March 23, 2012 3:27 PM   Subscribe

OSHEAGA 2012 in Montreal! Tell me all about it!

I'm planning on buying tickets to OSHEAGA in Montreal.


Osheaga, which sounds awesome and should always be in caps, "is a unique and eclectic music and arts festival staged in the breath-taking environs of Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène." Truth is, I hardly know anything about this festival. I've also never been to Quebec, Montreal, or most of the Northeast, so any information is helpful.

Some questions:

1. Do tickets sell out quickly? The tickets went on sale today and I'd hate to miss it, but...

2. I may have other obligations during the festival -- do these tickets hold resale value? I mean, if the answer to the first question is "BUY TICKETS NOW OH GOD", then I think I'm good on this front. I just don't want to be stuck with a $225 ticket that will only sell back for a fraction of the price on stubhub/etc.

3. Where to stay in Montreal? I found some previous Osheaga threads (namely this one http://bit.ly/GLdh2G ) that answer this question, but any more suggestions are appreciated. They're will probably be three of us from the states traveling from CT/VT by some means. We've done a few festivals together in the US, but none of us have been to Montreal. If we're able, we'll couchsurf.

4. What's the enforcement of cannabis use/drug use in Montreal like? I realize everybody probably has a different answer for this, but might as well throw this question in, as it is a music festival.

That's all I've got. Tell me more about Osheaga!

posted by apip to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help with the first two questions, but I would recommend staying near the Berri-UQAM metro station. You could find hostels, hotels, or just sublet someone's apartment for a few days. Berri-UQAM is a three-way hub, so you have a direct route to St Helen's Island via subway, plus basically anywhere else in Montreal if you want to explore. (Which you should!)

Additionally, if you have bicycles, it's pretty simple to bike over the Jacques-Cartier bridge to the island too. I just did that bike ride two days ago and it's an amazingly beautiful view of the city. That also puts you close to the street St Denis which has ample nightlife and restaurants, and also very close to St Laurent (more nightlife and food). You'd be far away from Crescent which feels more touristy to me, so I don't think you'd be missing much but it's not too difficult to get to anyways.

Also I've heard cannabis enforcement is pretty lax. People's balconies and Mount Royal (see Tam Tams) are two of the most popular places to smoke. Here's an article from my school paper that may help a little. I'm not too sure about other drugs.
posted by thepdm at 5:07 PM on March 23, 2012

You might get more helpful answers on reddit's /r/montreal forum.

I would venture to guess that you wouldn't have trouble selling a ticket if you couldn't be there.
posted by zadcat at 5:50 PM on March 23, 2012

Regarding question #1, there's this tweet from Osheaga itself: https://twitter.com/#!/osheaga/status/183015333542625280
posted by Rora at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2012

Stay near a metro and near a Bixi bike station. Berri is fine, but you won't suffer if you have to change lines. If you have a car, you will have trouble parking there. Airbnb is fine, too.

Enforcement is near zero, assuming you don't do anything else illegal at the same time.
posted by jeather at 7:18 PM on March 23, 2012

I've been to Osheaga the past 4 years and love it. I go alone, wander round the stages, making sure I see bands I really want to see and experience new (to me) acts as well. The atmosphere is always good. Food and drink selections are good, though not cheap.

It's highly unlikely it will sell out. Last year there was a claimed attendance of 38,000 for the Friday night for Eminem, which was 'close to capacity'. While this year's lineup is much better than last year overall, there isn't one act with that same kind of draw. I believe the Sat/Sun last year got in the region of 20-25,000. I imagine resale value would be limited, so be sure you can go before buying tickets.

The only negatives I can say, are a) as the festival has grown to those kinds of numbers, it has gotten harder to move between stages if there a several big bands on around the same time, with crowded bottlenecks happening at narrow access points, and b) getting off the island at the end if the night can be a pain as everyone crowds towards the metro station.

Personally I usually just Hotwire a hotel downtown, though there are lots of accommodation options. The last couple of years have been more difficult as tourism has been picking up and there's lots of other stuff going on that weekend,

And while I dont personally indulge, I suspect you'll have no problems with Number 4.

Feel free to mefimail any more questions.
posted by valleys at 8:12 PM on March 23, 2012

Awesome responses! Thanks everybody.
posted by apip at 4:32 PM on March 24, 2012

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