Virgin Festival Montreal ’09


On Friday June 19th & Saturday June 20th Virgin Fest came to Montreal. I ended up getting free VIP for the weekend because I was going to be doing interviews, and the festival was offering all access to media. It was definitely one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had to-date working for CONFRONT and an awesome weekend of shows. I spent the entire weekend with Jenia, Athena & Sam and I honestly couldn’t have asked for better people to go to the show with. We have so much fun together… and Athena & Sam are like Me & Jenia’s twins from Ottawa. It’s hilarious.

On Friday I got there at 11:30am and checked in with the media because we had a mini press-conference from 12-1. It was really cool because they brought us on the grounds into the VIP section which was right by the two stages, so I got to see some bands sound check while having breakfast in the media tent. They gave us SO much free stuff… Endless food, coffee, ponchos (it was a very cloudy weekend), pens, ear plugs, free access to all the VIP lounges… Basically I had everything at my disposal. VIP even had special trailers with flushable toilets which was rather exciting haha.

After a short press-conference and tour of the grounds I had my first interview with Stereos. I thought it was really cool the way they set up backstage for interviews- Basically one girl was in charge of driving media from the entrance to backstage all the way to the tent trailers where each artist had been given a space to relax until their set. My interview went really well. It was pretty cool to interview a band that hasn’t been around for very long because they’re incredibly down-to-earth guys who are still wondering where on earth their fame came from. I got to talk to the lead singer, Pat & bassist Dan (in the pic below)

After interviewing them I got to see 15 minutes of their set which was really great. I’m excited to get to see them again when I go to Toronto at the end of July because they’re opening for Katy Perry along with The New Cities.

After about 15 minutes though I had to head back to the artist tent-trailers for my second interview, with Kreesha Turner. I didn’t really know what to expect with this interview because she was a bit of a bigger artist then I’m used to interviewing & I had never interviewed a girl before. She ended up being SO nice. It was really refreshing to interview a girl because a) it smelled WAY better in her trailer then anyone elses’ I’ve ever been in, and b) it was right away like we were having a super casual conversation between friends & we laughed and joked the entire time. We actually had a lot in common which I had never expected to find out. I had a completely new perspective and respect for her music than I did before meeting her.

After my interview I got to go front row with the girls for Ten Second Epics’ set on the main stage. It was so weird seeing them again because I hadn’t been expecting to after the 5 dates I saw them in May… but I was really happy to see them again. The four of us reminisced about the tour while they played… but Jenia and I were mostly hysterical at Andrew (lead singer’s) facial expressions. The picture below is the only one I’ve ever taken personally and that I’ve ever seen where he has a smile on. He’s usually very angry… it was good times.

The festival itself was really well set-up. There were tons of things to do if you didn’t feel like watching the show & there was always really strange people walking around. During TSE’s set there was a bunch of people dressed as shrubs dancing in the crowd, and soon after 3 scary people on stilts started walking around too. It definitely kept things interesting.

Later in the afternoon Jenia & I headed to the Festival Stage where TNC was playing. I think it’s officially the furthest we’ve watched them play… but they put on a great set… even though we didn’t stay for the whole thing. I think that was one of the most difficult parts of the day. Athena & Sam had saved us front row spots at the other stage because Hedley was up next so we could only watch half. We danced and sang like crazy while they finished their set though… but I hope I never have to choose between two bands like that again!

Hedley was absolutely amazing front row though. It was so nice to get to see the guys again… I always forget what an amazing set they put on and what a great entertainer Jake is. He bought popcorn & beer and ate and drank on stage… Jenia and I may have had a moment with him at one point because he forgot his lyrics and it confused us and he noticed haha.

After Hedley we made our way back to the Festival stage to catch Simple Plan’s set. I think Pierre Bouvier is absolutely gorgeous so I decided that even though I’m not a huge SP fan I’d watch… and I have to admit they put on a good show. I guess it’s a good thing I’m starting to like them since I’ll be seeing them several more times this summer!

The Black Eyed Peas closed off the night with a pretty amazing set & a wicked crowd. Their light show was also really cool. We only stayed for about half of their set because we didn’t want to get stuck in the traffic on the metro… But it was really cool to see them play. Their song ‘I got a feeling’ is definitely on my list of summer songs. It’s super addictive!

On Saturday we started the day at Le Garage on St-Cat’s where The New Cities put on a small acoustic set & then signed autographs. We didn’t get in line because they were very pressed for time since they had a show to get to… but it was really amazing to see them play acoustic. It was a completely different experience which is nice after seeing them like 18 times now. David sounded REALLY good.

I made my way to PJD afterwards with Athena & Sam where we checked out the Jabawockeez who scared the crap out of me with their masks on… but they were amazing dancers.

After Jabawockeez I had to go to the media tent and check in with my editor because I had my interview with Karl Wolf. The interview ended up being pushed to 3:30 but it was definitely worth the wait… He was a really awesome person to meet. I was really surprised at how friendly he was and how easy he was to talk to. I didn’t even have to look at my questions once… He made it super easy for me to just have a conversation with him and want to know more about what he was talking about. I didn’t get to stay for his set but I would definitely go see him if he came back to Montreal.

Lights also put on a wicked set- I was REALLY impressed with how great she sounded live. She seems really sweet & down to earth… It was cool that she was there too. We didn’t stay for her whole set though because we wanted to go wait by the other stage for Jesse McCartney.

The last show that I checked out for the weekend was Jesse McCartney. I’ve loved the guy ever since he started on Summerland. I saw him briefly backstage when I went to interview Karl Wolf but I didn’t get to say anything to him. His set was good, but not as amazing as I imagined he would be. I wish he hadn’t come out all dressed up with dancers and what not. I see him being a really good singer if he didn’t try so hard to impress all the fans. I was really happy I got to see him play a couple songs though, it was really neat to see an artist that I’ve followed and never imagined I’d get to see perform.

I honestly had an unforgettable weekend. Between the interviews and the shows it was really nice to spend two days with these three girls. We always have a ton of fun when we’re together and I’m excited for our next adventure… sometime this summer.


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