In only its third year, the Mile Ex End Festival, which takes place under the Rosemont-Van Horne overpass during the Labour Day Weekend, has added a third evening of music and will be continuing last year’s inclusion of a day dedicated to a local comedy line-up.
If you’ve been to the festival before, it is surprisingly pleasant to be sheltered from the inevitable rain by big slabs of concrete above your head instead of some flapping tarp. It’s pretty impressive what a hefty dose of string-lights can achieve, ambiance-wise, to the underbelly of a viaduct.
Claude Larivée, the head of the festival and of record label La Tribu, described the festival as “boutique,” which I suppose is the cringiest way imaginable to say cozy. However, past iterations of the festival have certainly been friendly and relaxed, with children notably poised on shoulders during the early evening, and fans shockingly patient about some chilly weather and at least one power issue.
Now, I’ve had as nice a time as any under a damp overpass but remain dubious about the Mile Ex End’s claims that the Sept. 2 comedy line-up will be like a “giant comedy club.” Perhaps. It will be interesting to see how performances hinged on intimacy will survive in this context.
Meanwhile the “street food” at the festival these past two years, and much like at every outdoor music festival, was not the greasy hot dog you dream of but instead the bougie snack you apparently deserve.
Nevertheless, this year’s line-up promises Feist headlining Friday night, followed by Repentigny’s les Cowboys Fringants on Saturday and electro-funk duo Chromeo on Sunday. Also performing are A Tribe Called Red, Montreal’s Zach Zoya and, of particular interest, Dinosaur Jr. singer and guitarist J Mascis doing a solo acoustic set. ■
Mile Ex End Montréal happens Friday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 2 under the Rosemont-Van Horne overpass (corner of Marmier and Henri-Julien), tickets from $29.75