It’s been a long, long while since my last party on a Sunday here in Montréal. In fact, it seems almost unheard of here. With the 3am curfew on venues (bar 3-4), the nightlife here can sometimes suffer, especially with quality music. There are glimmers of hope for the underground techno scene here; Salon Daomé, Newspeak, and the incredible Stereo Bar. Piknic Électronik, is not the pioneer, but still remains as the best summer party Montréal has to offer. This year marked Piknic’s 13th year, and it was a huge success. With over 100,000 people in attendance, and averaging over 5,000 people per Sunday. From May until September every year, every weekend is taken up with incredible international and local acts. Maya Jane Coles (Great Brittan), Art Department (Canada), Forrest (Canada), Kill Frenzy (Belgium), Molly (France), and local legend Misstress Barbara (Canada). These are just a select few from the huge number of acts they have every weekend.
I was lucky enough to get some time off and go to one of these famous Sundays, and damn it was great. The second last weekend had D&D, Molly, and I even spend a bit of time with Misstress Barbara up on stage. The crowd is the first thing you notice, full of passion under a hot, hot summer sun. The incredible sculpture towers over the ravers while an impressive audio set up surrounds you. There is no bad place to stand and dance, you’ll never miss out on the action.
Molly was a down right monster. She was playing tunes you’d expect at 5am for the sunrise, not the sunset. No one was still. But nothing compared to Misstress Barbara. I was told she is a famous local act that closes Piknic every year. After the first 30 minutes, I could believe that. Playing both vinyl and CD’s, mixing flawlessly with perfect timing and taste. The crowd was her slave, and she was enjoying it.
Getting home was and always is a struggle from Île Sainte-Hélène. With only one metro station and thousands of party goers, you’ll have to wait a while to get a train back to Montréal and Berri-UQAM. From there, you have a choice, home to get ready for the next day, or out to an after hours club to party on.
If there is anything I took away from this… seriously, do it.
Here are two from the legend that is Misstress Barbara from her new release on Transmit Recordings.
Piknic Électronik is now located in several cities around the world; Montréal, Barcelona, Melbourne, Dubai, Paris, Cannes, and Lisbon.