Header photo by D. Niko Holmes
Piknic Electronik wrapped up its 13th season of dancin’ Sundays yesterday, having set a new attendance record with 109,096 visitors for the summer of 2015. Its second consecutive summer surpassing 100,000 visitors, this festive weekly appointment reconfirms its place among the top attractions of Montreal’s cultural summer. With the success of new initiatives and local partnerships, alongside the continued success of its international developments, Piknic comes off its busiest season ever. And it’s not finished yet!
A Lucky 13th
The number 13 brought good fortune to Piknic. This season not only enabled the organization to reach new heights in terms of affluence, but also set a new crowd record on its opening Sunday in May, with close to 12,000 visitors, a 2500-person leap past its old record for a single day. It proved a great start to a record season, despite two Sundays canceled to rain and a little shaky weather in the middle of the summer. According to General Director Nicolas Cournoyer, “the fact that we have again reached 100,000 festival-goers this summer confirms that Piknic has universal appeal. This is a well-established city attraction that’s also a big draw for visitors exploring our city.” For 13 years, Piknic has helped Montrealers rediscover the bucolic charms of Parc Jean-Drapeau, its spectacular view of the metropolis and its famous “L’homme” sculpture by Calder, who has become the international emblem of the event. From its humble beginnings attracting hundreds of insiders, Piknic has become a truly popular event that now averages 5,000 piknicers every Sunday, who come to dance thanks to, among other things, a tireless team of 500 seasonal employees, of which 180 operate the site every Sunday, from dawn till deep into the night.
Programming that’s Always on Top of the Times
Through its established acts and emerging talents, Piknic always aims to explore and share the widest range of current electronic music. With over 286 hours of music offered this summer, there have never been two similar Sundays at Piknic. This season’s program richly delivered 153 performances across two stages. If our programming team has always made it a point to prioritize the talent from here (74% of the artists featured are Canadian, 9 out of every 10 from Montreal), they also scoured the international circuit to offer us new sounds from 11 countries: Ireland, England, Spain, France, Germany, United States, Trinidad & Tobago, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Mexico. This summer also celebrated Montreal’s many thriving collectives such as Voyage Funktastique, Bleury, Boomclap, Danse Contact, Oasis / 5 Starz Dope Soundz, Ghotiitout, Moto Made, Lisbon Lux, Jack’s Kartel, Saintwoods, Beaux Dégats, and SJU, all of whom work tirelessly to sustain the vitality of the local electronic scene and its international status.
Even More Winning Partnerships
Ever an ardent supporter of strong collaboration, Piknic teamed up this summer with Quartier des spectacles for three nights at Jardins Gamelin that drew very large crowds. This partnership capped off a summer of collaboration with Fringe, Chromatic, Les Week-ends du Monde, MEG, ÎleSoniq, Printemps Numérique, Festival Mode & Design, and Osheaga, a wide range of events that confirm that electronic music has become a contributing ingredient in the recipe for success in projects aimed at the general public.
VHS // van horne ∙ station: An Instant Hit
Offered in three distinct volumes (August 8, August 22, and September 12), Piknic’s latest original project – coproduced with MURAL and Premiers Vendredis in collaboration with Rosemont La Petite-Patrie – “VHS // van horne ∙ station” was an immediate success that struck Montreal like a thunderbolt. Encouraging citizens to reclaim and rediscover urban spaces, the alluring cocktail of block party, live visual creation, culinary exploration, and dancing will be back in the summer of 2016. Until then, you can still enjoy the site and colorful murals that adorn it now.
Piknic Exports Well
The year 2015 marks the beginning of international development initiatives, and the concept of Piknic travels very well. After two successful debut seasons in Melbourne and Dubai in January, Piknic made a first jump to Paris in April, as well as two visits to Cannes this summer and the launch of a first season in Lisbon in July. To the success of these new ventures, we must add the four-year-old Barcelona Piknic, a precursor of this international adventure, which completed another thriving season on September 20. Overall, these international events drew more than 135,000 new piknicers to the party in 2015 to experience the unique atmosphere that has shaped the reputation of the event. Over the next five years, Piknic aims to have set its banner in ten cities across Europe, Oceania, and North and South America. As this news release is being distributed, the organization has just confirmed the addition of a first edition in Sydney, Australia, in January 2016.
They’ll be back for the 10th anniversary of Igloofest in January 2016.