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 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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!