This weekend on Sunday, I attended Igloofest for the first time. The weather had uncharacteristically warmed up – above zero degrees! – and I knew that the universe was telling me to make merry and go rave to Flosstradamus.
Flosstradamus is a DJ duo made up of J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci) from Chicago, who has worked with big DJ names like Diplo and A-trak, and also rap stars like Kid Sister, Juicy J, and Waka Flocka Flame. They produce music that is a perfect blend of EDM and trap, bridging the two genres together in an intense way that will get you “Too Turnt Up” or TTU for short.
They performed on the Sapporo stage with flashing graphics of purple and green weed leaves. Two fans were waving huge American flags at the front of the stage and it was a mix of wonderful and random things that felt like a hallucinogenic cartoon.
While I was raving along on top of the Jagermeister truck, it was snowing lightly – the kind of snow that is fluffy and unintimidating that made everything look like it was covered in shimmering glitter. I knew it was meant to be. There were ice sculptures everywhere – tall beautiful symbols of shining capitalism that spelled out brand names like Jagermeister and Sapporo. Other than the Igloosnacks and Igloodrinks you could get in heated trucks, there were ice slides and a hockey rink. What a true Canadian gem!
With all the looming dilated eyes, Igloofest was truly a molly winter-wonderland. The soft snow made the whole experience feel magical, while the raving EDM music coming from the Sapporo stage took you to a different world of colourful bodies, dressed up in silly costumes like the Power Rangers and animal onesies. It was a hypercolour free-for-all that everyone was vibing to.
The crowd began chanting “ROLL UP!” on Flosstradamus’ command, everyone lighting their joints in solidarity and excitement. A layer of smoke rose above the crowd, the familiar dankness hitting me at the top of the bouncing Jagermeister truck. There was so much smoke coming from the crowd, that it looked like the bouncing bobbles on the colourful Igloofest hats were on fire. At one point, you couldn’t tell the difference between the smoke coming from the half-lit Js and people just breathing. Flosstradamus flattered the crowd by stating that Montreal had the best weed in Canada, and the crowd screamed back with joy.
This is what Josh Young and Curt Cameruci do. They are charismatic, talented hypemen who curate their set to such precision that they can get the crowd jumping, smoking, chanting, and dancing at their will. At one point, Flosstradamus transitioned from the kind of chaotic, high-energy trap rage that is “Waka Flocka Flame,” to a tribute song for their fallen homie ASAP Yams, who passed away recently. Flosstradamus has a diverse set of talents, from creating fiery bangers you’ll want to destroy the town to, to producing sweet electronic melodies like “Rebound” and “God’s Whisper.” Their style is fun and intense – a lot of their tracks feature minimalistic, yet heavy trap beats with rap verses that build up to an explosive bass drop that is heavier and dirtier than most EDM tracks care to explore.
The point is, Flosstradamus will get you moving.
For the last half of their set, they started playing “Rebound,” and it was beautiful and cathartic. After going hard for an hour and getting their crowd pumped up, it felt like the performance came full circle by ending on such a sweet melodious note.
Igloofest is still going on every weekend until February 8. If you’re in town, this is one show that you will definitely not want to miss out on. It is like nothing you have ever experienced before (unless you’ve already raved to colourful bouncing Canadians dancing to the beat and to the snow) and it is a memorable night for any Montrealer. Come for the ice sculptures, come for the music, come for the silly costumes. Either way, you won’t regret it – Igloofest is a surreal and wonderful music event that is more of a PLUR-fuelled circus.
Click on the photo above to open the gallery. All photography by Isabel Lee.