M for Memories!

Image courtesy of Consequence of Sound.

Aww.

This year’s M for Montreal was another whirlwind of sleeplessness similar to the exam delirium we’re all starting to experience, but about a thousand times more fun. Even in their sixth year, and after earning international acclaim and respect, the festival maintains a low-key charm and accessibility unique in the milieu of Montreal music festivals. This year’s long and eclectic list of performers were largely based in  Quebec that many who travelled to the city specifically for M had never heard of, but that’s the exciting part of festivals like this one – every night has the potential of introducing you to your new favourite band.

While I would have loved to catch even a few more sets, the performances that stand out the most to me from that fateful weekend include Uncle Bad TouchTonstartssbandht, Doldrums, Half Moon RunCreature and Leif Vollebekk. I also caught a few of the industry panel discussions and seminars offered mainly for the delegates who travelled from outside of the city to scout some new talent. The programming was better than I remember it ever being and unlike some industry-centric events organized by music festivals, it felt like a lot more than just a schmooze-fest.

I spoke to a very tired Mikey Rishwain Bernard, the festival’s Program Director to find out what he’ll remember most from M #6. Since you can almost guarantee running into Mikey at any great music industry party in North America, I knew he would have high standards and he was proud of the team’s efforts this year, saying, “It was very successful as usual. The International Delegates fell in love with our city and our music. We had more bands and delegates than ever. So next year should be full of surprises. Half Moon Run stunned many people. Absolutely Free made history…The Icelandic & French bands added an original twist to the event.”

If you’re planning on travelling outside of Montreal, keep an eye out for an M on the Road showcase happening near you. Mikey also handles the booking for this mini, portable version of the festival that continues to pop up in far-away markets to hype up interest in the Quebecois scene. “All we can think about is CMW [Canadian Music Weeek], SXSW [South by Southwest], & Planet Quebec. We will be hitting up Brighton in May. Always so much going on!”  True, but this guy deserves a nap. Thanks to M for Montreal for another great year!

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Categories: Arts and Entertainment, Montreal Music Festivals

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