glasses, others wore tracksuits, or bright camo pants. Some boys braided their short hair, letting them peep out of their pink Golf baseball caps. The trap goth’s efforts went wasted though.
Fans started to boo and flip off the stage, and soon the crowd began throwing water bottles and cigarette butts at the stage. There was a massive delay from event organizers to explain what was going on, and that paired with jazz music in the background only seemed to exacerbate the crowd’s anger.
Many left the venue, but others didn’t want to give up hope just yet, even if it was past sound curfew. It was only at 11:30 that an organizer reached the stage to let the crowd know the concert was cancelled.
It was right about then that all hell broke loose.
Fans jumped over the gates and onto the stage. Some of them were trolling and tried to put on their own show by dancing, but soon jumped off as the more angry fans threw subwoofers off the stage and toppled speakers.
Some that left the crowd went on to smash ATM machines, kick over trash cans, and tip over the outdoor toilets. Others lit fires.
Santa Teresa soon sent out emails to festival goers with information about how to get refunds for their Sunday tickets.
Luckily for us we stayed away from the angry crowd by going to (SANDY) Alex G’s show instead. We felt more adequate in the crowd of hipsters. His blend of chill indie music and more upbeat tunes made us feel like maybe this day of the festival hadn’t been that bad. The adventure had been worth it after all. It did make for a great story, at least.
Despite all the mishaps, the festival released a statement saying that there will be a third installment next year.