Osheaga was my first music festival, not only as press but as a fan. It was an experience which was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
Think of the normal concert experience, you show up to the venue, watch the opener and then see the headlining act. Multiply that by five and you have every second of the day at a music festival. Even just walking to the media tent I would catch a glimpse of four or five acts on main and side stages.
You become so fully immersed in concerts and all the shenanigans that come along with that. Sometimes you would have to squeeze by a mosh pit or maneuver around a group of drunken fans to get to where you need to go. This, while it sounds hectic and like an utter rigmarole, actually adds greatly to overall experience. The energy is unmatched. There is a constant wave of positive and rambunctious vibes coming from every square inch of the festival grounds.
There is also something magical about walking from stage to stage and the difference it brings just 30 metre away from each other. You can see an indie band rocking out on synths with a fairly organized crowd then walk a few minutes to see a full blown rave happening on the next stage. The juxtaposition between acts alone is mystifying and something you would never get in a regular concert setting.
Once you are done walking through the grounds over to the media tent you get a peek into the other side of the festival. Surrounded by all the big parties is a tent with tens of people furiously working away on laptops, doing interviews and finishing up edits to post on their respective social media accounts or websites. The media tent served as a sort of salvation, an area where you could get away from the madness and calmly get your work done.
When it comes to interviewing artists there is nothing more interesting than finding out what the opinions of your favourite musical acts are. Personally, when I interviewed Dutch DJ San Holo it was wildly interesting to find out that on his newest record he actually worked heavily with analog recording techniques and musical instruments. I would have never expected someone who creates electronic music to mostly work with analog tools. It was great to hear an artist talk about their passions.
It is hard to explain how interesting it is to get to sit down with an artist and hear them speak about their process on a one to one level. The insights that you can gather into their thinking behind certain projects are unparalleled. Although, as a personal fan of behind the scenes footage and in depth artist interviews it is unsurprising that I would find this process so captivating.
The music festival phenomenon is definitely one worth experiencing. I recommend but, that whoever does it, especially if you are media, to have access to plenty of caffeine.