To kick off my 2018 festival season, I had the opportunity to travel to Montebello, Quebec this past weekend for Rockfest. Typically when I write one of these posts I provide a little bit of background before I get into the full on review. But this time I’ll cut right to the chase and say this festival seriously ROCKS.
(Courtesy of Rockfest)
Believe me when I say you would be hard-pressed to find a festival as unique as Rockfest. Picture this, a quiet town of 1000 people in rural Quebec that shuts down for four days to host a festival of 200,000 people. Wicked right?
Like many other big festivals there was a designated camping area, but unlike many other big festivals, this was not the only place to camp. Residents of Montebello offer up their lawns for a fee to festival goers who are looking for an alternative camping experience. They also offer parking and even sell supplies to help get you through the weekend. It would be difficult to find a single resident of this small town who is not onboard with improving the overall Rockfest experience for everyone.
Rue Notre Dame, the main street of Montebello is home to all of the action. It was here that you could find various food vendors that offered a variety of options (I highly recommend the poutine). On the main strip you could also check out a number of boutiques, try different kinds of beer and other alcohol, and partake in festival games.
Then of course there is the actual “concert area” itself. I use the words concert area loosely simply because it does not describe this venue justly. The three stages provide a plethora of viewing space with a gorgeous view of the Ottawa River in behind. This stage area with a view takes you out of that traditional concert setting and immerses you into the beauty that is Rockfest.
Last but not least, I would be remised if I did not talk about this awesome lineup. It doesn’t matter what form of rock and roll you are into, or even if you are a metal head, this is your kind of festival. My personal favorite performance was Sum 41. For the 15thanniversary of the Does this Look Infected soundtrack they played the entire album, and of course threw in Fat Lip at the end to show a little fan appreciation. Trust me when I say they absolutely blew the lid off of this festival with the energy they created.
From Five Finger Death Punch to Flogging Molly, this lineup excited, electrified, and rocked. If you are on the fence about whether or not you are going to attend Montebello Rockfest next year, let me help persuade you by saying that this baby is Atmosphere APPROVED.