Hey Quantum physicists, let’s get going on that law of superposition. I’m double booked this month… no quadruple booked… and need to be in many places at once. So will you, because the June festival calendar for Montreal is insane.
Sundays until October 2
Parc Jean Drapeau
DJs from around the world perform for the Sunday crowds who want to bliss out in the sunshine and on into the evening. June DJ headliners include Josh Wink (US), Chloé (France), Till Von Sein (Germany), Soul Clap (US). Not bad for a way to party your way into Monday. Click HERE for details.
May 26 to June 8
When dance met theatre, we got the Festival TransAmériques. This festival feels more polished than many others in the city, inviting an international roster of performance groups to the city and combining them with select local ones. Highlights this year include diversity dance troupe, Gala by Jérôme Bel and the theatre piece Une Ile Flottante/Das Weisse vom Ei by Christoph Marthaler. Tickets and schedule HERE.
Festival Go Vélo
May 29 to June 5
Put your pedal to the metal with Montreal’s celebration of two wheels (and sometimes three and sometimes one). The Festival Go Vélo’s highlights provide the opportunity to bike the island with hundreds of others. The Tour la Nuit allows for a night bike through a predetermined route (June 3) while the Tour de L’Ile offers multiple routes ranging from 30 km to 50 km, and a special 50 km express for those who want to hustle their way along. All details HERE.
Festival des Arts Vivants/OFFTA
May 30 to June 8
21 shows with a focus on things Indigenous and contemporary, this festival begins its year with an Indigenous welcoming ceremony. Nightly, at Place Émilie Gamelin, an invited artist will create a new work by adapting an old work to the outdoor space. Other highlights include Beauté Brute that combines dance and gender and sexuality and Landline: From Mashteuiatsh to Montréal to Wendake which uses cell phones as a way to explore the city. Information, schedule, and tickets HERE.
Montreal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival
May 30 to June 19
Don’t take our word for it. Find out for yourself why this is the most exciting theatre festival in the city. Local comedians, actors, dancers, magicians, clowns, improvisers, and performers join those from further afield (some of whom who do nothing but perform in Fringe Festivals around the world) to stage productions that clock in at around an hour or less. Many types of passes are available and the vibe is unbelievable in this happy mish-mash of mind blowing goodness and questionable weirdness. Art, music, and other events are generally part of this festival too. Information HERE.
June 1 to June 5
Place des Arts
Electronics, audiovisuals, music and EDM come together for five curated days and nights. Some heavy hitters from the electronic industry help with the programming (Resident Advisor, Red Bull Music Academy, Boiler Room) to ensure that the Nocturnes are worthy events. Information HERE.
Elektra and the BIAN International Digital Arts Biennial
June 1 to July 3
This year’s theme is Automata, art made by machines. There are a variety of artsy things planned for this one, including performances at Arsenal and the SAT. For the ELEKTRA details are HERE.
June 2 to June 5
Rue Mt. Royal
Let the poetry into your heart. Mt. Royal transforms itself into a giant chapbook for Pavé Poesie. Readings under the big tent, a slam competition, books of poetry for sale, and plenty of events are planned. Queen Ka Reçoit, Yann Perreau and Mara Tremblay will perform. See HERE for details.
Suoni per Il Popolo
June 2 to June 20
Sala Rossa, Casa del Popolo, and La Vitrola
Because of solid ongoing eclectic local programming at these venues, it’s a little hard to figure out when this annual music festival starts. However, during the course of the festival there is an emphasis on experimental music. A further focus is put on Canada, and more specifically Montreal. In addition to music, there is a film series and other performers who are included in the programming. Facebook page information HERE.
Festival Le Mondial de La Bière
June 8 to June 12
Palais de Congres (201 Viger St; Place d’Armes metro)
Drink and be merry and get out your abacus. The festival’s numbers speak for themselves. Over 586 different beers, ciders, hydromels, and more products are available, with 536 of them straight up beer. 282 of those will be brand new beers. Over 104 different beer brasseries will be offering you those amazing products (40 of which are from Quebec). If you like beer (or just want to get sloppy in the middle of the day while drinking a beer), this one is for you. Click HERE for details. Tasting coupons are $1, admission is free.
Festival Grand Prix Sur Crescent
June 9 to June 11
Most Montrealers claim to stay far away from this bash that takes over Crescent for a three day bros and hos display. If vaping, Red Bull, getting pumped, and checking out sports cars is your thing, I know where to find you. Info HERE.
Montreal Grand Prix
June 10 to June 12
Along with the Crescent crowd comes the rest of the Grand Prix. F1 Cars racing around the Gilles Villeneuve circuit for 70 laps to glory can be heard everywhere in the city. People buy tickets, though, and watch. Supposedly it’s exciting. At night, they go to Club La BOOM, Hotel 10, and Club Muzique to DJ it out. It’s supposedly a jet set event that bring tremendous revenue to the city. I’ve never met a single person who has been to the actual race from Montreal. Perhaps I don’t run with the right international crowd. Info HERE.
La Franco Follies
June 9 to June 18
It’s not a comedy festival (it’s not foolies!), but a music one. Place des Arts and some major performance venues open their doors to those who chanter en fracnais! There are plenty of free shows as well. This year, Jean Leloup, Les Trois Accords, IDALG, Thomas Fersen, Mononc’ Serge, Les Soeurs Boulay, Safia Nolin… pretty much anyone who is anyone is singing except for Coeur de Pirate. Information HERE.
June 9 to June 19
One day Montreal decided that the best way to prevent graffiti artists from making art anywhere and everywhere was to give them a dedicated place to make their show pieces. OK, that isn’t really what happened. Taking inspiration from graffiti artists and under the banner of urban art/street art, Montreal allows an international crowd to paint our buildings. The result are some outstanding art works that spread from Place des Arts up to Mile End, each one hanging around for a few years before being replaced. This year, French artist Fafi will be here along with British D*Face, and local Stikki Peaches and Hsix of Ashop will be among those given space to make great public art with spray paint. DJs and street culture generally mesh well with this one. There are even guided tours. Info HERE.
Grain de Ciel/Kite Festival
June 11 to June 12
When I say “circus” you think… “kite”? Maybe not. But, both of them are fun and associated with childhood. TOHU is hosting Montreal’s kite festival. In addition to performances, there are workshops as well. Free. Info HERE.
Salon des Arts Martiaux
June 11 to June 12
Palais de Congrès
Want to know where you can get your nunchuks? Martial arts of all kinds are celebrated at this annual salon. Demonstrations, master classes, sample classes, world class athletes, and a market to buy what you need are all here. Details HERE.
Italian Contemporary Film Festival
June 12 to June 19
Cinema Guzzo, Montreal
If getting off the city streets and into a nice air conditioned movie theatre sounds like the best way to spend a day, check out this film festival celebrating Italian cinema. Info HERE.
Montreal Folk Festival sur la Canal
June 15 to June 19
I volunteered for this festival in its first year by the St. Ambroise brewery and have seen it grow ever since. It’s a chilled out chance to watch some more mellowed out music with an acoustic feel, even if it’s played on electric guitars. Think singer-songwriters and bands that like flannel. Plenty of locals step up: Caribou Stew, Katie Moore, Dan Livingstone, and Bloodshot Bill. This year some of the bigger names are John McEuen and Joel Plaskett. This year has a very special tribute to the Grateful Dead too. Tickets HERE.
Marché des Possibles
June 17 to August 7
5635 St Dominique
It isn’t so much of a festival as a weekend market that combines vendors with food with drink with performances and events run by the POP Montreal crowd. The vibe is local and the offerings always delightful. Some weekends its yoga, some it is music. Info HERE.
World Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition
Palais de Congrès
If you want to know what the car of the future (and the present) looks like, the EVS29, the World Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition will be your thing. Information HERE.
Montreal Baroque Festival
June 23 to June 26
Themed around the phrase “Tempest in a Teapot,” the baroque festival makes sure the summer of music has its classier, more refined side — but certainly no less passionate. This year Purcell, Bach, and Boismortier are among those that will be played around the city. Concerts and tickets HERE.
Montreal International Jazz Festival
June 29 to July 9
It’s not exclusively jazz but it’s an anything goes kind of event with free programming and paid events that blow people away year after year. The main attractions this year are Oliver Jones, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Brian Wilson, Cat Power, Chick Corea, Charlie Hunter, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kool n’ the Gang, Noel Gallagher, and Taj Mahal. Wicked. Tickets and schedules HERE.
Mtl en Arts
June 29 to July 3
Multidisciplinary arts festival offers an open air art gallery along St. Catherine St. It has of course grown to include film, installations, live demonstrations, and much more. Details can be found HERE.