Igloofest 2018: Montreal's Winter Rave Series

  • 01 of 08

    Igloofest 2018: The World's Hottest (and Coldest) Rave

    Igloofest 2017 lineup, dates, admission fees and FAQs.
    ••• Above: Igloofest in the midst of heavy snowfall. Damien Girard / Getty Images

    Igloofest 2018: When, Where, and... Why?

    An annual tradition forged in the Old Port of Montreal back in 2007, Igloofest is a 12-day outdoor rave spread out over a month's time featuring a slew of international producers and DJs held during the darkest, coldest nights of Montreal's winter season, a fact that, when revealed, leads select non-initiates to ask me: "dancing? In the cold? Why Evelyn?! Why would you do this to yourself?" Well, you might want to ask the close to 100,000 attendees expected at this year's edition the same thing.

    See Also: Is Winter in Montreal THAT Bad?
    Accommodations Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels
    Visiting Montreal? Compare Tripadvisor's Best Hotel Deals in Montreal


    Igloofest 2018: Why? Why Do We Do This to Ourselves?

    THE question. Who is insane enough to head into zero Fahrenheit weather to spend a night... chilling. Well, apart from the event's tens of thousands of fans, that would be ME. Me and Joris Voorn.

    "It'...MOREs such an amazing crowd, people go just absolutely mental from the very first record that you play. It must be a Montreal thing!" -Dutch producer Joris Voorn

    Voorn nailed it. It is a Montreal thing. Better yet, it's a Quebec thing. To take myself as an example, when the mercury drops, I don't hide a heated cave waiting for a sparrow to sing me out of hibernation. I grab my thermos. I fill it with hot chocolate or tea. I head out to the skating rink. If I can score a ride to one of Quebec's hottest ski resorts, I'm in. And when I can find the time, I dance. I play. I frolick. When you have the right threads for the weather* you can do anything in this town. Snow? A blessing disguised in ice crystals. The cold? Minor detail.



    About those threads. Think down filled coats, folks, not that polyester fill which might fine for Paris, New York and London but is totally useless in Canada outside of Vancouver once January hits. High performance animal cruelty-free alternatives that can handle the same temperatures as down fill are few and far between and cost a small fortune.

    And anti-fur activists may hate me (yet you shouldn't, I'm as disappointed with frivolous fur fashion statements as you are), but until affordable and functional synthetic alternatives that can handle extreme cold flood the market, at least try to make an exception for the frigid regions of the world.

    Real fur is an incredible insulator when temperatures dip below -20ºC (-4ºF) whereas the vast majority of synthetic materials not only don't hold in as much warmth, they allegedly cannot prevent snow from melting and refreezing on it, which can make the difference between contracting frostbite and hypothermia versus not when engaging in outdoor winter activities.

    A fur coat is one thing. But think twice before giving a Montrealer a hard time for wearing fur gloves. I've been there. I tried the fake route nearly my entire adult life. I resisted anything made of fur. But on top of being chronically sick, my synthetic ear muffs and mittens didn't hold a candle to the fur ones that recently came to replace them.

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  • 02 of 08

    Igloofest 2018: Dates and Rates and Deets

    Igloofest 2017 lineup, dates, details, admission, tickets and FAQs.
    ••• Doug McKinlay / Getty Images



    The 2017 edition of Igloofest ran every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from January 12 to February 19, 2017 at the Old Port's Quai Jacques-Cartier. Admission ticket info and how to prepare for Igloofest is detailed just below.

    Accommodations Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels


    Igloofest: It Gets Cold Out There, But Not For Long

    Now here's the thing about Igloofest. Yes, dressing warm is a given -I get into the specifics of how to do that here- but do so in layers because it gets sweaty as the night progresses. Seriously. You'll have to unzip your coat before you know it. It gets HOT out there when you're dancing with 10,000 other people, even in -20ºC (-4ºF) weather.

    And leave the heels at home. The dance floor, which is basically a bed of snow and slush, has more slip than grip.

    No...MOREw let's say you do get cold. Don't fret. There are warming stations throughout the grounds and a heated "chalet" with bathrooms, food and a standing-only rest area. As for IGLOOVIP tickets holders, they're granted to access to a comfortable heated area with couches, a cash bar, and LED screens displaying Igloofest in action.


    Got a One-Piece? Is It Horribly Ugly? PERFECT.

    Another thing. Newbies might be interested in joining an Igloofest tradition. A handful of Igloofesters vie to outdo one another by wearing the ugliest, most fluorescently cheeseball snowsuits they can find. Unspoken bonus points if it's a one-piece. Wondering where to even score one? Try Montreal's vintage stores and costume shops. They're out there. 

    And in 2017, Igloofest ups the ante. A special theme is proposed for each weekend edition. Dress the part, pose in the Iglooswag photo studio, impress the judges, and you might just win a trip to Iceland. Here are the themes.


    Is Igloofest Wheelchair-Friendly?

    YES. Refreshing, isn't it? People with reduced mobility can comfortably access the site, food and beverage stalls and bathrooms. There are however mobility constraints in terms of accessing VIP sections, notably the second floor VIP atrium and private terrace.

    If buying tickets on location, attendees with reduced mobility are instructed to head to the VIP line to buy a regular priced ticket. As for entering the site, use the VIP entrance.


    Food? Beer?

    Beer, energy drinks and mulled wine are sold on the premises as are poutine, pizza and other choice morsels. 


    Beat the Crowds

    For a lineup-free experience getting through admission, get to Quai Jacques-Cartier before 9 p.m. Or even before 8 p.m. Igloofest nights in recent years have been known to sell out so the earlier you secure that ticket, the better.

    Another way to avoid those lineups? Cough up some extra cash for the IGLOOVIP experience, a double plus admission rate which offers the privilege of bypassing most lineups across the site, from entrance admission to the bathrooms. As an unbiased, unbribed, conflict-of-interest-disclosing writer -we're still out there, we're reaching last-of-the-Mohicans status, but we're not all dead yet- I think the IGLOOVIP pass is... drumroll... worth it. More on admission rates below.


    Igloofest 2017 Admission Rates

    Regular admission Thursdays $15 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    Regular admission Thursdays $22 after 7 p.m.
    Regular admission Fridays and Saturdays $22 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
    Regular admission Fridays and Saturdays $28 after 7 p.m.
    IGLOOVIP* $55 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. 
    IGLOOVIP $65 after 7 p.m.
    IGLOOPASS $120 (grants access to every night of Igloofest, must be purchased before 7 p.m.)
    IGLOOWEEKEND $50 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (grants access to 3 consecutive nights of Igloofest)
    IGLOOWEEKEND $65 after 7 p.m.
    IGLOOVIP passholders bypass lineups and are granted access to a heated VIP lounge, bar and bathrooms as well as a private terrace overlooking the main stage.

    Buy tickets.

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  • 03 of 08

    Igloofest 2017 Lineup: Weekend One

    Igloofest 2017 lineup highlights include Carl Cox.
    ••• Above: DJ Carl Cox plays at the 'House the House' DJ competition grande finale with Last Night A DJ Saved My Life foundation at House of Commons on May 11, 2016 in London, England. Claire Greenway / Getty Images

    Weekend One at Igloofest 2017 runs January 12 through January 14 and with it comes Berlin's Apparat headlining Thursday, January 12, techno house vet Carl Cox takes the auspicious lead on Friday, January 13, and Amsterdam house maven Joris Voorn closes shop Saturday, January 14, 2017 with a predictably epic mix.

    See Also: Igloofest 2017 Dates, Deets and Admission Info

    Book a Room Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels

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  • 04 of 08

    Igloofest 2017 Lineup: Weekend Two

    Igloofest 2017 lineup headliners include Chris Liebing.
    ••• DJ Chris Liebing performs during the BPM 2016 at Blue Parrot on January 17, 2016 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Victor Chavez / WireImage / Getty Images

    Los Angeles house producer kicks off Igloofest's Weekend Two as its Thursday night headliner January 19. Friday, January 20, 2017 makes way for Piknic Electronik regular Josh Wink sharing decks with Berlin's Steve Bug. Count on on a set of techno and tech house with hints of deep. And on Saturday, January 21, set your metronomes to 130 BPM with techno headliner and Frankfurt scenester Chris Liebing poised to pound.

    See Also: Igloofest 2017 Dates, Deets and Admission Info

    Book a Room Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels

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  • 05 of 08

    Igloofest 2017 Lineup: Weekend Three

    Igloofest 2017 headliners include Claptone.
    ••• Above: Claptone seen performing at the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 23, 2016 in Indio, California. The Berlin house duo headline Piknic Electronik's special Labour Day weekend edition starting September 3, 2016. Daniel Leist / Getty Images for Coachella

    Berlin's Claptone sets the pace for Day One of Igloofest 2017 with his brand of happy, sunny house on Thursday, January 27 followed by January 28 headliner Laurent Garnier, a French producer hailing all the way back to Manchester decks in the late '80s. And Day Three of Weekend Three is crowned by Bristol's fabulously whimsical Eats Everything on Saturday, January 29.

    See Also: Igloofest 2017 Dates, Deets and Admission Info

    Book a Room Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels

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  • 06 of 08

    Igloofest 2017 Lineup: Weekend Four

    Igloofest 2017 includes headliner LOUISAHHH,
    ••• Photo courtesy of LOUISAHHH

    Weekend Four wraps up the big names of Igloofest 2017, with Montreal hip hop dubstep producer Snails headlining on Groundhog Day, Thursday, February 2. Friday, February 3 features the illustrious Green Velvet and Saturday, February 4 makes way for the post-electroclashings of the first lady of Bromance, LOUISAHHH, followed by Amsterdam-based Brightonite Dave Clarke wrapping up Igloofest's 2017 edition with a techno finale.

    But that's not all. Check out Igloofest's free events and activities in 2017.

    See Also: Igloofest 2017 Dates, Deets and Admission Info

    Book a Room Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels

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  • 07 of 08

    New in 2017: Igloofest Freebies

    Igloofest 2017 events include these free things to do.
    ••• Above: the slide of Montreal's ancestors in Place Jacques-Cartier. Photo courtesy of Igloofest

    In association with the city of Montreal's 375th anniversary, Igloofest proposes a host of free events.

    Recreating a sliding experience from 100 years ago during Montreal's first winter carnivals held in what's today's Place Jacques-Cartier (that's right beside Igloofest at Quai Jacques-Cartier), scoot down the Nordik Slide from January 12 to February 19, 2017 in the very same spot. Nordik Slide hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

    And while you're in the neighborhood, check out Igloofest's Nordik Village,  an interactive zone featuring the works of seven Montreal design firms? Their mission? Reinvent temporary winter living, like say, the classic igloo. The zone is at Place des Vestiges, a spot sandwiched between Place Jacques-Cartier and Igloofest grounds on Quai Jacques-Cartier. It's open to the public any time from January 12 to February 19, 2017.

    Two Off Igloo nights are...MORE scheduled on-site Saturdays February 11 and February 18, 2017 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. featuring local artists spinning beats free of charge. 

    And consider getting there a little earlier for Igloofest's Nordik Games also held on February 11 and February 18, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Count on a Christmas tree tossing competition and reign supreme in winter-themed obstacle courses like "dig out your car" and "put up your tempo shelter." Registration required. Keep your eyes on this Facebook ​page for details on how to sign up


    See Also: Igloofest 2017 Dates, Deets and Admission Info

    Book a Room Near Igloofest: Old Montreal's Top 12 Hotels

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  • 08 of 08