ShazamFest #18: A truly electric event

moon Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

I was not able to attend day one of the 18th annual Shazam as it occurs on a Thursday and my friends (who know how to drive) had to go to work, but we got there as soon as we could the following day. Having weathered hurricane-type conditions the night before in Montreal I was sure we were in the clear.

DJ with green
DJ. Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

On Friday evening, we set up our tents, had some snacks, and eased our way into the festival by hearing DJ RISA closely in the distance. By this point I am dreaming about getting my first Shazam burger (seriously guys it’s the best burger I have ever had). I put my cravings on hold and started moving to DJ RISA’s intergalactic dark house beats. With the beautiful black-light  dancing hut and colourful clothing and smiles, it was a great way to kick off my fourth Shazam!

Stage. Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

After dancing in the forest hut, I walked along the path lined with art and circus games lit by more magical lighting and decorations. To the left, down a big hill I could see that someone was suspended only by their hair. As they spun high and low, roars of thunder could be heard in the background. I began to worry a bit about the weather but everything continued as normal. I proceeded to join my friend Alex at the pizza stand which showcased DJ Mike Thifault playing the classic Canadian hip-hop band Choclair among other great hits.

Shazam Burger. Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

In true festival fashion, I did not know where the rest of my friends are and it was at this point that the sky decided to wreak total havoc. Hurricane-esque winds and torrential rain were in full force until the hip-hop tunes were suddenly out when the whole festival lost power. At this point all we could do is wait and laugh, and some mud wrestled. The storm was so fierce that I had assumed we would all have to pack up and leave, but after about an hour of angry planet action, the power returned. For obvious reasons, the Pyrocircus finished their performance the following day.

People dancing. Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

The next day was as if nothing happened as the sun was hot and shining and most festival goers hung out in the creek to cool down. This year, stick and poke tattoos were available so three of my friends and I decided to get a forever memento of this special weekend.

drag show
Konston Kreme. Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

 I was ready for my second Shazam burger and to see Shazam favorites such as Tribal Roses, and my favorite burlesque queen Konston Kreme. Miss Kreme came out dressed as big bird’s sexy blue cousin and did a killer job as usual. It was such a nice surprise to see her back. El Balcón closed out the night with their smoldering latin beats and I decided that I had to head back to my tent (which only had a very small puddle in it from the storm).

friendship hands
Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

Although this year was paired with extreme weather conditions, my Shazam experience was still a memorable one thanks to the amazing team, artists and performers. I have managed to recruit even more friends to join next year. Local residents of the area can stay for free.

Woman with shazam burger
Shazam Fest 2023. Photo Ashley Gaujean.

Thank you Shazam!!

ShazamFest was held July 13- 16th, 2023 and will be returning next year. For more information please click HERE