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7 Things I Learned From My First-Ever Osheaga Festival

Turns out, festival life might just be for me afterall.

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
Person at Osheaga music fesitval in Montreal, Quebec.

Person at Osheaga music fesitval in Montreal, Quebec.

Mike Chaar | MTL Blog

This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

And just like that Osheaga has managed to come and go so swiftly, but the memories will certainly last long enough 'til the esteemed Montreal music festival is back next year.

Despite Osheaga being around for 15 years, this year's festival marked my very first time going. Why? Well, Montreal summers aren't my favourite, mainly because of how hot it is, so I've always strayed away from festivals or anything that would lead me to perspire more than I, or anyone within a few feet of me, is comfortable with.

However, this time around, Osheaga was calling my name. I mean...Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, Dominic Fike, Meduza and so many other of my fave artists would be in the 514, so how could I not go? Y'know?

Well, turns out — festival life might actually be for me. Not only did I have a stellar time, but I discovered how much I loved feeling and being a part of the Osheaga energy, so much so that I'm already yearning for more.

Although it was a hoot and all, there were a few things I learned during my Osheaga experience that surely taught me a lesson (or seven) when it comes to festivals.

Locating your friends at a festival isn't easy

Finding friends at Osheaga or any festival for that matter should be considered an Olympic sport. You'd think a quick text or a pinned location would be enough to get your groove on with your crew, but turns out it's much more difficult than that.

"What stage are you at?!" is not something I thought I'd be frantically screaming into my phone as much as I did and while I managed to finally reach a few pals during my time at Osheaga, I only managed to get it down on the very last day.

Mike Chaar | MTL Blog

Festivals get real hot and sweaty real fast

I don't love the heat, hence my reasoning for not having attended an outdoor event this big prior to this year, but it's just something you have to come to accept when at a festival.

Turns out, the majority of festivalgoers are just as hot and sweaty as you. Not only are you in a large crowd, dancing in 30+ degree heat, but you're also trekking from stage to stage trying to catch your fave artists — making the whole experience a true cardio workout. Luckily, I came prepared with a portable electric fan, paper towels and face toilettes so that I'd feel as refreshed as I could.

OMG. So. Many. Lines

Considering how popular Osheaga has come to be, I wasn't at all surprised that there'd be lines, but I didn't expect there to be a line for quite literally everything. Lines for the metro, lines to get into the festival, lines for drinks. You wanna eat something? Lines. Need to use the bathroom? Lines. You're in the bathroom area? Lines of coke. Lines, everywhere...I swear.

Wearing white shoes is a bold choice

Festival fashion is something I've always loved, so I knew I had to get some lively outfits sorted for the three-day weekend event, many of which included white shoes.

Now while you might be heading to the festival with white shoes, you will be leaving with anything but. Wearing white is certainly a bold choice, but it's a choice many of us are willing to take. As a good friend told me, it's best to have a set of "festival shoes" to wear, which I can now proudly say I own.

Festivals are EXPENSIVE

And I'm not just talking about the cost of the tickets! Turns out three days' worth of food, alcohol and more food adds up — and these are festival prices you're paying. You'd normally be able to get away with grabbing a bottle of water and a quick bite for a few bucks at just about anywhere! But at a festival? You'll be dishing out an arm and a leg. While I won't disclose how much Osheaga set me back, I will say that it was worth every penny.

Who is gay and who is straight?

I swear, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish who is gay or who is straight nowadays — toss in the festival fashion factor and it's nearly impossible. What's to be done about this? Asking for me.

Your knees and back WILL hurt

If you're in your prime, then this might not apply to you. But to my soon-to-be-in-their-thirties-and-up group, I am here to tell you that Advil, Voltaren and a good heating pad are a must for festival life.

Not only did I have to do a full-on stretching routine before heading to Osheaga, but I also completed a stretching routine or two while there. While many people keep the party going at the end of the day, I was heading home to apply Voltaren to my knees and pop a pain killer while I pour Epsom salts into the bath I'm running — but again, so worth it.

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