With the Memorial Weekend holiday behind us we can finally say summer is here. After months of either rain or snow, both cold and wet weather, the city is once again the place we love to call home. However, with the warmer weather comes the tourists, the heat waves, the stench of trash and sweat. And oh, did I mention the “lovely” tourists? When summer hits most New Yorkers are like, “where’s the escape hatch?” looking for any way to get out of town, even if just for a long weekend. There is no doubt plenty to do in the city, but who doesn’t enjoy a quick getaway. It is after all, what keeps us sane but also coming back. Most will simply trek to the beaches of Long Island or head south to the Jersey Shore. Some of you will fly off to Miami or some island in the tropics even. All good choices but might we suggest you look north of the city for your next escape. Warning, you will need a passport.
So, you might have guessed we’re talking about Canada, but more specifically Montreal, which is either an easy flight from the city, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could drive up. Montreal is one of our favorite destinations, especially in the summer. It is the largest city in Quebec and is celebrating its 375th anniversary this year, which means there will be even more to do in the city this summer. If you’re looking for tourist attractions or ideas on what to do, take a look at Montreal’s visitor guide here.
Montreal is no doubt a beautiful city as well, one that takes great pride in its French heritage and culture. It is, however, the music scene that keeps us coming back. There are many things of note here, but first and foremost we must talk about Stereo. Some call it a temple. Others just simply call it (((Home))). But whatever you call it, Stereo has earned its reputation as one of the best clubs in North America. Stereo opens at 1AM and can easily go until noon the next day. It is underground. It is afterhours. It is strictly house and techno. And on any given weekend, you’d easily catch a big name DJ on the bill. Take a look at this month’s lineup and you have Tommy Four Seven, DVS1, Ricardo Villalobos, Stephan Bodzin, and the Martinez Brothers, just to name a few. And what sets apart Stereo from the rest of the industry, what keeps the DJs coming back, is the soundsystem, which was entirely built and designed by DJ/Producer Angel Moraes. It is legendary, and if you don’t know, now you know. For specific information on events or to purchase tickets, visit Stereo Nightclub.
If travelling to Montreal during the summer months, another event that shouldn’t be missed is Piknic Electronik. It is an outdoor event with a festival vibe that takes place from about mid-May to mid-September and is every Sunday. Piknic Electronik takes place on a small island in the St. Lawrence River offering amazing views of downtown Montreal. If you live in New York City, think Governors Island and you’ve got a pretty good idea. Except this is every Sunday. The programming is electronic music with often an eclectic lineup of underground artists and both local and international Djs. Piknic Electronik is a concept that first began in Barcelona and has expanded to Melbourne, Dubai, Santiago, and of course Montreal. Expected to appear over the course of the summer are: Roman Flugel, Cassy, Chus & Ceballos, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jennifer Cardini, Seth Troxler, Misstress Barbara (who we hear from the locals shouldn’t be missed as the favorite event of the summer), Nicole Moudaber, The Black Madonna, and Josh Wink. There is no doubt why Piknic Electronik is one of the highlights of the summer cultural circuit and you have to experience it for yourself. It is truly one of those special events of the summer marking both the beginning and the end of the season. To get more information about the Piknic concept, visit Piknic Electronik.
There is of course more to Montreal than just Stereo and Piknic, but on your first visit be sure to put both on your list. Montreal has a thriving nightlife offering everything from local bars to diverse concerts to all night ragers and festivals. In fact, Montreal is one of those destinations you can’t cover all at once. There will no doubt be a second feature in the near future so be sure to bookmark Underground Music Mag for more destinations, music, culture, and events happening in the underground.