The Underachievers, Fritz Kalkbrenner and Others Headline Ancient Future 2017 this Weekend

Dance Under the Moonlight in the Hangar 16 Warehouse

  • It’s all chill vibes at the Quai d’Horloge this weekend. Photos courtesy Baccanale.

If you’re anything like me—and I’m hoping that you are—you hold a special place in your heart for music festivals.

But like any unassuming first-time festival goer, maybe you found Osheaga just a bit… overwhelming? Too many people, too much sweat, too much sun. Or perhaps you found it underwhelming, as you tried to fidget—I mean dance—in a packed crowd. Maybe you found yourself wondering, “Where’s the rave at?” Well, it wasn’t at Osheaga. But if you’re craving one last banger this summer, it’s happening this Saturday and Sunday.

Meet Ancient Future, a small but ever-growing dance party that takes place at the Quai d’Horloge in Montreal’s Old Port. In its third year, Ancient Future offers a unique experience of being outside in the daytime and then moves into the ominous Hangar 16 warehouse in the evening.

Photos courtesy Baccanale.

“The idea was to recreate the spirit of these big parties that you used to have in the 90’s in Montreal, and in Europe 20 years ago,” explains Francis Corbeil-Savage, the festival’s spokesperson.

“Where once you had thousands of people gathering in an old, abandoned warehouse, with amazing visuals and video mapping, and a crazy sound system.”

It’s not something easily found in this city’s club scene. The vibe is down-to-earth and “human,” Corbeil-Savage says.

“The idea was to recreate the spirit of these big parties that you used to have in the 90’s in Montreal, and in Europe 20 years ago, where once you had thousands of people gathering in an old, abandoned warehouse, with amazing visuals and video mapping, and a crazy sound system.”— Francis Corbeil-Savage, Ancient Future Media Relations

As opposed to large festivals, where you might not be able to connect with your friends because, as Corbeil-Savage says, you’re “just trying to get your shit together,” Ancient Future is the perfect festival for chilling out and touching base.

Introducing hip-hop to their line-up for the first time this year, the festival organizers were excited to welcome Brooklyn duo The Underachievers to their roster.

“Last year we slowly introduced trip-hop music, and this year we will push a little bit further with two or three hip-hop artists,” he says. The Underachievers recently released their third album, Renaissance, in May of this year.

As the festival grows—this year they’re hoping for 5,000 attendees over the weekend—so does their reach for musical talent. Syrian DJ Omar Souleyman, joins the line-up this year, as well as Montreal-based group Brown, with Snail Kid from Dead Obies and Jam from K6A, Jam and P-Dox, and Alaclair Ensemble.

“Omar Souleyman is a great discovery. Middle Eastern music mixed with electronic—it’s really a world class sound that I’ve never heard before,” says Corbeil-Savage.

Last year, festival attendees were open-minded and free-spirited. Fewer people and more room for dancing encouraged the audience to really experience the music, rather than divulging into the sometimes toxic party culture that infiltrates mainstream festivals. Still, the Ancient Future team wants to keep safety in mind.

While it’s still illegal to offer testing kits for recreational drugs at festivals, Ancient Future hopes that they will be able to make it available as soon as the province gives the industry the go-ahead.

In the meantime, explains Corbeil-Savage, the festival is coordinating with the SPVM and a large team of volunteers to ensure that people are safe. “Not only from drugs,” he says, “but also [in regards] to issues of respect and inclusivity that we are talking about in nightlife culture.”

Photos courtesy Baccanale.

Generally, attendees are respectful and accepting—an attitude that comes from the underground party scene. “I think we have a really nice crowd that knows how to party and also knows their limits. But the fentanyl crisis is something that we care about, and will want to make sure that everyone is safe.”

Since Aug. 1, there have been a dozen deaths and 24 overdoses reported in Quebec. Party drugs, like MDMA and cocaine, are not exempt from fentanyl contamination.

Festival passports, which include day-time access by the clock tower and late-night access to the warehouse go for $85. For students though, the price can be a dealbreaker.

“We realized we weren’t reaching students,” explains Corbeil-Savage. With that in mind, organizers released a discounted daytime ticket that is less expensive.

Daytime tickets were originally $25, but are now being sold for $15, the price of an afternoon at Piknic Electronik.

“For $25 more, people can go all-night long, which is an extreme experience. But we just opened [discount tickets] for the student crowd, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. It’s a bit complicated,” he says, “but once you’re in there, it’s really awesome.“

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