Arriving in the town of Montebello, Quebec through torrential rain and nightmarish traffic for what would turn out to be a truly spectacular weekend, the electric feeling of excitement was evident for the 10th anniversary of the Amnesia Rockfest, which takes over the entire area. Every home and every business offers extra conveniences and advertisement for the festival goers. Many locals even go as far as offering their backyards as campsites, their showers for a small fee, and coffee and refreshments throughout the weekend. It truly is a spectacular sight to behold, as everyone here really gives their (now extremely profitable) annual festival a sense of pride.
After a four-hour bus ride, trying to find our campsites was a bit of a debacle. The site was very poorly lit and left many tent holders wandering around aimlessly, hoping for some clue as to where their designated space may or may not be. Our Bucketlist photographer was wrongly directed to the regular camping area as opposed to the VIP camping area (although let’s be honest, there really wasn’t much of a difference,) and was forced to take her tent down and build it back up in total darkness. On top of which, the evening’s earlier downfall of rain left the terrain itself in a swamp-like state, rendering even the sturdiest pair of shoes completely useless.
Once the masses found their footing in their respective tents and sleeping areas, the excitement once again took over. The town has now issued a bylaw which makes drinking on public streets in Montebello perfectly legal, much to the chagrin of local police officers who could not have looked more disappointed that there were no tickets to be handed out. As the alcohol began to flow and music from event headliners System of a Down began to blare through almost every speaker in the city, the feeling that things could only get exponentially better from here seemed to be universal.
It should be noted that even though I was forced to miss them due to the aforementioned events, there were shows taking place on this night which included Asher Media Concours Rocker winners and Montreal locals DistortHead, hardcore heroes Propaghandi, and what I have been told by witnesses was a truly killer tribute to alt-rock legends Rage Against the Machine.
Written by Syd Ghan
Photography by Isa Hoyos Ishca Fotografía