Text by Rachel Levine
While most downtown festivals in Montreal seem touristically large, overly commercial, or just invisible, the OUMF was none of these. Instead, it was possible to watch the performers at close range and enjoy the offerings of the many different kiosks without long waits. Apart from the ever-present sponsor of Desjardins, the performers and the kiosk offerings were local talents. OUMF felt like a love affair with Montreal.
St. Denis featured two main stages at opposite ends, with good local lineups on both: Les Deuxluxes, Chocolat, Gazoline, Socalled, Les Marinellis, and Les Canailles. It was hard to choose who to see.
In the middle of the street was a breakdancing area. The competitiondrew a large crowd. Outside the stage, behind the crowd, other dancers showed off their b-boy skills, including a few young kids who could do the moves as fearlessly as their counterparts.
Art and performance was equally a component. I tried my hand at making a seriograph print with Pica, though the only role I had was spreading speedball inks on their prepared screen. I loved having a local mural artist draw my “dream” on a tiny card with Dessine-Moi un Projet. The artists working were names I recognized from Mural Fest: Tava and Bonar.
The OUMF continues on St. Denis until September 12.