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Montreal might lose Osheaga following billion-dollar Parc Jean-Drapeau plan

Montreal might lose Osheaga following billion-dollar Parc Jean-Drapeau plan
/ Mark Horton / Contributor / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

The organizers of Osheaga say they may have no choice but to take their business elsewhere after Montreal unveiled its plan to give a massive overhaul of Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Representatives from Groupe CH, which mounts the annual Osheaga music festival have expressed concern over the new 10-year redevelopment plan announced by the city earlier this week.

The park was never meant to be purely a park, Nick Farkas of Evenko told CTV in an interview.

"Millions and millions of people have experienced the beauty of the islands, experienced the magic of what's out there because they went to our festivals," he said.

The plan to completely redesign Parc Jean-Drapeau will significantly reduce the amount of space that Osheaga promoter Evenko needs in order to set up the six stages they use every year. 

“It’s super discouraging,” Farkas later told The Montreal Gazette. “It’s unbelievable in my mind that we’re having this conversation. We’re not threatening to leave. We’re concerned that with a $1-billion plan, there’s no place for us. They’re not giving us the support to operate in the same way we have always operated. It’s incredibly difficult to understand.”

The multi-day indie music festival which is held every summer has been one of the biggest tourist attractions in Montreal for several years. Osheaga’s 14th edition drew 130,000 people over three days in 2019. The festival provides an estimated $20 million economic boost to Montreal in the summer.

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