Osheaga Festival

Osheaga First Timer Tips: Pro Tips for Osheaga Newbies

Event Track / Osheaga Festival / Planning Guides / Osheaga First Timer Tips: Pro Tips for Osheaga Newbies

Article Summary

  • I attempt to pass on all of my (and friends) knowledge about Osheaga to first timers
  • Major tips include knowing how you are getting to and leaving Osheaga beforehand, get a locker, bring a portable phone charger and wearing comfortable shoes 

Going to Osheaga for the first time? You are going to have a blast – Osheaga is truly an awesome experience. The people are great, the venue is fantastic (coming from someone who has been to a lot of festivals), and obviously the tunes are top notch. Still, there are always ways to make your trip to Osheaga a little bit better. If you are looking for tips for your first Osheaga you have come to the right place. This is a list dedicated to Osheaga first timers with all the tips and knowledge of Osheaga veterans. I have made this list from personal experience, asking friends for their advice, and finding advice from other sources such as the Osheaga Reddit. After reading this you will know all the best ways to make your Osheaga experience that much better. 

Osheaga First Timer Tip #1 – Know How You’re Getting Home

Osheaga can be somewhat of a clusterfuck getting home at night, especially if you drive. It’s a lot of people leaving an island at one time, with limited ways out. If you took the Metro have your round trip ticket purchased at the beginning of the day, you don’t want to have to wait in a long line at night to purchase your fare. If you biked be sure to remember where you parked your bike. If you are Ubering don’t and take the Metro, it’s ridiculously overpriced at night. I highly recommend reading our article on how to get to and from Osheaga before you head off to Osheaga. You can check it out at http://www.eventtrk.com/events/56/osheaga-festival-2017/215/getting-to-osheaga-biking-driving-walking-metro-more. 

Osheaga First Timer Tip #2 – Bring a Hoodie for Night

It may get to be fairly warm during the day but be prepared for a big cooldown come nighttime.  Don’t forget to bring a jacket or a hoodie for later or you will be shivering through the headliners.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #3 – Sneaking in Alcohol Isn’t Hard

Just use your imagination with where you can stash it that they won’t pat you down. Sneaking in booze (or other party enhancers) to Osheaga is fairly easy and fairly common. That said, do NOT try hiding it in those sunscreen flasks or other type of gimmicky items. Those have long be ousted and security knows to look for them. 

Osheaga First Timer Tip #4 – Get A Locker

Osheaga rents out lockers for $15 a day, which is pretty standard for music festivals. I personally really love having a locker. If you do sneak in alcohol it gives you a place to store it, you can put a hoodie in there for later, or if you buy merchandise it’s a good place to stash it. It’s also really nice for putting sunglasses at night once the sun goes down. The lockers are reasonably priced and give you a lot of convenience so I really recommend just paying the $15 a day and getting one at Osheaga. 

Osheaga First Timer Tip #5 – Do NOT Forget Sunglasses

No one wants to look squinty in pictures. Be a hero and bring a cheap pack of sunglasses so no one in your squad is squinty either: http://amzn.to/2kcdLhu

Osheaga First Timer Tip #6 – Comfy, Closed-Toe Shoes

Obviously you can wear sandals if you want but be prepared for your feet to get filthy – there are a lot of dirt paths between stages.  Also be sure to wear some of your most comfortable shoes.  Osheaga days are quite long and you are inevitably on your feet a lot: be sure to wear comfortable shoes to try to make this better.  It sucks but this is just part of attending festivals.  Dr. Scholls are also a nice option for some additional comfiness. Also note that the area near the main stage is gravel, so if you plan on being there be sure to have the appropriate footwear.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #7 – Timestamp Texts and Expect Poor Service

There are a lot of people at Osheaga, enough that you are likely to have really crappy service.  One thing I always advise in times like these is to timestamp your texts.  Don’t say “Meet at Verte”, say “Meet at Verte – 9:30”.  Sometimes texts come through at later times and you don’t want to confuse your friends.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #8 – Hydrate

It’s a long weekend, so it’s important to pace yourself and hydrate.  It’s easy to forget to drink enough water, but be sure to drink plenty of water.  Osheaga has free water refill stations and lets you bring in an empty bottle with you. However, I highly recommend just investing in a camelbak.  If you go to any other festivals it’s great to have, as it is if you do any outdoor activities such as hiking.  They are pretty inexpensive now and well worth the $50 it will cost you.  I can’t recommend these enough, they are great (http://amzn.to/2jbTaVN).

Osheaga First Timer Tip #9 – Know What You Can Bring

Osheaga provides a full list of what you can and cannot bring to the festival.  Do not be the asshole of your group who tries to bring something in you can’t and then not want to part with it.  You can see a full list of what can and can’t be brought to Osheaga at http://www.eventtrk.com/events/56/osheaga-festival-2017/213/what-you-can-and-cannot-bring-to-osheaga-music-festival.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #10 – Get The App

The Osheaga App is pretty legit.  It let’s you know where everything is and when they are playing.  It’s pretty hard to remember everyone you wanted to see, know when they are playing, and at what stage.  The app helps a lot with this and is one of the best apps of any music festival. It’s also great for finding all the great food spots and where to grab an adult beverage. The point is, just get the app – it’s free and totally worthwhile.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #11 – Portable Phone Chargers

As I mentioned before you can fully expect shitty service at Osheaga.  As your phone struggles for that elusive 1 bar you can expect the battery to get drained really quickly.  This makes connecting with your group, calling an Uber, or looking up directions home at the end of the night a real challenge.  Having a portable charger or a battery case can be a lifesaver at Osheaga.  I highly recommend snagging one before you head off to Osheaga.  Here’s what I have used in the past:

iPhone 7: http://amzn.to/2k0ABZi
iPhone 6s/6: http://amzn.to/2jWZXqw
Portable Charger: http://amzn.to/2jbX159

Osheaga First Timer Tip #12 – You Can Bring Snacks

Osheaga is pretty cool and lets you bring snacks into the festival, which can save you some money on grub at the festival. If you are going to be there all day bringing some snacks can save you some money.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #13 – Bring Some Cash

Some food vendors and bars are still cash only at Osheaga so it is always good to have some cash on you. There are ATMs at Osheaga, but the lines are really long and the fees are ridiculous. Be sure to sna some cash before heading off to Osheaga, you never know when it’s going to come in handy.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #14 – Head Out Before the Headliner Wraps Up

So this doesn’t apply if you are a big fan of the headliner, but if you’re not then I suggest sneaking out of there before the headliner wraps up. A great time to leave is as the headliner is coming back out for the encore. There is a huge rush of people to leave, and Osheaga is on an island after all so there are limited ways out. If you don’t mind missing the end of the headliner you can save yourself a ton of time by sneaking out before they finish their set.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #15 – Pace Yourself

It’s easy to get too hammered at Osheaga, especially if it’s a hot day. I don’t want to sound like your mom, but be sure to pace yourself with your drinking. You will hate yourself if you get too drunk and miss a headliner or later act you were really excited to see.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #16 – Get There Early

Some of my best memories at music festivals are the early bands. Try to get to Osheaga before 2 p.m. one day and try to discover some new bands.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #17 – Book a Hotel Near a Subway Station

One of the easiest way to get to Osheaga is by taking the Metro. To get to Osheaga you will take the yellow line. Book a hotel room near any subway line and you will be able to take that subway to the Yellow line and get to Osheaga easily. You can see the Montreal subway map and all the details at http://www.stm.info/en/info/networks/metro.

Osheaga First Timer Tip #18 – Have A Meeting Point

If you are going to Osheaga with a group you are inevitably going to split up at some point. Osheaga has six stages and everyone has a different taste in music, so just know you won’t be together the whole day. You should make a designated meeting point early in the weekend. This is great for meeting up at the end of the night or designated times. Like I said earlier, phone service is going to awful so it’s a good idea to have these meeting points set up beforehand.


There you have it, all the knowledge I have to pass onto you Osheaga first timers! If you are reading this and have other tips for Osheaga or have questions I’d love to hear them. Feel free to reach out to me at Shawn@EventTrk.com and I will be happy to answer your question or add your tip to the list!

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