Five pride-tastic parties to catch at Montreal's Divers/Cité, which kicks off tonight!
As Divers/Cité gears up for its 20th birthday, Montreal’s giant gay party is as proud as ever. A mixture of free outdoor events and ticketed indoor bashes, what better way to keep a fresh face than move festival headquarters to the Old Port? Revelers can look forward to enjoying a near endless supply of music at two distinct stages set up on the Quay Jacques-Cartier. Here’s a list of five not-to-be-missed shows from the 20th edition of the “all together different” Divers/Cité.
The inaugural edition of Apocalipstik will be audible hedonism. In looking through the roster, it’s clear this event involved meticulous curatorial skills in order to offer a stellar line-up of musical acts: Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre), Montreal gem DJ B’UGO, Fanny Bloom, the raucous Dirty Mags, the eclectic FOXTROTT, Audio Porn Club team DJs Frantastik & Montag, and the Montreal-based performance collective Glam Gam Productions. The strength of this set stems from the event’s hosts, Val Desjardins and Sally & Tyler. Desjardins is the artistic director of the Royal Phoenix Bar and was recently voted one of Montreal’s top ten promoters, while Sally & Tyler are the party monsters behind Gaybash. Apocalipstik—decadence assured.
Friday, August 3 at 6 p.m.
Loto-Québec Stage | Jacques-Cartier Quay
Though pride overflows with the hairless torsos of shirtless buff dudes, Lesbomonde is the celebrated Montreal party for bent ladies. This year’s edition takes place at the Cabaret du Mile-End and features DJ Delicious and DJ Kishy La Roux, who come together under the moniker of Kish/Delish. While the former DJ is a U.K. native and the latter originally hails from Ottawa, the two women now spin their magic in Toronto at nights like Lipstick Jungle, Dirty Bingo, and Everyone’s a DJ. Combining everything from Dutch house music to electro and mash-ups, Kish/Delish are known to incorporate live drums into their sets, which just amplifies the already vivacious pulse of their show.
Saturday, August 4 at 9:30 p.m.
Cabaret du Mile-End | 5240 du Parc
1, Boulevard des Rêves
Divers/Cité boasts what is in fact Quebec's longest running variety show. A mix of newcomers and established acts, 1, Boulevard des Rêves showcases a wealth of homegrown talent. Mistress of ceremonies and artistic director Marleen Menard will host and introduce nearly twenty acts from throughout the province. Some of these include Félix Award-nominee Marie-Denise Pelletier, Alexandre Désilets, the musically versatile powerhouse vocals of Kim Richardson, Johanne Blouin, and crowd favourite Stefie Shock.
Thursday, August 2 at 8 p.m.
Loto-Québec Stage | Jacques-Cartier Quay
Ohh La La!
The first edition of Ohh La La! promises to be a busy one. If skin-tight biking shorts are your thing, make sure to arrive early. More than 400 cyclists from Friends For Life Bike Rally—a fundraiser for people living with HIV/AIDS—will wrap up their six-day journey from Toronto at the Divers/Cité finishing line at 4 p.m. with Toronto DJ Shawn Riker on deck. Later in the evening, the Dutch DJ duo Chocolate Puma will take to the stage. Seeing as their press photo pays homage to radical fashion designer Leigh Bowery, Chocolate Puma are bound to impress. Closing the night is Brazilian DJ Ana Paula.
Friday, August 3 at 3:30 p.m.
Grande Place, Jacques-Cartier Quay
La Grande Danse
What better way to wrap up Divers/Cité than with the 10th anniversary of La Grande Danse? This dance boasts 10 hours of nonstop house music, so be sure to load up on energy drinks and stay hydrated. Local Alain Jackinsky starts the marathon, followed by CHUS + CEBALLOS from Spain, who are renowned for their trademark “Iberican” sound. The night closes with American DJ juggernaut David Morales. A former co-owner of Montreal’s Stereo, the Grammy Award-winning dance music veteran has worked with everyone from the Pet Shop Boys to the late, great Whitney Houston.
Sunday, August 5 at 2 p.m.
Grande Place | Jacques-Cartier Quay
Divers/Cité is part of Festimania, the Montreal Collective that offers you five continuous weeks of festivals this summer. The Festi+ pass will give you exclusive access to the Montreal Festimania VIP Zone, so you might want to check it out!
Divers/Cité | July 30 to August 5 | diverscite.org