This year’s MRCY Fest was held on Saturday September 26th in the Montmorency, in close proximity to the Laval campus of UDEM. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Angel Haze and Battles were forced to back down from the lineup. However, the day ended up unravelling rather flawlessly, even with those minor set backs.
One thing that was especially cool about this festival, was not only the time in the year it takes place, but also the fact that they used every square inch of the place rather effectively. The clothing brand Garage had a truck with them, and a wheel in which you could spin, and win discounts, or an article of clothing (tote bag, a scarf, socks or even a pair of jeans!). The scarf came in super handy, since the temperatures dipped pretty low after sun down.
There were also a handful of food trucks, like Mi Corazon who served Mexican style food and also La Panthere Verte who were there with their vegan munchies. MRCY Festival also had a handful of other concession stands as well, serving cold beer and various other drinks.
One also interesting use of the space, were the art instalments. Among them, were huge white letters spelling out “MRCY” sponsored by Telus, where festival goers were able to write on them with sharpies being handed out by the staff. This interactive piece was also accompanied by a station where festival goers were also able to print out polaroids of their instagram photos, for free. Phil Allard also made a piece with found objects, entitled Contamination. This piece was essentially a globe made of discarded and old tv satelite dishes.
Iconic Montreal artist Roadsworth also was a presence, with many drawings on the ground, but also a beautiful installment, with ladders, lights and pillows entitled Fates and Ladders. While the majority of the piece was installed in the trees, some ladders, with pillows were scattered around the ground, making it a comfortable area in which festival goers were able to relax between sets or just chill.
As for music, the lovely indie-pop band from New York, Misterwives, kicked the day off with a high energy set, prancing around the stage and having an overall good time. As the day progressed, more and more people showed up. So, by the time July Talk came on a few sets later, they were greeting by shrill screams from a lot of fangirls. Their entire set was interesting, with tonnes of sexual tension between Peter and the lead vocalist, as she was somewhat teasing him. Peter Dreimanis’ deep voice was also reverberating through the entire festival area.
Afterwards, ASAP Ferg came up on stage. The entire crowd went wild. Even fellow photographers in the pit right at the front, were dancing and bumping their heads to the beat of his rhymes. Another rapper also played afterwards, the well renowned Mac Miller. A few minutes before his set, the entire crowd began chanting his name in anticipation, so when he actually came out, the crowd erupted in excited roars.
After weaving through the now really thick crowd, I made my way to Alabama Shakes. Now, I had never really heard of them, let alone listened to their music. But boy, was I in for a surprise. Brittany Howard marched up on stage, followed by the rest of the band. First off, she was dressed beautifully, which only added to what I was about to witness next. Blues-y vibes started emanating from the speakers, and I could not hold myself back from dancing and moving around to the beat of the music. Her voice was also super deep and smooth, honestly could not believe my ears at how flawless and beautiful sounding it was. After the opening song, they continued their flawless set, and closing off a wonderful night.
In sum, MRCY Fest and their staff did an amazing job meshing together both visual arts and music. The entire festival was a total pleasure to attend and I’m looking forward to what next year is going to bring in terms of other artists and the lineup.
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