Montréal emblazons their incomparable fiery spirit at Igloofest, the self-proclaimed world’s coldest music festival

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Montréal emblazons their incomparable fiery spirit at Igloofest, the self-proclaimed world’s coldest music festivalIGLOO19 20190118 CHARLES PROT 059 1

What does it take to convince thousands of attendees to venture out in bone-chilling, glacial temperatures, bearing umpteen layers of clothing to join thousands of like-minded individuals in an outdoor winter dance party? Citizens of Montréal will scoff at the question, put on their winter attire and head out their door with a sense of pride and voracity, not looking behind. What may seem like a challenge and an instant rejection for some, this city says otherwise.

Illuminating the quaint and charismatic Old Port neighborhood for their 13th edition is the infrastructure of Igloofest Montréal, the self-proclaimed, “coldest music festival in the world.” Shipping containers artfully adorn their way into the festival’s framework, paying homage to the nature of the location whilst introducing a notion of industrial comfort to the ambiance. Attendees flock gracefully in packs, a true talent due to the limitations of wearing multiple layers. Dressed with poise in the brightest of colors, Igloofest hasn’t just thrown a festival, but instead fostered their own winter movement.

“It comes with the vibe, no one comes to Igloofest to be posers or just attend because it’s not worth just to be standing there when it’s -15 and you’re gonna die. Everyone’s in a good spirit, and everyone’s having fun” – Robert Robert

The 2019 edition of Igloofest Montréal spanned the course of three weekends, with the opening night hosted on the evening January 17, followed by the closing ceremonies on February 2. For the first time in Igloofest history, the outdoor festival sold out two separate nights ahead of their annual opening ceremonies, headlined by electronic mass moguls Diplo, and Above & Beyond. During the opening weekend, temperatures dropped to an astonishing low of -31 degrees Celsius, enough to freeze the Sapporo cans in the hands of attendees, but not enough to keep guests from dancing. Held over the course of nine evenings, local and international talent was far from few, welcoming headliners from each end of the electronic music spectrum. Akin to the city’s open-minded musical interests, headliners of the house, techno, trap and trance realms took the stage, attired in their own brightly flashing jackets and signature Canadian tuques.  

Montréal emblazons their incomparable fiery spirit at Igloofest, the self-proclaimed world’s coldest music festivalIgloofest Programming 2019

Igloofest first came to fruition in the winter of 2007, yielding a mere 4000 attendees for their first edition of the festival. With years of cultivation underway, the winter event series has imprinted their existence into a principle component of the city’s winter lifestyle. Each year, artists from all corners of the world are continually shocked at the frigid temperatures that encapsulate the event, yet are met with the warm reception from thousands of attendees flashing their smiles, unbothered by the elements working against them. As their recent edition year has accrued almost 65,000 fervent attendees over three weekends, it bears the question, “How has Igloofest succeeded in attracting people to come party in extreme polar temperatures?”

Nymra & Sofisticated speak to the lively spirit behind Quebec’s festival culture, referring to the “joie de vivre”, or zest for life, that makes Igloofest special. 

Familiar to the Montréal electronic music scene are female duo and Igloofest second-time performers Nymra & Sofisticated, though their fondness of the event runs deeper than their performance history. When asked about their most memorable experience from the festival, the two named Pascale and Sophie speak with unfaltering enthusiasm, drawing energy from each other as they recount their past, “During one of the coldest Igloofest’s, it was like -40 and was cold as hell. We’re playing in the dome, there was a lineup to come in, and it was a huge party. It was perfect because we’re playing all night like six hours in the dome…people were dancing on the bar, the vibe was wow.” Fresh off the raw adrenaline of opening the secondary Videotron stage, it’s clear that this festival occupies a soft spot in their hearts.

Montréal emblazons their incomparable fiery spirit at Igloofest, the self-proclaimed world’s coldest music festivalIGLOO19 0118 SYLVAIN GRANIER 0098 1

Montréalers aren’t unfamiliar to the blustery, sub-zero conditions that can characterize their winter. In fact, the temperature itself has become a pawn in an unspoken challenge of ‘who can one-up each other in partying the hardest’. The chill seems to bring out the crowd’s cheeky antics, composed of individuals dressed in astronaut helmets and spacesuits and matching the weekly #Iglooswag theme, “Space Odyssey”. Co-founder of Igloofest and seasoned festival maven Nicolas Cournoyer boasts about the pleasure of witnessing the festival’s impact on Montréal’s music scene, though it wasn’t apparent overnight. Reflecting back on the process of conceptualizing an outdoor winter festival, he says “At first we laughed about it and thought it’s not a good idea, but the afterthought was, ‘why not?’Apart from family events, there’s no events for youngsters, for people who like electronic music and nothing outside…We thought, give them a good reason to go outside, and what’s the best reason? Throw a party! That was our challenge at first because we didn’t know if people would jump in the idea. Once we started, we knew we had something because there was no competition, nothing to compare to Igloofest.”

Montréal emblazons their incomparable fiery spirit at Igloofest, the self-proclaimed world’s coldest music festivalIGLOO19 0118 SYLVAIN GRANIER 0030 2

Referring to the usage of the shipping containers as a staple addition to the festival’s aesthetic, he continues, “It was special to have that warehouse feeling, to be in a rave but outside with your winter jacket, tuque in -10, -20 degrees Celsius. It’s not only about the music and going to see a show, you go there for the DJ and music. The scenography is really important for us to be in an immersive experience, but the fact that we’re in winter levels up everything, because you can really feel it. You can feel the ambiance between the people when it’s cold and everyone’s packed together.”

Complete with testimony from Tony McGuinness, one of the three faces behind Above & Beyond, he states “Igloofest is like Burning Man in the snow, unique and totally life affirming.” Arctic temperatures be damned, as festival-goers triumph through with nothing less than unadulterated joy painted across their face. The succession of the 13th edition has affirmed if not many, but one outstanding assertion- Igloofest has cultivated and upholds a burgeoning festival scene unparalleled to any other in the world. 

Photo credits: Charles Prot and Sylvain Granier

Above & Beyond blend edgy and uplifting in new single, ‘Distorted Truth’

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Above & Beyond blend edgy and uplifting in new single, ‘Distorted Truth’Above And Beyond Press Shot

Months after their new track’s live performance debut, Above & Beyond have released, “Distorted Truth.” In true Above & Beyond fashion, the arrival is a twofold release, with both an extended version and regular edit of the track. The song is a pensive, moody contrast to the group’s recent euphoric release, “Flying By Candlelight.”

Rich synth textures serve as the backdrop to complex electronic progressions that merge the uplifting trance notes the group is known for while also fusing darker sounds to create ear-catching sonic nuance. The track was debuted in 2018 at Group Therapy 300 in Hong Kong. The single coincides with Above & Beyond’s imminent return to The Gorge Amphitheater in July for their first ever Group Therapy Weekender. The Weekender is a three-day camping event in Washington at one of North America’s most picturesque venues. Tickets and camping packages are available now.

Above & Beyond release the second chapter of ‘Common Ground Companion EP’, “Distorted Truth”

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Providing a dark and twisted counterpoint to the uplifting ‘Flying By Candlelight’, the second chapter of Above & Beyond’s ‘Common Ground Companion EP’ sees Jono, Paavo and Tony unleash ‘Distorted Truth’. This is Above & Beyond at their rawest, channeling the vitality of classic trance instrumentation into a track that manages to simultaneously be brutish

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NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + more

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NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + moreStatement Festival Annika Berglund

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Above & Beyond kick off New Music Friday in fine fashion with their new single, “Distorted Truth.” Tommy Trash and i_o unleash their much-anticipated collaboration, “Let Me Go,” and Medasin returns with his first original of 2019, “Mr. Skitters.” Diplo and Octavian make an impeccable team on “New Shapes,” as do Feed Me and Rosie Doonan on “Feel Love.” Hardwell and Dannic unveil “Chase The Sun,” and Au5 rounds out his two-track Energize EP with “Activate.” The Chainsmokers bring another pop-inspired number via “Who Do You Love” with 5 Seconds of Summer, and David Guetta, Brooks, and Loote gear up for festival season with “Better When You’re Gone.” Quintino can’t be brought down in his new single, and Pixel Terror return to Monstercat with “Ultima.” Tisoki delivers a fresh remix of Party Favor‘s “Blame,” and Jay Hardway takes off into the atmosphere with “Aliens.” R3HAB joins forces with Icona Pop for “This Is How We Party,” and Darude and Sebastian Rejman craft a euphoric dance number in “Release Me.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Annika Berglund

Above & Beyond return to The Gorge Amphitheatre for “Group Therapy Weekender”

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Above & Beyond, the globe-trotting dance act behind this year’s Grammy Nominated single “Northern Soul,” have announced a new “Group Therapy Weekender” festival on July 27 and 28 at the Gorge Amphitheater, one of the most spectacular venues in the world. Ever since Above & Beyond’s sold out 25,000 capacity show at the Gorge in

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Above & Beyond surprise with new release, ‘Flying By Candlelight’

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Above & Beyond surprise with new release, ‘Flying By Candlelight’Above Beyond Press Shot

Above & Beyond continues their unique and euphoric take on the big room sound with “Flying By Candlelight.” The suprise single also marks the trio’s long awaited reunion with “Tightrope” vocalist, Marty Longstaff. “Flying By Candlelight” is feelsy as ever, combining futuristic, pulsating synths with touching lyrics and euphoria-inducing drops that the trio has become known for. over the better half of the past decade. The club-ready appeal of the original adds a new edge to their soulful collection of releases.

Above & Beyond speaks on the track in an official release, saying, “‘Flying By Candlelight’ is a love song about a saviour who rescues our protagonist from a dark, lonely place, taking him through a spectacular night sky. A bit like The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, but a bit longer lasting!” They have released an original, club, and extended cut of the track, all of which are out now on Anjunabeats.

NMF Roundup: Skrillex and Hikaru Utada take on Kingdom Hearts III, Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy team up, Gorgon City unveil ‘Lick Shot’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex and Hikaru Utada take on Kingdom Hearts III, Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy team up, Gorgon City unveil ‘Lick Shot’ + moreSkrille Superjam Bonarroo Live

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Skrillex and Hikaru Utada kick off some of the most prominent of NMF releases with the heavenly “Face My Fears” from Kingdom Hearts III. Also leading the charge are Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy with a powerful drum & bass collaboration, “Life You Up.” Sofi Tukker and ZHU have delivered the sultry “Mi Rumba,” and Gorgon City bring the heat with a feisty new original, “Lick Shot.” Sam Feldt and Kate Ryan dive into their feelings in “Gold,” and Slushii dreams of warmer days with the tropical “Never Let You Go.” 13 summons a storm on the formidable “Uppercut,” and Above & Beyond are “Flying By Candlelight” in their new collab with Marty Longstaff. Lost Kings continue their slew of releases with “FU4E,” and Xan Griffin delivers his first release since his September Self-Discovery album. Peking Duk sprinkle some sweetness in their new original with Jack River, “Sugar,” and Richard Durand puts his intense spin on Armin van Buuren‘s “Wild Wild Son.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Above & Beyond Teams Up With Marty Longstaff For Their First Release of 2019 – ‘Flying By Candlelight’

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Above & Beyond have just released their first single of 2019, and it is a true gamechanger. Working with the vocalist Marty Longstaff, the guys have crafted a simple but powerfully euphoric new single. ‘Flying By Candlelight’ is the first single off of the trio’s forthcoming EP, Common Ground Companion. ‘Flying By Candlelight’ will have

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Above & Beyond Ringing In The New Year AT SnowGlobe Will Give You Goosebumps And Serious FOMO [WATCH]

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SnowGlobe Music Festival has become famous for their legendary videos showing the moments one year ends, and a new one begins. From the breathtaking footage of Flume welcoming in 2015 with his remix of ‘You&Me’ to Odesza ringing in 2016 with their remix of ‘Something About You’, these videos always give watchers incredible FOMO and

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Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL Grime

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Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL GrimeIGLOO18 20180126 PETER RYAU LARSEN 044 2

Montréal is no stranger to icy Canadian winters, but that doesn’t stop the local troops from getting down in the snow. Returning for the 13th edition of the winter event series, Igloofest has announced their annual three-weekend takeover at the city’s Old Port, welcoming all as they embark on nine evenings of frosty festivities.

As the outdoor festival officially commences Jan 17 and comes to a close Feb 2, attendees have the ticketing capabilities to frequent one, or all nights of the multi-weekend frenzy. With previous years of success establishing Igloofest as one of the most prominent electronic events in Montréal, the 2019 edition continues to impress with a large-scale list of headliners, including the likes of Diplo, Above & Beyond, and Maceo Plex as notable billings for each respective weekend. Alongside the aforementioned acts, Igloofest boasts nights that bring out a double-dose of headliners such as longstanding techno masterminds Chris Liebing and Mind Against, and heavyweight trap heads RL Grime and Baauer over the course of two nights.

While some may shy away from the idea of an outdoor winter dance party, previous years have seen as many as 120,000 bundled-up attendees flock to the venue over a single season. Winter may not seem the preferred season for festivals, but Igloofest is here to disprove that narrow notion.

GA and VIP passes for Igloofest 2019 are available for purchase here.

Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL GrimeIgloofest Program

Photo credit: Peter Ryaux Larsen