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Osheaga is one of the most popular international music festivals in the world. Considering the caliber of artists that are featured in the lineup every year and the great organization behind the festival, Osheaga is definitely worth the ticket prices!
This year, Osheaga's main stages will host Rüfüs du Sol, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Baby Keem, along with dozens of up-and-coming artists.
Whether you'll come alone or with friends, Osheaga will make for an unforgettable summer memory.
If you're planning on heading to other music festivals this year like Sziget or Lollapalooza, check out my survival guides for some useful tips!
If you're ready for Osheaga, let's dive into all the details like where it is, useful tips, things to avoid, and what to pack!
Where Is Osheaga?
Osheaga is held every year at a truly unbeatable location: Park Jean-Drapeau.
The stunning, lush green park is actually part of a small island in the St Lawrence River, right in the heart of Montreal. The park is also one of the best viewpoints on the city, and especially at sunset and nighttime, the spectacle of the Montreal skyline will leave you speechless.
While camping is not allowed in the park, the venue is easily reachable by public transportation, which is super convenient and easy to use.
So much so that it doesn't matter where you'll book your accommodation because Jean-Drapeau has a designated metro stop, which makes this location perfectly connected to the rest of the city.
When Is Osheaga 2023?
Save the dates! Osheaga 2023 has officially been announced and will happen on Friday August 4th to Sunday August 6th, 2023.
The doors are expected to open at 1:00pm, although we recommend arriving early to avoid the lines and make sure you don't miss out on the fun!
Performances will begin at 2pm and continue on into the night, ending at 11:00pm, so be prepared for a long day. Remember to bring water bottle and comfortable shoes to ensure you'll have a great time.
Who is Headlining Osheaga in 2023?
Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, and Rüfüs Du Sol fans, get ready. As for who else is playing, the full lineup for Osheaga 2023 is still being released.
I'd recommend checking back to Osheaga's website frequently.
Is Osheaga First-Timer Friendly?
Yes, Osheaga is a great festival for first-timers!
While other music festivals are known to be extreme, all-encompassing experiences, Osheaga is somewhat tamer. The whole festival is organized to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible.
Just the fact that there's no camping allowed creates a more relaxed environment, where people come and go, taking time in the city or in the hostel to take a break back from the hectic environment of the festival.
Can I Bring Cannabis to Osheaga?
Osheaga allows you to bring up to 30 grams of Cannabis or cannabis-based products, provided that they're sealed in SQDC packaging or are government-issued.
It goes without saying that any cannabis from questionable/non-official sources is to be considered illegal and is not accepted inside Osheaga.
If you want to ensure you're doing things right, check out the official information on how to have law-abiding fun with cannabis products in Canada on the official government page.
Survival Tips for Osheaga 2023!
1. Check Out the Lesser-Known Artists Beforehand
Although the complete lineup hasn't been announced yet for Osheaga festival 2023, once you secure your tickets, the best way to experience Osheaga is to completely immerse yourself in the festival.
One of the best things about going to music festivals is being able to not only see your favorite artists but also discover new music and artists that could potentially make your Spotify playlists!
At Osheaga, you'll have the opportunity to see live dozens of artists, so don't limit yourself to the few big names since, in the end, you'll probably end up having the most fun at the secondary stages anyway.
2. Pace Yourself
The general tone here is to be smart.
I'm not saying to refrain from alcohol and substances completely, but you came to the festival for the music, not to get instantly wasted.
Hitting one concert after the other is tiring in itself, and drinking excessively in the summer heat is more likely to ruin your festival experience than enhance the fun.
My advice is to keep yourself hydrated during the daytime and try to hold off the alcohol until the evening. Additionally, you should schedule your day, so you have a few planned breaks between one show and the other.
For this purpose, Osheaga features several lounge zones where you can relax, stay in the shadow and recharge for a bit. The last thing you want is to exhaust yourself and miss out on a concert you were looking forward to!
3. Do Some Cardio or Hit the Gym
Between the high temperatures, dancing, singing, and running around from one stage to another, music festivals can be unforgiving.
To make the most out of your time at Osheaga, and maximize the fun, you want to be at least a bit prepared to be more physically enduring.
If you don't like to run, just schedule a few long walks during the weeks leading to the festival so you're not caught off guard when it comes to the strict timelines and fast pace of Osheaga.
4. Change Your Phone's Screensaver Picture
While the goal is to not lose your phone at all, you should still prepare for the possibility and have a contingency plan in place.
The best way to maximize your chances of getting your phone back is to change the screensaver picture to a screenshot of your friends' phone numbers. This way, if someone finds the phone and wants to get it back to you, they don't have to unlock the device to call your friends and organize a meet-up.
5. Plan a Meet-Up Point to Avoid Losing Your Friends
If you're going to Osheaga with a large group of friends, you'll eventually get separated. Not everybody is interested in the same artists, and you'll probably have different needs at different times, meaning that you'll likely split up and have problems finding each other again in the crowd.
To avoid losing each other permanently, decide on a specific location to be your "home base," a place where you can go and wait for the others to show up if you can't find the group any other way.
Things to Avoid at Osheaga
1. Avoid Going Back Home on the Last Day of Osheaga
The festival is over, and all you want is to head home? You may want to rethink your plan unless you love being stuck in traffic for 10+ hours.
The last day of Osheaga sees thousands of people going back home at the same time and inevitably jamming traffic on the highway leading outside Montreal.
I suggest you take at least one day after the festival to visit the city, or just relax. While it is a bit more expensive to book one extra night, think about the gas money you'd waste being stuck in traffic for half a day!
The alternative to spending one more day in the city is to use public transportation like the train or even flying home.
2. Don't Let Others Dictate Your Schedule
Do you have an Osheaga bucket list that conflicts with your group schedule? Are you looking forward to catching a few non-famous bands, but your friends are not interested?
Don't let others decide for you! If there's a show you really want to see, don't be afraid to go alone. Be sure that no one will be offended if you take some time alone to check out one artist you're interested in.
You can always find your way back to the group later on!
What Should I Pack for Osheaga?
1. A Hydration Backpack
It goes without saying: the festival is held in late July, and hydration has to be a top priority.
A hydration backpack, especially the "camel style" backpacks are real life-saving items at any festival. You can refill it at any drinking fountain around the festival, and you'll never be without water.
If the reason you're not wearing earplugs to festivals is that you're afraid to loom awkward, think again.
Especially if you are a music festival lover, you need to start protecting your ears now. Tinnitus is not a joke, and most veteran festival-goers are already using them.
Additionally, earplugs don't affect the quality of sound at all, all they do is protect your hearing in the long run.
While going around the festival carrying thousands in cash may not be a great idea, be sure to have at least something with you for emergencies. Most stands and kiosks inside Osheaga don't accept credit cards.
Get Planning With Pilot!
Now that you know all the ins and outs of Osheaga, as well as some useful tips, if you're considering visiting Montreal before or after the music festival, you'll want to use Pilot to help make the most of your trip!