escape from canada

by catquest

As an esteemed investigative journalist and known lover of sounds, summer 2023 all built up to one event for me. Osheaga, my first music festival and known stomping ground of McGill and UVM students alike. Don’t be mistaken though, this trip was steeped in journalistic integrity! I went to Osheaga as a WaterTower reporter first and a music-enjoyer second, just so that I could give the WaterTower readers a true report on what really played out on the stages of Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Although I did go to a music festival, let’s not get carried away here. I went to one day of a music festival, because that shit is expensive! However, with the built in discount of Canadian dollars being ~75 cents to every American dollar, I basically had a 25% off Osheaga discount. It was like the wage gap was lifted for me for 3 days only. Virginia Woolf would be so proud! This presented the first challenge of the journey, I had to decide which lineup would make for the overall most cunty day. Though the competition was tight (Friday had Rina Sawayama, Alex G, and JPEGMafia), there was one standout day for me— the closer. Japanese Breakfast, Julia Jacklin, Kim Petras, and then Kendrick Lamar as the closer. Are you kidding me? Sooo cunty. So me and fellow WaterTower correspondent “Em” (identity shielded for journalism) set out on a long, weary 2 hour journey to the beautiful lands of Canada.

The next problem came at the border, when my car was randomly selected to be completely searched. Like, not a casual search whatsoever. This was an in depth, dig-through-clothes type of search (I got my pepper spray confiscated, that’s the real cost of universal healthcare!). Anyways, Em and I successfully made it to Montreal after my run in with the Canadian police (thankfully the last one of the trip), and after a few days of running around the city, it was our time to shine. Me and Em embarked to the metro line to Osheaga with viscous hangovers, bagel sandwiches, one joint, many shooters, and a dream.

by kay sheeger

One batshit thing which happened many many times throughout the day were the jets of water which would get sprayed onto the crowds every 20 minutes or so throughout the day. On one hand, I was thankful for this, because it was 80 degrees and sunny, which is borderline heat exhaustion-inducing for someone who goes to the University of Vermont. On the other hand though… These were not just sprinkles of water. It was actually like a firehose. People would actually scatter, the opposite of a mosh. And during Beabadoobee’s set, we may or may not have been trying to keep the aforementioned joint lit when one of these water jets went off. However, we made it through these trying times to our mid-festival sets.

Armani White (the guy who wrote the song “Billie Eilish” when Billie Eilish actually performed earlier in the festival), Julia Jacklin, and Japanese Breakfast were the next sets. Though going to these performances meant we had to miss Kim Petras, Central Cee, and Fred Again, I have absolutely no regrets. Despite being sunburned, dehydrated, and running on a $20 pizza and a Monster, I was revived. Em and I had camped out for the barricade, and seeing Paprika live completely healed me. And then, we had to run across the entire park to try and get anywhere near Kendrick’s performance. I have no idea how my legs were still working at that point, but something got me there, and we got to see the entire performance. Even though most of the time we were trying to see over freakishly tall frat-brother-types (do they have Canadian frats?), we came, we slayed, and we left. It did take us over an hour to get home while being packed like sardines in a kinda scary crowd, but nonetheless, we had gotten what we came for. Another hangover, and this report!

In closing, although I think it gave me a frat fru-like illness which lasted for the next week, I look back fondly on my Osheaga experience. If you are considering going to Osheaga, I guess do it! Or don’t, but don’t blame me when you don’t get to see Baby Keem come on to perform family ties with Kendrick (this actually didn’t happen and I’m still a little sad about it). 

Categories: Catherine Fauver, kay sheeger, sept. 19, tunes, Vol 27

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