Stage of Igloofest concert Montréal © Rabzynight

Piknic Électronik et Igloofest | Montréal

Making electronic music accessible

Piknic Électronik is held at Parc Jean-Drapeau and Igloofest takes place in Old Montréal. We invite electronic music DJs from all over the world to get Montrealers and tourists dancing to the groove.

Festival / Event

An innovative concept that brings people together

It was in 2003 that four music lovers came up with the idea to create Piknic Électronik, a place to make electronic music accessible to everyone, and where labels, events and collectives could come together. Mutek brought in Matthew Herbert, who gave them access to international artists and helped them bring the event to another level. Another element that contributed to the growth of Piknic was a Québec tour with Bande à part. They played at the FME in Québec City, Trois-Rivières and, of course, Montréal. The tour made them want to push the idea a little further and to expand internationally. Today, it is the concept itself—and the chemistry that is created there—that brings in the crowds. Word-of-mouth also plays a huge part in the event’s popularity.

Musical scene Piknic Electronique Montréal © O. Savoie Artist playing music Montréal © P. Ryaux Larsen
Group of people
Picture of Nicolas Cournoyer Montréal © TQ/G. Leroyer

Interview with Nicolas Cournoyer

How do you think your events represent the best of Québec?

Piknic lets you live exceptional social and immersive experiences. People are in touch with Québec society and its diversity, openness and respect. They come to picnic, relax, socialize, and recharge their batteries before starting their week. And in winter there is a different vibe because the season is key to the social for the social and immersive experience we offer. People can really let go when they’re outside in the middle of winter.

What is the main advantage of doing things differently as a Quebecer?

The atmosphere, the way we welcome people... It’s important for us to be professional in our work and to make people feel at home. And it starts with our employees, who are our greatest pride. But our values ​​are also well represented with the festive aspect, openness and tolerance. We always say: our events are microcosms of Québec. Whether you’re at Piknic or Igloo, it’s a microcosm of Québec.

Igloofest festival Montréal © C. Prot

What do you think would be the benefit of rallying the industry around the same values?

With global competition, we need to come together to create a community of Québec events, attractions, etc. that will bring in the tourists. Once they’re here, we know we can make them happy because we can offer experiences for all tastes, all across Québec. Then the product does the work. That’s why the QuébecOriginal brand is so important.

How does your brand attract the big names when others can’t?

In our ecosystem, when it comes to looking for people around the world, we target lesser-known artists so they can be discovered. They break into the international music scene afterwards. Our best promotional campaign is when artists come to our event and share their experiences with their labels and their agencies. After that, we don’t have to chase the artists as much.

How do your events represent the pillars of QuébecOriginal?

01

Spectacular site

One of the elements of Piknic’s success is Parc Jean-Drapeau, which was unknown in the early 2000s. Its location is exceptional. The idea behind Piknic Électronik was to have an outdoor event. Obviously, we tried to find a place in Montréal that had an identity, a signature. We wanted something with a country feel and we found it on Île Sainte-Hélène, an incredible gem on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. You have the best view of Montréal and Old Montréal. The site is enchanting and helped create the brand.

02

Creative culture

First, we promote local music and artists. Also, for Igloofest, the staging is incredible. The VJs are the stars and ensure everyone enjoys a unique immersive social experience. But it’s also in everything we do, like sponsorship activations. As Quebecers, we have a way of building on things that is all our own.

03

A warm welcome

Everything about the way we welcome people—the way they are received, how they feel, how the event unfolds, the layout, as well as the positive attitude of our staff—is the main thing that sets us apart.

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Photo of Anne and Catherine Monna Île d'Orléans © TQ/V. Gosselin
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