Published Jan 30, 2012Braving the cold may be a winter tradition in much of Canada, but on the Old Port of Montreal in the depths of January, it becomes a spectacle. Each winter, crowds flock to a frozen wonderland of ice sculptures, wood fires and spectacular lighting displays, with this year's Igloofest drawing sold-out crowds for the first time in the festival's seven-year history. A sea of retro neon snowsuits gladly weathered through snow, chilling winds and even rain; after all, Montreal loves house music. Organized by the friendly folks behind Piknic Electronik, Igloofest welcomes one of the most positive and energetic crowds in the Canadian electronic scene.
Through the bright lights of elaborate matching helmets, Montreal's own house DJ trio Black Tiger Sex Machine whipped the Thursday night crowd into frenzy with their energetic set and hype stage presence. The amped crowd was handed off to American mega-producer Diplo, who blasted the audience with a barrage of hip-hop-influenced mainstream dubstep bangers and some whirling electro. The steam pouring off the crowd by the end of his set formed a thick misty fog.
Friday night brought one of the fastest rising names in deep house to the main stage, England's own Maya Jane Coles. Her ability to raise a crowd's anticipation with rolling, deep bass is rivalled only by her graceful stage presence. The petite 24-year-old seems to have as much fun spinning as the crowd does dancing; her energy was nothing short of contagious. Arguably delivering the best-received set of the festival, the young star has a very bright future ahead of her.
Chicago-born Green Velvet, with his iconic green mohawk and interactive house styles, kept the dance floor raging to end off Friday. Even the deep, frigid puddles were filled with enthusiastic dancers, skanking and splashing fearlessly by the end of his set.
Saturday, the final night of Igloofest, hosted another sold-out event teeming with thousands of festivalgoers. The surging crowd was treated to an evening of mostly techno and tech house, headlined by German-based producers Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann. The crowd ate up the solid final performance, but the surprise hit of the night was at the Igloo stage with the innovative live set of Montreal's Simon Called Peter. If you get a chance to catch this guy live, you will not regret it.
Igloofest is quickly becoming a Montreal tradition and is not one to miss for fans of electronic dance music. Strap on your snowsuit, toque and dancing boots and get ready for a truly Canadian experience. Just watch for frostbite.