By Dina Willis (Entertainment Editor)
The weekend of the 9th and 10th of August marked the 6th edition of the Heavy Montréal festival (formerly known as Heavy MTL) at Parc Jean-Drapeau. This year’s edition was arguably one of the biggest and best yet, having evolved to include a broader selection of styles (including punk and hard rock) in its lineup. Jean-Drapeau was greeted with a combined total of around 75,000 festival-goers on one of the hottest weekends this summer, many of whom had travelled from out of the country to attend. And there’s no question as to why this is. This year’s lineup included Metallica, Slayer, The Offspring, Lamb of God, Anthrax, and Twisted Sister as headliners.
This was my second year attending the festival, and the experience was as surreal as ever. The energy of the crowd was unmatched, and even those emerging bloodied and bruised had smiles on their faces.
This year’s obvious big attraction was Metallica, who closed Day 1 of the festival. The band played a setlist consisting of songs completely voted by the audience which ran for over 2 hours. A sellout crowd of over 40,000 packed in front of the Molson Canadian stage for the band. Day 2 (and thus, the festival) was closed by Slayer, who gave the festival a fitting close.
The grounds of the festival were overflowing with things to see and do; between the 4 stages, Heavy Mania, the WiFi area, and the wide variety of places to get food (food trucks!!), you were bound to stay entertained. This year’s edition also offered a locker rental service, which was extremely useful (although a bit costly).
Aside from the headliners, who put on an incredible show, the weekend was studded with stand-out performances that made the experience even better. Municipal Waste on Day 1 was one of the most surprising for me. The mayhem they caused was one of the “you had to be there” moments of the festival (circle pits around the trees, enough said).
Heavy Montréal 2014, in my opinion, was an incredible experience and a very memorable weekend for not only myself but for the other 75,000 spectators in attendance as well. Being able to see several of my favourite bands, (many of which I have waited years to see), in just a span of a weekend was completely worth the sore neck, bruised ribs, and lost voice the next day, and I’m sure anyone else there would agree.
If you’re a fan of metal, hard rock, or punk music, or you’ve considered going to the festival but have never gotten around to it, I would highly recommend checking it out in 2015. Heavy Montréal is a festival that does not disappoint and is only getting better with age. I am highly anticipating the 2015 edition!