It's that time of year again folks. The cars have been replaced with tents and the smell of street meat fills our nostrils. That's right, street festivals are up and running once again. If you've never been to a Montreal street festival before, the whole situation can be semi-overwhelming. I know when I attended my first streetfest, I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into. So, if you're curious about the goings on, then here is what to expect.
At this time of year, it rains for a half hour everyday at least. If you're planning on spending a few hours at the festival, do yourself a favour and bring an umbrella. It's better to be safe than... wet.
2. Over Spending
With all the awesome street vendors selling food, clothing and knick knacks, it's easy to get pulled into the spending vortex. The merchandise is pretty awesome and reasonably priced, so it's cool to treat yourself to a lil' something something. But don't go overboard, okay guys?
Photo cred - wallyg
3. Stomach Cramps
Walking on a full stomach is not always a good time. I know it's hard, but pacing yourself will be worth it in the end. That goes for both walking and eating.
4. Slow Travel Time
If you're not a fan of crowds, then this is going to be a rough road for you. Walking through the crowds is going to cut your walking time in half. Walking along a side street is a better idea if you're an impatient walker.
5. Barely Partaking In The Intended Activity
Let's say you go to Mural Fest to check out the artwork. I'm not saying that you won't spend time looking it over and taking pictures BUT I garuntee you will be distracted. There's so much visceral activity going on, you can't help it.
Like you should expect rain, you should also expect sun. Even if the sky is cloudy, that by no means you're protected from the UV rays. So, make sure to load up on that sunscreen.
7. Tarasse Hopping
After a couple of hours of walking around, you're going to want to sit on one of the many tarasses the festival will inevitably have. This is like breaking the seal. Once you start you will not be able to stop. The rest of your afternoon will be dedicated to finding the best spot to sit at before it gets crowded.
Photo cred - david c wong
8. Meeting Strangers
Because these festivals tend to be shoulder to shoulder, you're bound to meet some new folks. Unless they're rude or felons, it's best to just let it happen. You can make some one-night drinking buddies.
9. Sore Feet
Obvious, but I urge you to wear comfortable shoes. Future you will love past you so much more for it.
10. To Be Drunker Than Expected
The drunk you get at a street festival, is the kind that happily sneaks up on you throughout the day. I say, if you're not home at the end of the night, wasted off your ass and smelling like a $12 pitcher, your experience wasn't successful. Go back tomorrow and try again.