Hard to believe that IleSoniq is only in it’s 6th year (and also my 6th year of being an official festival photographer). Montreal’s EDM festival has steadily grown each year, attracting bigger names and bigger crowds. 78,000 fans flocked to the newly revamped site. 78,000. That’s 39,000 a day (I r gooder at math). Compared to the internationally known Osheaga, which attracted about 44k per day this year, it is insane to see how big EDM music is … and props to the organisers for bringing the right talent that the people want to see.
The first day of IleSoniq had a few stoppaged due to rain. Murda Beatz set was interrupted. Killy was supposed to end his set at 3:50, but only began at 3:45 (but made up for it with an intense short set) and headliner of the night Bad Bunny played his set under the rain.
There were also some grumblings about the sound not being loud enough (we didn’t head those grumblings during the 3 other festivals prior to IS). All I can say is there didn’t seem to be any sound issues at my stage.
I was covering the Mirage stage for the two days. The first day had a lineup made of mostly hip hop / trap with artists like Lil Pump, Killy, Smokepurpp and Bad Bunny. The second day was very bass heavy / dubstep with artists like Snails, Whipped Cream, Adventure Club and Excision.
Photos are quite challenging at IleSoniq. For starters, most of the photography team are on their 7th and 8th festival days in 3 weeks. Days that are usually 10-12 hours long. But EDM itself is tricky to shoot. There are certain typical angles that work (hello fish eye and monopod), but trying to keep things different and fresh can be hard. Artists are behind a table, and while the visuals can be plenty, trying to capture images of them is hard.
Most of my photos were done with either a 70-200 or a 16-35. A few with a fisheye for fun, and yes, some with a monopod. I got the best compliment from one of the artist’s managers I also did photos for: “The photos are not your typical EDM photos we see. They are different and I totally love them. I’ll hit you up when we are back in town”.
Below are, you guessed it, a bunch of IleSoniq photos. Part of the hundreds of images submitted to the festival. It’s non-stop grueling work, but oh how I love it.