Now that autumn is upon us, that means that the amazing Montreal Ska Festival is just around the corner! The 4th annual edition of the festival is going down in “la belle province” from October 11-14 this year, and promises one of the freshest line-ups yet. Here’s a little idea of what is in store for this year, and check out this hilarious promo video below!
Unlike many music festivals, where the tickets are overpriced and the crowds are less-than-enthusiastic, the Montreal ska fest works hard to put an emphasis on community-building and FUN! This year’s festival promises more intimate club shows, workshops, amazing DJs, afterparties, and more!
A new feature to the festival this year is regional showcases, which show off notable ska scenes from different parts of North America. Montreal has long had a close connection with New York City (the two cities are only 6 hours apart), so it’s fitting that NYC will be showcased this year on October 12 for an AMAZING show at Petit Campus. The Montreal Ska Festival is unique because it creates a space where bands that wouldn’t normally tour in Canada get to come play up here. So making their Montreal debut on this showcase will be the Brooklyn rocksteady band The Forthrights and long-standing Big Apple ska staples The Rudie Crew. And to top off the night, the legendary NYC bassist and producer Victor Rice will be playing with the M7, an all-star backing band of some of Montreal’s best ska musicians!
The closing night of the festival is a huge party at Club Soda on October 13. The festival is teaming up with Stomp Records again to bring you the All Skanadian showcase of some of Canada’s best ska bands. On the bill will be Vinny Savage and the Wild Side, The Johnstones, The Beatdown, Ill Scarlet, and Montreal’s ska party kings The Planet Smashers to send you home with your ears ringing.
But it doesn’t end there! The next morning, on October 14th, there’s a 5 dollar greasy brunch at Ye Olde Orchard pub, and a free show with Mitch “King Kong” Girio (ex. King Apparatus… this guy is a veritable Canadian ska icon!) to soothe your hangover.
The festival only gets better and better. To top it all off, Agent Jay of The Slackers will be DJ’ing every night of the festival, and there are free after-parties every night with phenomenal live acts such as Sound One and Prince Perry from Toronto, and The Relays from Calgary.
Some other great things about the festival:
-They keep the ticket prices low
-You can go just down the street and eat amazing poutine
-Montreal is a beautiful city, and only 5 hours away from Toronto, 2 hours from Ottawa, 6 hours from Boston, 7 hours from NYC, etc. Well worth the trip!
Be sure to tune in to Roots Rock Rebel on CKUT radio in Montreal every Wednesday from 10pm-12am between now and the festival. There will be interviews with the festival artists each week, plus ticket giveaways!
Hope to see you in Montreal!