If Nick Farkas "has never heard so many French" in the crowds of the Osheaga festival, whose programming he orchestrates, it is because of the unprecedented influx of Quebecers to Parc Jean-Drapeau which has helped to cushion the absence of foreign travelers reluctant to roll the dice.
• To read also: Osheaga: “We just want to forget”
• Read also: Osheaga: Polo
According to him, half of the 120,000 spectators who surveyed the huge site of Île Sainte-Hélène live in the Belle Province. Usually, about 65% of visitors come from outside Quebec; a demographic upheaval that can be explained by “uncertainty”.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living, it was riskier than ever to plan a trip several months in advance for foreign travelers. What's more, the staggering occupancy rate of local hotel rooms made it nearly impossible for anyone deciding to attend the festival on a whim.
“I have never seen that in my life, notes Nick Farkas. It's really good for the City [but] less good for us. The encouraging thing is that Quebecers have been there as we have never seen them [before]. »
Although the festival did not set any attendance record this year, the programming director could hardly have drawn a negative assessment of the event. Despite a multitude of pitfalls — to which was added the inevitable labor shortage — Osheaga went smoothly, and possibly on the best-imagined site in its history.
“We have the best festival site in North America,” he says without embarrassment. We take it for granted, but when people come from anywhere [they find that] it's spectacular.
We went through a difficult period. Seeing the world come in and let off steam after three years of shit, wars, negativity and COVID [...] was cathartic. »
A final full of energy
The most anticipated show of the weekend was undoubtedly that of Dua Lipa, even though the unmissable pop star had performed at the Bell Center six days earlier.
Physical, New Rules, Love Again: the British singer, whose popularity soared during the pandemic, chained planetary successes in a flurry, dressed in a sparkling black outfit. And despite the presence of dancers, instrumentalists and a choir of singers, Dua Lipa seemed completely alone in the world, reigning on stage like an empress.
Previously, it was Alan Walker — one of the most popular DJs on the planet — who set things on fire. The author of Faded and Alone directed the spectators like a puppeteer.
In no time, the large area in front of the Scène de l'Île was taken over by electronic music lovers, giving rise to one of the most eventful concerts of the festival.
A calm but attentive crowd enjoyed a moment of contemplation in front of the small Trees stage.
The harmonious contrast between the soft and diffuse voice of Safia Nolin and the “dirty” sound of the instruments that accompanied her was of a disconcerting beauty, and allowed festival-goers to catch their breath before the final sprint of the festival.
Huge crush for the adopted Montrealer.
Arriving on stage in the company of a mini orchestra of wind instruments, the Belgian DJ attracted the skeptical gazes of neophytes before making them dance and jump as he pleased, proving the solidity of the bridge he erected between classical and electronic music.
A great experience.
Supported by live musicians and his collaborators Benny Adam and Soran, the native of Rouyn-Noranda demonstrated his talents more as a singer than as a rapper. After performing several songs tending towards R
– Félix Desjardins, special collaboration