[Event Recap] îLESONIQ 2022 Hit Us Right in the Nostalgia
On Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, 2022, îLESONIQ made its highly-anticipated comeback. Following a pesky pandemic related hiatus, thousands of partygoers flocked to the Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, to make up for lost time... We had the pleasure of being amongst these devoted music enthusiasts last weekend. We absolutely cannot wait to share some of our favourite highlights with you all - so, let's dive right in!
We always have high hopes ahead of îLESONIQ as the organizers are infamous for throwing one of the highest caliber music festivals in Canada. This year, in addition to the expectation of a memorable event, several new upgrades, activations, and more, were promised. Amongst the lengthy list of updates, the Bell OASIS Mainstage was guaranteed to be 2.5 times bigger, making it one of the biggest mobile stages in Canada! We couldn't wait to witness it ourselves.
In true îLESONIQ fashion, we were well-prepared prior to the festival thanks to its efficient newsletters and social media posts, mainly outlining helpful information such as the site map, set times, transportation, etc. This year, the organizers even offered different Metro ticket options so that the attendees could choose which one would be most economical for their own commutes. As such, we did not have any issues making our way to the festival's grounds by Metro.
Once we exited the station, we instantly felt a wave of positivity due to the contagious sounds of laughter and excitement flowing through the air. It was immediately obvious to us that this weekend was on the verge of becoming extra special. Thanks to the well-laid-out grounds and provided site map, the check-in process was quick and efficient! The staff conducted a thorough search and their friendly nature kicked off our adventure on the right foot.
The groovy baseline were reverberating in the distance. Joel Corry was setting the tone nicely ahead of our must-see performance of the weekend - James Hype! Although we were eager (to say the least) to see the acclaimed British producer's set, we made time to visit the various photo-worthy areas, including a large-scale îLESONIQ sign, at the top of a hill, overlooking mainstage. A quick stop to a bar was also made before wiggling our way through the crowd.
It was from that moment on that our smile was permanently displayed across our face for the remainder of the weekend. While we were surrounded by like-minded ravers, we began to take in just how magical this moment truly was. The power of music, specifically how it unites so many, never ceases to amaze us. We felt an overflow of gratitude as James Hype was about to take the decks. To add to the uniqueness of the occasion, we locked eyes with the artist and seemingly telepathically communicated "this was about to be...epic!"
We've followed his musical journey for some time now. Seeing Hype command the decks in front of our eyes was everything and more that we could have imagined. From beginning to end, James Hype had everyone dancing in sheer delight! The weather was on our side as the sun was shining - perfectly complimenting the sheer heat coming from the decks! As predicted, and as if a dream became a reality, 'Ferrari' was played, and the crowd erupted!
As undeniable bliss consumed our body, we began to further explore the festival grounds. Aside from the Mirage and Neon stages, we passed by the Monster Energy Container, Bell Experience, Bud Light Cooler, Coke Studio, Casa Bacardi, Kandies World and other companies' booths. This was in addition to the other expertly laid out food and alcohol vendors - each offering various options and services. As such, the wait times were very reasonable!
Speaking of timing, we were quite impressed by the amount of sets we managed to squeeze in throughout the weekend. We certainly got our steps in as we bounced from stage to stage! On that same note, we want to give a massive shout out to all the maintenance workers who were tirelessly cleaning the festival grounds, without any complaints. îLESONIQ prides themselves on being environmentally friendly - this was noticed throughout the 3 days.
Mother Nature must have been smiling from ear to ear as she witnessed most attendees filling up their reusable water bottles - another admirable environmental element the organizers encouraged from the very beginning. The water component was unquestionably present. The real MVP of the weekend was the gorgeous water fountain next to the mainstage. The extreme heat wave seemingly came out of nowhere - a refreshing zone was highly appreciated!
On the topic of appreciation, the official programming is one we can't praise enough! The level of talent among the bill was nearly unheard of... We'd like to extend our sincere thanks to the organizers for curating such a thoughtful lineup. Every day, attendees had the opportunity to explore new genres and artists. We believe we can speak on behalf of all festival-goers when we say it was incredible to witness the magic of the music programming unfold...
Some of our all-time favourite sets during the weekend were as followed:
Fisher - his beloved chaotic energy contagiously translated to his stage presence.
Tchami - his chart-topping singles like 'Praise' and 'Adieu', and his beautiful visuals, often making reference to the church, were a match made in Heaven.
John Digweed - a legendary techno set before sunset? We'd love to see this happen more frequently; the vibe was immaculate!
Black Tiger Sex Machine - they certainly did their hometown proud. Their Futuristic Thriller visual production is always a hit, and despite 2/3 tigers having performed, they delivered enough energy for the trio and more!
MARTEN HØRGER - the house music Gods all seemed to be present at this set; it was a spiritual thing! Shufflers united in celebration of this uplifting genre.
DVBBS - the Canadian duo hit us right in the nostalgia with their iconic throwback anthems like 'Tsunami' - the crowd went absolutely wild!
Sean Paul - despite the intensive trek to the Mirage stage, it seemed like more than half of the festival's attendees made the journey to see the living legend perform. The Jamaican dancehall rapper had an extensive production, resulting in a memorable performance for all...
Don Diablo - without a doubt, the Dutch DJ is one of the most consistent artists when it comes to his branding. The future theme was present throughout his entire set and his army of Hexagonions were eating up every minute of it!
Subtronics - not going to lie, our neck is still recovering from this jaw-dropping performance! The bass heads were out in full-force, headbanging in appreciation for his expert mashups and unexpected drops.
ILLENIUM b2b Excision - after watching their historic back to back performance at Lost Lands, we had high hopes for their îLESONIQ set. Spoiler ~ they did not disappoint! It was spectacular to see how well their singles and personas complimented each other's. We feel blessed to have witnessed it in person.
Dom Dolla - wow; we have goosebumps thinking back to this impeccable set! There will never be enough words to describe how epic it truly was... The Australian musician unleashed one of the best house sets we've ever had the pleasure of hearing, dropping some unreleased IDs and his newest heater 'Miracle Maker.' It was one of those sets we wish we could relive again and again. In our opinion, Dom Dolla delivered the set of the weekend!
Dombresky - the French producer set the tone nicely for the last day of the festival by playing some soulful house anthems. When he dropped Stardust's 'Music Sounds Better With You,' he had everyone grooving in unison.
Barely Alive - to say we were always on our toes at this set is an understatement! The genre-bending performance kept everyone guessing, mixing dubstep, pop, trap, rock, drum & bass...honestly, every genre you could have imagined! Our mind was absolutely...blown!
Markus Schulz - a light rain began to sprinkle from above, adding to the magic of this beautifully melodic trance set. We always love moments like this...
Wooli - the American riddim and dubstep producer surprised his fans by bringing out the rising superstar Stoned Level. This unquestionably added to the excitement levels ahead of SVDDEN DEATH's hard-hitting set where he encouraged a wall of death!
Lane 8 - we couldn't have been more proud of the American musician for locking down a well-deserved spot on the Mainstage. It's been a pleasure witnessing his growth throughout the years. His set was nearly a celebration of how far he's come since he first launched his career - it was magic...
Louis The Child - although we were only able to catch part of their set, what we did manage to witnessed was truly incredible! The way the duo feeds off of each other's energy and their skillful music selection is next-level. We can't wait to see them perform again in the future.
Swedish House Mafia - rave royalty was certainly present to close out the festival! The esteemed trio wasted no time delivering their biggest anthems, including 'One,' 'Greyhound,' 'Antidote,' and more. It was incredibly special hearing most of the audience singing their tracks while fireworks were displayed in the distance.
îLESONIQ 2022 was hands down their best edition yet! Although the organizers, artists and staff are what make this event possible, we are equally as grateful to our Flag fam for making this experience memorable. We will cherish these memories for years to come! If you're like us, you're already dreaming of next year's edition... Well, good news ~ the official dates have been revealed. Mark your calendars, next year's îLESONIQ will take place from August 11-13, 2023.