How to survive Osheaga

Fashion in the flesh. Photo by Amber McLinden.

Fashion in the flesh. Photo by Amber McLinden.

Osheaga ended last weekend in Montreal, and since I’ve gone a total of one time, I now consider myself the expert. Walking through the gates of Parc Jean-Drapeau, I didn’t know what to expect. It was hot, my feet constantly hurt, and my white vans are now permanently gray. But I also got to see some amazing shows, experience some strange things, and meet some wonderful people. I was able to spend the weekend seeing musicians I know and love, as well as discovering new ones I had no idea existed. Overall, the trip was worth it, but it was definitely a weekend of learning. As a 5’2” woman, I can tell you it was not easy escaping Montreal alive. I have some tips and tricks for you to survive next year’s Osheaga (or probably any music festival).

1. If you’re scared about getting stampeded in the crowd, just stand behind any tall-ish man.

You know how in public places men have no regard for anybodies personal space? Take that and multiply it by 10 at Osheaga. That might seem bad, but for a short girl like me, I worked it to my advantage. All you have to do is walk reasonably close behind them and they’ll mow everyone in front of you down so you don’t have to maneuver bodies! Male entitlement is good sometimes.

2. You may have to go number two at some point during these three days. Just don’t.

Let me explain the horror of festival port-a-potties to you. It’s four in the afternoon, and you have to pee. You’re a girl, so unlike anybody with a dick, you can’t just whip it out and pee in a bottle in the middle of a crowd (yes, that actually happened). You’ve had a few drinks, and alcohol has a tendency to make you need to pee. You wander around the park until you find one of several rows of bathrooms, all that require you to wait in line for 30 minutes. You finally get into the bathroom, and you realize you need to poo. DON’T DO IT. It smells awful, and there is a good chance there is no toilet paper available. These port-a-potties are probably what the bathrooms in hell are like.

3. Wear anything you want. Literally anything.

If you don’t think you are going to fit in with the trendy festival outfits that all the fashion bloggers are posting on Instagram, don’t fret. About half of the clothing choices were trendy and cute, and the other half consisted of what I like to call the dark side of festival fashion. Myself and a few other friends had a 15 minute exchange with a man wearing only boxers, with his shorts on his head, telling us to spank him. It was exhausting so we ended up doing it. I also liked to play a game called “how many white boys in your direct line of sight are wearing basketball jerseys?” The total was always three or four, but went up to about 15 at the Post Malone set.

4. Be prepared for anything to happen.

Vans sponsored the festival and this poor man has this job. Photo by Amber McLinden. 

Vans sponsored the festival and this poor man has this job. Photo by Amber McLinden. 

After changing my schedule numerous times, I ended up throwing it away. Overall, a lot of stuff happened that I did not expect. If you follow me on Instagram, you know about the girl who asked me to kiss her in front of the “Catching Feelings” sign for a photo (Aesthetic? Gay? Who knows). The mosh broke my friend Paul’s sunglasses, we got sprayed by a fire hose, I spent 2 hours in between sweaty bodies to see Future, and I cancelled my plans to go out two out of three nights. I observed some people applying Burt’s Bees to their eyelids, a man pee in a bottle, a man pee on some people and then go viral on Reddit, and several other peeing related incidences. Also, a lot of people doing coke openly. It was anarchy.
Osheaga was worth it. Hopefully with these tips, you too can survive any festival season and next year’s Osheaga. Pretty much anybody can do anything at the festival as long as you hide it well enough. The gate might check your bag and your cigarette packs for any illegal shit, but they definitely don’t pat you down, because literally everyone had weed. So let loose this summer and next, and try not to die of heat stroke.