Published Jan 31, 2011In the increasingly vain and superficial world of the North American nightclub, music and simple uninhibited dancing often become secondary to posturing, fighting and flirting. The awesomely unique concept of Igloofest strips away the requisite Prada dress shirt, Dior bag and bottle-service attitude, offering up a superior venue to truly enjoy dance music.
Luring kids out to the Old Port of Montreal with some of the best DJs, lights and sounds on the continent, the spirit of the multi-weekend Igloofest created a positive environment where festivalgoers were practically forced to dance by sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow (or else suffer from frostbite). Talk about giving the finger to one of the toughest winter climates in the country.
On stage, Round Table Knights were one of the hotly anticipated acts this year and didn't disappoint with their accessible brand of disco house. And techno veterans like Andrew Weatherall and Carl Craig certainly maintained their status as masters, even with a snow-covered dance floor. Craig's set was further augmented by breathtaking 180-degree, time-lapse visuals of Montreal's skyline. In fact, except for the odd clip of a Daniel Day Lewis lookalike voguing, the full-colour LED light and visual show helped push the entire festival into a sense-stimulating spectacle.
Festival programmers didn't hesitate to throw a few curve balls. French beat whiz dÉbruit's Canadian debut was an eclectic mix of future funk, hip-hop-tempo breakbeats and traditional Turkish samples, which seemed bizarre at times but no less weird or enjoyable than watching the grown adults boogie in Teletubby onesies. After a seemingly abridged set by Chicago hip-house princess Kid Sister, grime giant Terror Danjah blazed through an extremely UK-centric set with maybe one too many rewinds of pirate radio anthems that most of the crowd couldn't sing along too. No love lost, though, and his wonderfully unapologetic hour segued beautifully into the lush cinema step of Eskmo.
Though it may have been one step away from joining a local polar bear club, it's hard to imagine Igloofest not climbing the list of must-see Canadian festivals.