A Preview of Montreal’s One Man Band Festival

For the last few months, I, like many of you audiophiles, have been religiously surveying all the music festivals within an even somewhat realistic travelling distance. From the first early lineup announcements to the individual artist Pictureadditions, I sit at home fantasizing about what my possibilities are this summer. Monitoring all the major festivals requires some dedication, but keeping an eye on Montreal is another beast altogether. The city is known for churning out festivals seemingly every three days, and inevitably a few of them pass me by completely unnoticed. From May 15-18, Montreal will play host to yet another festival with a unique twist that had eluded me until this year. One Man Band Festival will be bringing as many single-musician acts as it can to a wide range of venues in the city, and this is a festival you won’t want to miss.

One Man Band Festival is still in it’s early stages, this being the third time the festival has taken place. Headlining the festival are Canada’s Rich Aucoin, bringing a fantastic brand of indie-pop that I cannot wait to see live, and Pearson
Sound, the UK EDM wizard. These well-recognized artists will be joined by a truly diverse range of musicians from around the globe. A festival featuring only one-musician acts may seem somewhat narrow, but each of the artists in the lineup has found their own way of performing alone. Between DJs, electronic musicians, and classic guitar-harmonica-voice folk musicians, OMBF has dug up cellists, loop-pedal sensations, bass soloists, kalimba musicians, beatboxers, and so many other unique artists. Every music fan will be able to find at least one show that suits their needs over the course of the weekend.

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OMBF fits under the category of multiple venue festivals. Rather than having one unified campground, many of the small venues of Montreal bring the festival musicians into their doors. Sala Rossa, Casa Del Popolo, Cafe Campus, Club Lambi, Cafe Matina, Cabaret Playhouse, Balattou, Divan Orange, Barfly, McCord, Le Cagibi, and even Quartier des Spectacles will be sharing in the festival for the weekend. That incomplete list includes a whole pile of my personal favourite venues in the city, which are setup perfectly to get the audience up close and personal with the live music. Each venue will feature artists that are related to each other in some way, with their unifying themes conveniently presented on the festival website. A lot of these venues are also very close together, meaning a guy with a festival pass (such as myself) can easily hop from one venue to another without missing out.

Passes are super cheap, tickets to individual shows are super cheap, and there are even a few free events happening. Check out the full lineup and schedule and find yourself at least one show to hit, you won’t be disappointed. Over the next week, Eric and I will be posting articles about a few of the artists that are playing to get you all hyped up, so keep an eye out!

Much Love,

~Dave

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