Montreal has an overwhelming number of festivals and major draws during the summer, but my favorite of all is Piknic Electronik, an annual electronic music festival held twice or three times each weekend all summer long on Saint Helen’s Island (Ile Saint-Helene) in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River. Piknic is now in its ninth season, and keeps getting better every year. I’ve been going since the very beginning, and through the years I’ve seen it transform from a small, unknown mini dance fest to an international success story. Its organizers frame their mission as such:
Placed under the sign of friendliness, the Piknic Electronik is a place of unique and family friendly gathering to enjoy both the good weather, a breathtaking view over the city and a quality electronic music, all in a comfortable and warm. Mindful of its mission to democratize electronic music and countless talented people in the Montreal electronic music scene and internationally, the Piknic Electronik is a weekly event combining hedonism and innovative discovery. For an eclectic classical times, sometimes bold and unusual combinations, the Piknic Electronik will appeal to both fans and lay like that. Each week, the public is invited to a true course 101 different variations of electronic music.
If you find yourself in Montreal this summer it’s an absolute must-do. Apart from the incredible DJ lineup, the dance floor sits beneath the extraordinary Alexander Calder sculpture “L’Homme” (70-feet high and 72-feet wide, with a time capsule buried beneath which will be opened in 2067) built for the Expo 67 (the 1967 World Exhibition hosted by Montreal which coincided with Canada’s 100th Anniversary festivities). The surrounding gardens, canals, and water parks allow for the best chillout rooms anyone could ever dream of, as well as areas for the kids to horse around. With a similar energy to Burning Man and a modern Woodstock wafting through the air, Piknic is the only place in the world where I’ve ever seen 75-year-old wearing giant sunglasses tripping on E dancing next to a 4-year-old mini raver (the baby was the better dancer by the way). I can say that in all my ten years living in Montreal, some of my all-time mostest favoritest memories were created at Piknic. There is simply nothing else like it, and if you’ve never been you need to make plans to come as soon as possible. For a full listing of this summer’s lineup, be sure to visit PiknicElectronik.com.
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LINKguide (June 6, 2011)