5 Reasons to Go Check Out Montreal’s KickDrum Festival

Six days, 7 venues, 16 shows, over 50 bands and musicians: no need to explain why the KickDrum organizers decided to call their summer festival “Summer Marathon d’Eté”. The event, which takes place July 12-17 in Montreal, is already well on its way to being one of our summer favorites. Here are five reasons why.

1. Because you won’t find the same bands that are playing everywhere

“Most festivals in Montreal book international bands that are already on the agenda for several big festivals. Because of this, festivals in Montreal are losing their local flavor,” explains Josh, one of the KickDrum Summer Marathon d’Eté organizers. As a counterpoint to the other big events in Montreal this summer, the KickDrum team decided to come up with a 100% local line-up.

2. Because you’ll discover the best of the Montreal music scene

From the DIY dark wave of CO/NTRY to the electrified pop of How Sad, the haunting folk of Paper Beat Scissors, the sloppy rock pop of Nanimal, the haunting franco-folk of Mon Doux Saigneuror the triumpant folk of Feefawfum, the festival isn’t limited to one genre. Au contraire ! KickDrum explores the Montreal music scene in all its diversity, with a penchant for anything that’s a bit more experimental or boundary-pushing.  

3. Because it’s not-too-big, not-too-small, just right!

We’re pretty sure it took gallons and gallons of coffee for KickDrum’s tiny team of four people to organize this summer marathon and its 16 shows! The four music lovers wanted to make it much more intimate than your typical giant, rowdy summer festival. This is evident in their choice of venues—Casa del Popolo, La Vitrola, Le Ritz, Divan Orange, Le Cagibi, The Plant, and the café-laundromat, Blanc de Blanc. The venues hold anywhere from 50 (Le Cagibi and Blanc de Blanc) to 300 people max, which is perfect for intimate shows where you can mingle with the artists afterward.

4. Because you can afford it

“Festivals are usually very expensive. Take Osheaga, for example. You have to pay 115 dollars for a day pass—that’s enormous…” Josh points out. In response, he wanted to create an affordable festival, highlighting artists who are active locally. The 6-day pass only costs $23.14 (!) and the concerts, featuring an average of three bands each, cost no more than 11 dollars.

5. Because going to see a concert = a good deed

Besides offering tickets at an affordable price, the KickDrum Summer Marathon d’Eté is also participating in a humanitarian project. For each ticket you buy, one dollar (or two dollars for the 4-day pass) will be donated to a charity organization through Plus One, a system created by Arcade Fire at the time of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. For this year’s festival, KickDrum chose to direct their profits to USC Canada – Seeds of Survival, an organization which aims to help small farms around the world develop eco-friendly and sustainable working methods.

Click here to check out the complete program for KickDrum Summer Marathon d’Eté.

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Photo: Courtesy of KickDrum