Your ultimate guide to surviving Igloofest 2020 in Montreal

Jan 14 2020, 8:49 pm

The 14th edition of Montreal’s Igloofest kicks off its four-weekend-long party this week and a survival guide might be required.

In recent years, many unprepared festival-goers have complained about just how cold the outdoor music festival can get.

For starters, the festival is named after an igloo. It’s also in the dead of winter.

This year especially, the festival is about launch during a cold snap in the city, adding a whole new meaning to the phrase, “want to chill at Igloofest?”

According to The Weather Network’s week-long forecast, things might get a bit chilly on the outdoor dance floor. Thursday calls for “light snow” and temperatures are expected to feel like -12ºC before dropping to feels like -23ºC on Friday and -20ºC on Saturday.

Whereas Friday is expected to be sunny, Saturday calls for up to 10 cm of snow.

The Weather Network

With that said, we’ve put together a handy guide to enjoy the wild sub-zero bash without risking a nasty frostbite.

Whether you’re igloo-ing or the first time, or if you’ve only just overcome last year’s frostbite, it’s important to be well prepared when joining the thousands of brave outdoor partiers.


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Stuff to bring:

Prepare for the cold.

Thursday isn’t expected to bring much sunshine with its light snowfall but Friday is forecasted to have eight hours of sun before Saturday sums up the party’s first weekend with three hours of rays.

You might want to follow these tips to show Mother Nature who’s boss.

  • Dress in layers – long johns, thermal shirts, warm (or multiple) socks over top. You can always remove layers if you’re dancing and sweating up a storm
  • Wear a warm toque, scarf, and thick mittens/gloves (figure you’ll be holding a lot of cold beer)
  • Winter boots (you won’t make it in sneakers)
  • Hand warmers – these little bad boys are easily accessible and they’re essentially superpowers
  • Bring cash – don’t lose valuable warmth by fiddling with an ATM

*Keep in mind that while alcohol provides that warm and fuzzy feeling for a few minutes, it’s been proven to cool your core (dancing around with your friends in tight groups might help.)


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Getting to the festival site

Igloofest takes place at the Jacques-Cartier Quai in the Old Port.

Igloofest is walkable from the two closest metro stations, Champ-des-Mars and Place-D’Armes, both on the Orange Line.

Guests planning on driving need to take parking into consideration. Some spots might be available at the Quai de l’Horloge and Quai King-Edward, but don’t count on it.

Suiting up

Part of Igloofest’s allure is that you get to accessorize your winter gear. One-piece snowsuits, toques, and shades are a default go-to but the zanier the better — as long as you’re warm.

Thrift shops, like Village des Valeurs, are great spots to find outdoor gear without breaking the bank.

Post fest

Igloofest attendees start getting ushered out of the Jacques-Cartier Quai after the bash (11 pm on Thursdays, 12:30 am on weekends) and since Montreal is Montreal, there are Igloofest after-parties.

Downtown is usually the cold hot spot as clubs, bars, and pubs really pick up during Igloofest weekends. Some places even offer discounts to attendees.

Consider Crescent Street if you want to keep dancing, Bishop Street if you want some live music to wind down, and St-Laurent Boulevard if you want to keep partying.


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Igloofest 2020

When: January 16 to February 8
Time: 7:30 pm to 12:30 am
Where: Quai Jacques Cartier, Old Montreal
Price: $20.50 to $89, available online

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