Igloofest 2023 kicks off at the Jacques Cartier Quay within the Old Port of Montreal in January—one of the coldest Canadian months of the year. There is one exceptionally fun way to warm up while outdoors: dancing at Igloofest! Tens of thousands flock to the historic port to catch nine days of artists performing from 6:30 to midnight Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the last three weekends in January.
Since the venue is outdoors in the winter, warm, layered clothing is the best option. After hours of dancing, peeling off a few layers is essential. Sensible shoes are a must for dancing on the slushy, snowy outdoor dance floor. Alcoholic drinks and food are both served onsite to an 18+ crowd only. Skip the lines by arriving by at the port quay by 8 p.m. or latest 9 p.m. and enjoy special props like a bonafide igloo village, creative ice sculptures within the venue, caged fires, and plenty of outdoor bars.
Igloofest Music and History
Igloofest Montreal was born in 2007 and has become one of the largest outdoor raves in Canada. The music festival features a wide range of DJs spinning electronic music of all styles much like the Nocturnal Festival in Texas. Some of the electronic music styles characterizing the festival include deep house, techno, classic dance, dub fusion, and more. Past Igloofest DJs include Mark Farina, Adultnapper, Jesse Rose, M.A.N.D.Y, Guy Gerber, Drop the Lime, and Misstress Barbara.
Igloofest enjoyed its first-ever outing from Vieux-Port Montreal, venturing over to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau during the capital’s famous Winterlude Festival when there are tons of things to do. The special event was coordinated to appeal to an all-ages show held in the museum’s outdoor courtyard.
One of the funniest parts of Igloofest Montreal is a tradition kept alive for years: The One-Piece Competition. This involves donning the brightest, ugliest snowsuits they can find and running a competition to find the winner dressed in that year’s top eyesore. Winners take home great prizes, from VIP passes to expensive clothing, and more.
Tickets to Igloofest
Getting tickets to Igloofest Montreal 2023 is easy and surprisingly inexpensive. Tickets are available upon arriving at the quay, in advance through the festival, and at select retail locations announced each year before the festival kicks off. Single tickets offer a pass for one night while the IglooPass offers unlimited show access. There are also several vacation packages arranged in conjunction with the Old Port of Montreal. These include lodging and ticket combinations for special rates as well as a complete holiday package offered to those traveling to Montreal from France only.
Directions to Igloofest Montreal
Transportation to Jacque Cartier Quay in Vieux Port Montreal is accomplished several ways including by car, train, and public transit. Via public transit, festival goers can take the orange line of either Place-d’Armes, Champs-de-Mars station, or Victoria Square metro stations. By car, visitors drive Highway 20 from the west and Highway 40 from the east within Canada directly into the Old Port. From the United States, hitting Highway 10 West from Route 133 North, I-89, Highway 55, or Highway 10 is imperative. Once reached, the highway leads directly into Montreal.
Lodging near Igloofest Montreal
Types of lodging near Igloofest popular with the younger crowds that attend include Montreal hostels and budget hotels. The festival also offers several pre-arranged combination vacation packages that include tickets, lodging, and other perks for those that book. Delta Montreal offers good rates and packages all year while W Hotel is the place to stay if looking for luxury.
Image: Miguel Legault