Hipmunk City Love: A Guide to Montreal’s Wackiest Festivals

This post is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove campaign.

Festivals are serious business in Montreal, Canada’s cultural capital and host to over 90 festivals through the year. One of the hippest cities in North America, Montreal is home to a thriving culinary scene that is the stuff of every gourmand’s dreams, and nurtures one of the world’s most talented communities of artists, writers, musicians, designers and intellectuals. It’s only fitting then, that the city always has something to celebrate. Here’s a guide to Montreal’s wackiest festivals to help you join in on the fun, regardless of which time of the year you find yourself here.

Photo by Ai Long via Trover.com

Igloofest- EDM (January)

At Igloofest, thousands of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) enthusiasts brave the freezing January temperatures and gather in Montreal’s Old Port to party with local and international DJs, showing up in their funkiest snowsuits for the Iglooswag Snowsuit contest.

Elektra- Digital Arts (May)

Held at the onset of spring, Elektra is a treat for lovers of innovative digital art and artistic experimentation. You’ll get to experience audiovisual, sound and interactive performances and installations by both local and international artists.

Mondial de la biere- Beer Festival (May)

Mondial de la biere is an annual festival held in the Palais del Congres that also transforms the esplanade outside to a fun tasting party where beer lovers can sample the best beers from around the world for just $1 each. Don’t expect the craziness of other beerfests though, this one is a classy affair, also frequented by beer experts.

St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival (June)

One of the city’s most popular festivals, the Montreal Fringe Festival is a quirky, crazy, no holds barred festival that both tickles and tantalizes with its uncensored and sometimes over the top shows. With a variety of theatre, dance, comedy, music, visual installations and even some burlesque, there’s definitely something in store for everyone.

Zoofest- Comedy (July)

Zoofest showcases fresh and bold talent that includes but is not restricted to comedy, music, theatre and dance. Granting free reigns to creativity, this festival encourages productions that toe the line between zany and downright disturbing.

Osheaga- Music & Arts (July)

Though not really wacky in the true sense, no guide to Montreal’s festivals is complete without a mention of Osheaga, the city’s most famous and awaited summer music festival. With brilliant international artists such as Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Florence+The Machine and Of Monsters and Men, the festival is spread over many days and features various established and emerging artists.

Otakuthon Anime Convention (August)

Thousands of anime fans flock (often in costume) to the annual Otakuthon Anime Convention, Quebec’s largest festival celebrating Japanese animation (anime), graphic novels (manga), gaming and pop culture. A multi-day event, it’s a festival of gaming, contests, shows and plenty of opportunities for cosplayers to flaunt their talents.

Montreal Fetish Weekend (September)

As the name suggests, the Fetish Weekend invites visitors to celebrate their craziest fantasies over this six-day long festival held in one of the most open-minded cities in the world. A themed costume party held in the Gay Village is one of the major events during the festival.

Montreal Burlesque Festival- Burlesque & Cabaret (October)

Burlesque and cabaret fans are treated to grand, quirky, sensuous and sometimes hilarious music, dance and comedy productions at the Montreal Burlesque Festival. The shows are performed by incredibly talented artists from all over the world during this three-day festival.

Now that you’ve got your favorite wacky festival picked out in Montreal, check out these affordable hotels in Montreal.

Have you visited any of Montreal’s festivals? What would you add to this list? Would you like to attend any of these festivals? Let me know in the comments below.

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