Igloofest, nearly ten years old, has changed somewhat since its inception: The size of the grounds have expanded to include a secondary stage. The left of the main stage is an enclave of white painted shipping containers which have been modified and insulated to hold the DJ booth with sound and visual booths opposite. Corporate sponsorship has grown to include various brands of alcohol. Merchandise with the Igloofest logo is available on site (made in Canada). And “onesies” are now so popular that stores dedicated to them have been popping up, and I’m speculating that it is directly because of Igloofest. What started as tacky one-piece snowsuits from the 70s and 80s has evolved into the baggy PJ onesies.
Some stuff hasn’t changed. Igloofest has always had two things going for it; first, the crowd better be dancing even if it’s just to fend off the cold, and second, people have to consume their drinks quickly lest they freeze into cylinders of undrinkable ice. There are still ice structures that are aesthetically pleasing, sporadically placed fire pits at which to warm up (or defrost your beer), the onesie contest, friendly staff, but most of all, the awesome music and dance floor lovers that brace the Montreal cold to experience it.
The first on the decks, and the main Sapporo stage, was MightyKat of Pronto Musique, from Montreal. This DJ, producer and label manager has been on the electronic scene since the late 1990s. She has had residencies at a number of Montreal clubs including Stereo, and she co-founded the “Dizzy” nights at Salon Daomé. She has played both Piknic Electronik and Montreal’s International Jazz Festival multiple times, and in recent years has played prestigious clubs all over the world. Playing first means starting with a empty dance floor, or in this case, quay. But as the festival-goers streamed in they didn’t hesitate to make their towards the main stage, and her funky house style had people bustin’ their moves. You can check out a small clip from behind the booth on the Pronto Musique facebook page.
Starting on the Videotron stage were the “Dirty Duo” from Montreal, AOTY, a.k.a “Artist Of The Year”, from The Good Peoples Records. These guys have also been killing it on dance floors for over a decade, and last Saturday was no exception. They were the first to play in the enclave so they started with a blank slate of a dance floor. It seemed to last only mere minutes as people coming into the enclosure did so while dancing closer to the stage. Before long there was quit the sizable crowd enjoying what the duo was spinning. Their funky electro-rock sound continued to build throughout their set as the rowdy crowd swelled.
Meanwhile, back on the Sapporo stage, the reigns were handed off to DJ/producer Cassy Britton, often referred to simply as Cassy. She is somewhat of a nomad currently calling Los Angeles home but has lived and spun in many cities including, Berlin, Paris and Ibiza. She’s involved with many labels but also runs her own self-tilted one. She has a unique style that is a blend of house and techno, and the Igloofest crowd loved her.
The last artists to play the night were Relish House Mafia, from Lithuania, on the Videotron stage, and M.A.N.D.Y, from Germany, on the Saporro stage. Relish House Mafia did a fantastic job of keeping the pace and the crowd going even though AOTY were a seriously tough act to follow. I wasn’t able to find much info on these guys, but according to the Igloofest website, “Relish House Mafia’s Alixwell Tonyngrosso and Michel Angello are the love children of Siberian sausage barons and contraband rainbow flag smugglers.” I’m not sure what that means, but it’s certainly creative, as was their set. “M.A.N.D.Y”, comprised of Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung, are on the Get Physical label. Their brand of house is definitely more on the disco/funky side, and they know how to anticipate the crowd and keep bodies moving.
The VJs for the evening on the Sapporo stage were Diagraf and Tind, both from Quebec, and on the Videotron stage, Afp7 from France and Data Dada from Quebec. All did a great job working with the musicians and the physical surroundings to provide a creative and captivating visual effects show that complimented the music.
If you’re a fan of fly outdoor dance floors and are able to brave the cold,then treat yourself to a fun night at Igloofest. This coming weekend is your last chance to do so until next winter.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by Stacy Basque