Osheaga Festival Musique Et Arts 2017 Review

osheaga 2017 music festival crowd

Osheaga Festival Musique Et Arts 2017 happened and rBeatz photographer, Brian Benton, was there to catch the action. The festival was set up a bit differently from years past, although it was in the same location, Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montréal. This year, the festival was set up in a different location in the park. In years prior, there was more foliage surrounding the stages, while this year was set up in open fields.

There were a couple of acts that had to cancel due to weather delays; however, the rain didn’t stop the party. The rain and thunder came every hour on Friday, while Saturday experienced rain for just one of the set times. Aside from this, the festival went off without a hitch, featuring indie, alternative, rap, electronic, and pop acts from various places around the world. The festival did a good job of showcasing a lot of local talent and introducing Canadian music fans to talent from the United States and abroad.

The drinking age in Canada is 18, so Brian felt there was an air of maturity, whereas, in the United States, you’ll find more underage kids drinking heavily beforehand.

Below are the acts that Brian witnessed along with pictures and couple of interviews from the event. Scroll to the bottom to see who Brian’s TOP 5 ACTS OF OSHEAGA were and CROWD SHOTS.

Shots of the Venue

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Day 1: Friday, August 3rd



Amazing voice and unique arrangements. Electronic soul.

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Car Seat Headrest

One of the only rock bands there. A lot of rain fall during his set, but they powered through and did their thing.

Car Seat Headrest Osheaga

Belle and Sebastian

One of the more older acts that played the festival. They had an older feel playing for a younger crowd.

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Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers lives in Brooklyn near Brian, so it was cool for him to see her in a different country. She played in front of a band. This is the NYU grads first festival tour. She blew up fairly quickly since her early success last year. A fair amount of these US acts were able to expand their audience base a bit by introducing themselves to Canadian fans within their genre.

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Hamilton Leithauser

Was in a band called the The Walkmen. He is now playing and touring solo.

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Scène de l’Île Bacardi was were most of the EDM acts performed. The stage was a built in amphitheater that featured the acts 20 feet above the crowd. The stage was a bit secluded from the other stages and was not meant to be photographed from the high setup of the stage.  The crowd at the EDM stages typically stayed at the EDM stage for the majority of the time. Check below for this video that Biran took of Snails’ set from afar to get a sense of the vibe.


6LACK brought a lot of younger female fans, hyping up the crowd and getting everyone excited and emotional when he played his hit song, Ex Calling. That piano beat seemed to give people goosebumps.

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A cool experience to see Justice in the rain. They played all their big songs plus some pop music that hyped the crowd up. Take a look at the video Brian shot from afar of Justice playing their hit song, We Are Your Friends.

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It started raining a lot at Lorde; however, that didn’t stop her energy from performing her heart out. Her set started out fairly cloudy, then it started to pour. She had to get a raincoat from one of her stage managers. She played a lot of stuff from Melodrama and Pure HeroineShe also played a song with Tove Lo, who performed earlier in the day.

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Day 2: Saturday, August 4th

Men I Trust

One of my personal favorite new bands and another interview with them from Brian Benton below.

Men I Trust interview

Yung Lean

The festival partitioned the genres fairly nicely. Brian started his viewing at the Scène Verte Sonnet, which featured a lot of rap sets throughout the weekend. Yung Lean was the first set he got to hear on Saturday. The rapper from Sweden had a cult following, of which he dedicated a lot of time to. The crowd was partitioned in half. One half was the VIP section and the other was general admission. Yung Lean played to mostly towards general admission.

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Coming from Yung Lean, HONNE was a nice changeup in tempo. They are a mellow duo with a backing band and a soul R&B vibe.

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Danny Brown

Danny Brown seemed a lot more mellowed out and professional from what Brian saw in his previous performances. His set was fine tuned, hype, and a consolidated crazy that we all know and love from Danny.

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Another interview with Brian Benton.

KROY interview osheaga


The Arkelles are a locally popular band from just outside of Toronto. They had a huge fanbase that came out to support them. Their style was energetic rock similar to Grouplove.

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Father John Misty

Started raining for Father John Misty; however, he made most of the rain, bringing out the emotional side of the rain. He had a very emotional set, and the rain only helped.

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Major Lazer

Another act that embraced the rain, making everyone take their shirts off and wave them in the air. They played a hype remix of Shout by The Isley Brothers that got everyone playing along with the song. Justin Bieber‘s Sorry is STILL making the crowds move. Express Yourself and the go-to Major Lazer songs were played and festival-goers were dancing like crazy.

Take a look at this video shot from afar of Major Lazer performing Bubble Butt.

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings were the only punk band Brian laid his eyes on. There was a huge mosh pit and you still felt like you were at a punk show.

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Muse was amazing, doing their job as a standout headliner. The fanbase was slightly older, differentiating from the younger pop/electronic crowd you’d usually see at Major Lazer or Lorde. The stage and crowds had to adjust a bit to the more classic rock set that hasn’t been prevalent throughout the festival. Their set was a bit downplayed from what they’ve done before. There was a platform with the drummer moving in and out, which was cool. Their set was more of a classic show from the normal huge production they normally do. They played a lot of their older music, going through a lot of their 15-year discography. Starlight and Mercy were some of Brian’s favorite songs they played. They closed with Knights Of Cydonia.

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Day 3: Sunday, August 5th


Take a listen to Brian Benton’s interview with Skott.

skott interview osheaga

Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson was a big draw for the early crowd on Sunday. She is the singer on Clean Bandit’s Symphony – and she’s know for her amazing voice. She is a very polished Swedish pop singer that has a whole dance routine. Her set felt produced in a fun way. The music was really catchy and the production of the music and dancing was smooth. There was a lot of positive messaging between songs, and a large crowd showed up early just for her.

zara larsson osheaga


They played a slower set than most, but it was nice. The stage was set up for Die Antwoord, so the band only had about a third of the stage to bring to life. This band is a bit more unusual than most because the drummer, Julien Ehrlich, is their lead singer. Interesting to see the drummer more out in front of the set.

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Denzel Curry

One of Brian’s favorite sets of the weekend. The rapper from Florida spit fire (He raps really fast) and had an self-aware stage presence. Part of his set was dark (in a good way), performing with his hood up.

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Mick Jenkins

A rapper from Chicago who brought a big fanbase. He has a song called Drink More Water, where everyone held their water bottles high in the air.

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Little Dragon

They had an interesting set with weird costumes and a lot of synths. Alternative, alternative, alternative…

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Flatbush Zombies

They did their thing – CLASSIC. There were one of the only rap groups with 3 rappers and a DJ.

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Very alternative electronic/ambient set with some R&B vibes sprinkled in.

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Trippy set similar to Tame Impala or MGMT. Their lead singer was fabulously flamboyant with a lot of face makeup. He played the part of a puppet and marionette frequently.

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Lemon Twigs

The band from Long Island gets a lot of attention from Pitchfork. They had a 1960s Beatles vibe. Their lead singer, Brian D’Addario, jumped around a lot and had retro dance moves. Their drummer played with a lot of emotion.

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Die Antwoord

High energy show with two high energy and unique entertainers. Rappers from South Africa. Weird doesn’t even begin to describe them and hype is an understatement of their set.


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The Weeknd

This was a perfect way to end Osheaga. The Canadian superstar bridged the gap between Canada and the various America acts that played this weekend. He spoke a bit of French to the crowd from time to time. His show was very dramatic and emotional. There was a giant triangle that had firecrackers coming out of it, really allowing his show to start off with a band as he opened with Starboy.  Towards the end of his set, there was a firework show. His last song was I Feel It Coming and he ended the weekend with an encore, playing The Hills.

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Brian’s Top 5 of Osheaga Music Festival

  1. Lorde (because she played her heart out in the rain)

  2. Denzel Curry (biggest surprise)

  3. Justice (the most memorable electronic set)

  4. The Weeknd  (a beautiful way to end Osheaga, connecting the US and Canada)

  5. Maggie Rodgers (Always cool to see a local act playing big festivals)


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Chris Stack

After graduating from Kenyon College, Chris Stack joined a branding and marketing startup, BrandYourself (as seen on SharkTank), in New York City. After leading the company to grow past profitability as a leading account manager, Chris set his sights on his passion: music. He currently runs his own LLC in New York City, helping musicians in the city with their online presence and marketability. A native of the Washington DC area, Chris Stack's passions and hobbies include music production (8 years on Ableton), marketing, baseball (Mets), football (Ravens), Netflix n chillin, and the experience economy.

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