Ancient Future brings the beat to the Old Port this weekend

We spoke to one of the festival organizers about the party that’s about to go off.


Whatever the season, there’s no shortage of places and occasions, both indoors and out, to shake your rump in Montreal, especially if your bum wiggles hardest to good techno, house and hip hop.

La Bacchanale, a non-profit dedicated to producing quality dance events for discerning ravers, bring all three together this weekend and continue to make their mark on the city’s festival scene with the third edition of Ancient Future in the Old Port. Daytime events take place under the clock by the river, and at night festivities move inside at Hangar 16.

This year’s line-up includes heavy hitters like Kevin Saunderson, Hudson Mohawke, Fritz Kalkbrenner, the Underachievers and many, many more all afternoon and night, Friday and Saturday.

We spoke to event publicist Francis Corbeil-Savage to learn more about what makes Ancient Future unique.

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Darcy MacDonald: Please give us a little history of Ancient Future and Baccanale.

Francis Corbeil-Savage: ​My name is Francis Corbeil-Savage, publicist for the festival.

La Bacchanale is a non-profit organization that started in 2012. The founders are three old friends from Paris and when they arrived in Montreal, they were looking for crazy electronic music warehouse parties like you can find in Europe, but the techno scene in Montreal, which used to be plentiful in the ’90s, wasn’t very alive at this time.

So they wanted to create unique events that mix techno music with an amazing environment, mapping projections, performances and installations. They did grandiose events in multiple warehouses all across the city. Then, in 2015, the Old Port of Montreal approached the team to launch an event lasting until 3 a.m. in the mythical Hangar 16, the first ever.

The idea has grown to include an outside site, and the Ancient Future Festival was born!

​The festival ​offers a multidisciplinary happening tinted by electronic music,​ hip hop,​ visual arts and extravagant performances.

At the edge of the river, the musical experience is a paradox between nature and the building where the past and the future confront. (We’re) an independent and eco-responsible festival where landmarks are deconstructed to give way to hedonism and the unpredictable. We recieved 5000 people last year​ ​and we are back for a third edition​.

DM: What kind of dynamic does having an indoor and outdoor site create?

FCS: ​We wanted to duplicate the vibes of the festival and extend the experience. You can start your day outside under the sun, enjoying concerts on an amazing site and chilling out with your friends. And then you continue your night in Hangar 16 with a unique warehouse vibe with huge techno music until 3 a.m.

DM: What do you feel distinguishes Ancient Future from other local dance-music oriented events?

FCS: ​Precisely this unique vibe, this unique site and the multidisciplinary experience.

We created a massive rendezvous for the underground community. The electronic melody blends with breathtaking visual projections with extravagant artistic performances to create an unforgettable experience.

DM: Why did Ancient Future expand to include hip hop and trip hop this year?

FCS: ​We included trip-hop and hip hop to open the festival to a larger public. As it’s a multidisciplinary experience, we opened our music programming in this mindset, too.

DM: You mentioned Hangar 16 may be demolished — why, and how will this affect your fest in coming years? Any idea what the solution is yet?

FCS: ​The city recently announced that they will demolish Hangar 16 to redesign the river access on the quay and build a new cultural centre for events. The project is still in its infancy and we don’t have more details now, so, to be continued!

DM: Any tips for first time guests?

FCS: Arrive early! You don’t want to miss the magic of Quai de l’Horloge and the Dome Eden, where we will have conferences, workshops and performances.

Ancient Future is happening at the Clock Tower Quai and at Hangar 16 in the Old Port of Montreal on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9. Weekend passports cost $85, with day/show tickets between $15 and $55. See the festival’s website for pricing details.

See our interview with rapper KGoon, playing Ancient Future on Friday, Sept. 8, here.