In 2015, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced that the concert space on the western end of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène is getting a redesign. The municipal and provincial government will invest a total of $73 million to expand the space used by promoter Evenko to stage events like Osheaga, Heavy Montréal and ÎleSoniq every summer.

While originally planned for Montreal’s 375th anniversary, it won’t be ready until next year. This means Osheaga will have a new home for the summer and Heavy Montréal will take a year off.

Capacity would increase from 45 000 to 65 000, though it will remain an open-air ampitheatre. At the time of the original announcement, the Mayor assured people that some of the budget would be spent on reducing the sound that made its way across the water to the South Shore where St-Lambert residents had been filing noise complaints for a few summers. This would presumably mean that Evenko could stage more concerts in the space.

This week, the environmental impact of the project went public. 1000 trees will have to be cut down to make it possible. While Coderre promised $18 million to plant new trees, Projet Montreal, the official opposition party in City Hall, is not happy to say the least.

Calling it a “chainsaw massacre” of Montreal’s shared greenspace to benefit one private promoter, they argued that a more environmentally-friendly version should have been considered. They also decried the lack of public consultation on the project.

With so many issues at play here, we decided to turn to you, our readers and not just make it a straight Yes or No question. In this poll, please let us know whether or not you support this project and why. If none of the answers fit what you think, you can add your own:

How do you feel about the current plan to build a new ampitheatre in Parc Jean-Drapeau?
  • Bad idea through and through 30%, 25 votes
    25 votes 30%
    25 votes - 30% of all votes
  • Any plan of this scope needs public consultation. Period. 30%, 25 votes
    25 votes 30%
    25 votes - 30% of all votes
  • I like the idea of a new ampitheatre but cutting down that many trees is unjustifiable 14%, 12 votes
    12 votes 14%
    12 votes - 14% of all votes
  • The area was in great need of repairs and a place able to welcome all the events happening an the Parc.* 10%, 8 votes
    8 votes 10%
    8 votes - 10% of all votes
  • The old concert space was fine and doesn't need to change 8%, 7 votes
    7 votes 8%
    7 votes - 8% of all votes
  • We need a new ampitheatre and this is the right way to make it happen 6%, 5 votes
    5 votes 6%
    5 votes - 6% of all votes
  • I don't care (well, I care enough to answer the poll, but that's it) 1%, 1 vote
    1 vote 1%
    1 vote - 1% of all votes
  • I live in St-Lambert (or have friends who live there) and am fine with any plan that curbs the noise 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 83
April 1, 2017 - May 1, 2017
Voting is closed

Despite criticism from fans based on interviews, the Heavy Montréal line-up ended up being one that should sell more tickets than its 2013 incarnation. Headlining one of the days, love them or hate them, is Metallica. The other day will go to Slayer, appearing at Heavy MTL for the first time since 2010.

Other featured bands include Lamb of God who were scheduled to play in 2012, but couldn’t. Three Days Grace, Hatebreed and Symphony X clearly show what the festival’s creators meant by going back to their roots. On the punk/rock side of things, The Offspring, Bad Religion and Pennywise are standouts.

In addition to the stellar line-up, a fourth stage was added. Since the festival intends to reach the largest number of people (and considering the event has grown considerably since its inception) is it possible that stages will now serve a greater importance with the farther out stage catering to the rock and punk fans while the two main stages cater to the heavy metal fans.

Another interesting note is the amount of North American artists. While Heavy MTL has always mainly featured artists out of North America with some European bands thrown in (In Flames, Children of Bodom, At The Gates), this year’s Euro flavour comes from Epica and Apocalyptica from Netherlands and Finland respectively.

In an interview with Canoe, Nick Farkas, head of programming said: “In recent years, the festival took a very metal corner and it has put off people to go.” Part of the reason why the festival had a lower attendance in 2013 than it did in 2012 was because of groups such as Avenged Sevenfold headlining and a lack of ‘must-see’ bands. While 2012 had SOAD, Manson, Slipknot and Deftones, 2013 had to settle with Danzig, A Day to Remember and Godsmack. It should be a no brainer why fans chose 2012, myself included.

Tickets go on sale this Friday with weekend passes going for $165 and gold weekend passes for $400.

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