Text by François Fournier / Translated by Dimitri N.
Photo by Elise Apap
The September Piknics always offer a little something magical. No doubt it’s because we know we’re experiencing the last few outings of the season. But also we know that the sunlight that lands on Piknic at this time of year is unique. Instead of rising high up above the site and landing straight down on the Calder, it comes at the party from a sideways angle, casting everyone in illustrative shadows. This light that arrives to us from behind the city, the river, and Mount Royal, lets us know that autumn in near and the days are indeed getting shorter and little bit fresher.
If time passes, there are nevertheless two things that never change at Piknic: the contagious festival atmosphere and, of course, the music that soundtracks it! Especially invited for their Montreal debut, the merry boys of Astropolis were on the decks to showcase just why their festival is the oldest in France. We often say that Piknic has cousins here and there, all over the planet, but this time around we were dealing with more than just family. Something different was clearly in the air last Sunday as the Astropolis boys, the Piknic team, and 2500 piknicers celebrated right up to the last beat! No one wanted the day to end!
On site for the whole day, I was in a position to appreciate the musical trajectory of both stages from beginning to end. On the GURU stage end of things, the vibe is always more intimate, allowing people to appreciate Sipherdee’s techno selections before the very first live show by the duo Pulses, who are worth following from this very early junction because their music promises beautiful things to come. If anything, they’re also worth following to crack the well-kept secret of their origins, which they’ve been coy about revealing just yet. Final verdict” highly recommended for fans of deep techno.
Meanwhile on the MOOG stage, the mood never dropped from start to finish, as the Astropolis crew took us toward an exalted paroxysm of a finale that made us dig deep inside to find that one last bit of energy. After an impeccable start by the Sonic Crew trio, Arno Gonzales made sure he wet his t-shirt and ours before ceding the stage to German producer Oliver$, who hit the decks just the sunlight was beginning to dance off the river and the city behind us. Up till then, we’d been privy to a fine selection of house music, but once we arrived at Electric Rescue the time had come for a good dose of techno, big and well shaken, to raise the temperature before all the festival boys came back on stage for a 10-handed tagteam showdown! Wow!
Those boys were happy to be here! And we were happy to have them! I caught a little of their impressions as they each left the stage. Here’s something of what was said, in no particular order:
Grolex (Sonic Crew): “It’s heartwarming!”
Da’Gil (Sonic Crew): “I feel like I’ve seen the same audience in Brittany, over at Astropolis. It’s eclectic... and enormous!”
Arno Gonzalez: “It’s just magical, a great moment. I really had a lot of fun!”
Even Oliver$ found some words: “Awesome! Super amazing time here, man! That’s all I can say!”
And we’ll let Electric Rescue conclude: “The audience had a great vibe. That’s not the case everywhere, they’re not always winners, but here, this was gold. It’s a magical site! And as a dad, I love seeing people show up with their kids. And I love the freedom you give people. It’s really fantastic; I’ll come back whenever you want, with pleasure! I feel at home here.”
You bet you have a home here, boys! In fact, now that Piknic has set foot on European soil in Barcelona, perhaps Brest can be the door to France? It happened once this summer. Who knows about next time?
Until then, there are only two dance cards left in Piknic’s 10th anniversary season. Make the best use of the sun and music while there’s still time!