Metro Metro Pulls Off Their First Year Festival with Great Success

Written by Chantel Coffey
Photos from BeachClub Montreal

Tens of thousands gathered last week in Montreal to be a part of history, attending the first edition of the biggest urban music festival in Canada, Metro Metro. Located at Esplanade Sunlife venue at the Olympic Stadium, the first-year festival was without a doubt a hit to both festival goers and artists. In just its freshman year, and high promises set forth by the marketing team, the festival went off without a hitch, pulling in some of the biggest names in the industry as well as shining a spot light on the local hip hop scene.

The Experience

Being the first of its kind, I was hesitant on what to expect. Would this be a hit? Or go down in Fyre Festival type flames? But I was thoroughly impressed.

What I appreciated the most was the the accessibility of the festival. Being named Metro Metro, it hadn’t totally made sense until the festival weekend. Metro there, Metro back. Although a green line service interruption on Sunday afternoon didn’t seem to have an effect of party-goers getting to the grounds. I had an easy entrance, picking my ticket up at will call, waiting a mere 3 minutes. Security was a breeze, and within twenty minutes I was in and walking the festival grounds. Vendors lined the paths selling reasonably priced food and snacks, and festival workers could be seen at all times walking through the crowds selling water, beer and liquor. A drink was never far.

The Stages and The Music

The festival went off without a hitch, and to much surprise, not a single act was cancelled, which said much about the festival organizers. The site at l’Esplanade du Parc Olympique did not remotely feel like a day-one practising ground for a festival that didn’t exist before now. The two stages set apart by a row of vendors made it easy and accessible to quickly get from one set to another.

Some huge names hit the stage throughout the two day festival. Day one saw the likes of Tyga, who performed with energy and enthusiasm. All top hits were performed, and even those who don’t listen to Tyga on the regular were impressed by his set, which says a lot. Future, who has kept a pretty low profile over the last year, graced the stage drawing perhaps one of the bigger crowds of the weekend. Performing aside two dancers, he played to his strength and performed all the crowd favourites. Drawing close to a reported 20,000 festival goers, Cardi B closed night one off with so much energy, even she had to explain to the crown she had asthma and had to take a brief breather. Performing all her top hits, the crowd was drawn to the show Cardi put on.

Aside from the stacked A-List line up, there’s multiple artists to keep an eye out for. Montrealers are used to rap acts on stages at Osheaga, Les Francos and the jazz fest, but they’ve never had an event quite like this, with wall-to-wall rap acts for an entire weekend. Metro Metro showcased the best Montreal’s rap scene has to offer. FouKi, a hugely popular Plateau rapper graced the Bud Light Stage, performing a set that had everyone bobbing their heads and humming along. Zach Zoya, a Rouyn-Noranda native who raps in English, performed a set on the Motorola Stage of day one. His energy and enthusiasm had the crowd buzzing. Other Quebec based performers included Tizzo, Enima and Alaclair Ensemble.

The clash between those most popular in the hip-hop scene and the lesser known made for a historical and impactful moment in Montreal history. All in all, it was a great weekend. For the first of its kind, the festival did not disappoint. From production to organization, performances to accessibility, the organizers knew what they were doing, and did it well.

If the festival can put this type of show on year after year, it will surely be hugely successful for years to come.

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