Wow. That’s crowded.
Osheaga felt more crowded than it has in years. Tickets sold out in almost every category, though, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Jean Drapeau was packed with people. This was great — wow, did this feel like a festival. But it was also not — lines were long for food and toilets. There also wasn’t enough green, empty space to chill out in as the park was redesigned. Osheaga is changing.
Nonetheless, people came out in huge groups to enjoy the sun, the nice weather, the vibe, and the music. Bands from LA and the UK played to massive audiences, as did bands that were local or came from places closer to home. Oldsters delighted in the Flaming Lips (who probably found quite a few new fans). Youngsters lost their minds over TikTok sensations like Lovejoy. There was always something good starting, so inevitably the day became a either zig zagging for short sets or committing to one and letting go of the rest.
Some of the highlights definitely included headliner Rufus del Sol turning the entire park into a massive club with their huge bass driven dance tunes. It felt so inclusive with everyone moving, everyone smiling. For myself, another highlight was seeing Quebec girl made good Charlotte Cardin. For those who didn’t get tickets for her upcoming show at the Bell Centre in Laval, this was a chance to see why she’s such a sensation. People ran to her stage not to miss a single song from the beautiful, sexy, a dynamic musician. It’s easy to see how she has collected this dedicated fanbase. She’s charismatic, energetic, and touching all at the same time. You go, Charlotte.
Two other great shows on the big stages included the Flaming Lips. Appearing first in his transparent bubble, Wayne Coyne definitely got the indie music fans from older generations on their feet. In fact, quite a few parents came with their exposed-to-great-music kids to see the band and stood proudly as their progeny sang along to familiar favourites like “Do You Realize?”
I would be remiss not to mention the great performance by Wallows. Out of LA, this band gained recognition via Spotify and aren’t really well known in Canada. However, they will be now! They’ve been compared to the Arctic Monkeys and its easy to see why with their upbeat sharp tunes and devilish looks. They drew a young crowd which swooned with their music.
As for other acts I caught, one more stood out to me — Lovejoy. Competing in the Rufus Del Sol time slot is hard for anyone. But playing their first show in Canada, this British band from Brighton is set to claim North America. First off, they’re cheeky. Second off, they’re on fire with their energy, their songwriting, their lyrics. The devotion of the crowd and their sheer joy was evident and infectious. Lovejoy will be back sooner than we think and when they come, get tickets.
The other great things at Osheaga to check on the first day are FASHIONS. So, a few trends are evident. First, barbie pink. Bright, neon pinks mixed with white and pale pinks are everywhere. It’s eye candy. Second, the 80s. The 80s have a lot of different fashionable moments, but some of the things that recur are patterned leggings in neon colors, neon just in general, but also more of lacy goth blacks combined with metal and leather. Also, if there’s something that can have LED lights on it, whether shoes, face masks, or hats, people are coming in with some shine for their sparkle. Thirdly, men love those shorts and button down shirt combinations with wacky designs all over them. They’re like updated Hawaiian shirts. The only place I see this look is at festivals, and in particular, groups of men wearing the exact same outfit. Are they bachelor parties or just guys who don’t want to lose one another in the crowd? Fourthly, gender fluid make up and hair. Men and women alike are experimenting with eye designs and patterns that use liner to create flaming patterns and putting rhinestones and pearls in their hair. More to come on Osheaga fashions in coming days, so look for interviewers with festival goers to hear what they’re wearing and why.
Osheaga continues until August 6. For details on this year’s festival and upcoming events, click HERE.