The Tipping Point: Oakley at Osheaga

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Osheaga is no longer a music festival solely for Montreal locals. It is now a destination event that can be mentioned in the same conversation as Coachella and Lollapaloza.

Since 2006, the OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival has established itself as the largest festival of its kind in Canada. This year was no exception, with 135,000 fans coming from all over the world to attend the 8th edition. Oakley has been a proud supporter of the festival since its inception and this year Oakley was once again on hand to celebrate art through music, food and lots of dancing.

Over the years, Oakley’s presence has evolved from a humble booth backstage; to a VIP viewing trailer beside the main stages. This year Oakley took on an entirely new role and served as an exclusive media hub. A place for bands to come through and chat with journalists about music, song writing, travel and even the Queen’s new great-grandson. Bands sought refuge from the muggy August weather and occasional rain shower in the Oakley trailer as they sat with various blogs and media outlets, happily giving interviews and posing for photos. While chatting it up, bands were treated to snacks and drinks as well as a glimpse of Oakley’s culture and heritage. Many artists got a kick out of the retro Oakley eyewear that was on hand; especially the legendary Over The Tops, which were a fan favorite.

This year, artists not only enjoyed Oakley’s distinct hospitality, but they were also treated to a limited edition Garage Rock, which was designed exclusively for Osheaga. The Garage Rock featured the festival mascots, Oshe & Aga as well as a lens etching of the festival logo. Designed as a memento of their time in Montreal and at the festival, the Osheaga x Oakley Garage Rock was not only for musicians playing at the festival. 100 pairs were also sold exclusively on site and at Montreal’s O-Store, where they sold out before the sun set on the last day of the festival.

With sunshine breaking through during the three days of Osheaga, the limited edition piece could be seen on the faces of a few artists while they performed on stage; from Capital Cities opening performance on day one with their choreographed dance steps, to the soul of Charles Bradley on the final day, the Garage Rock shared the stage with some great bands.

“It is always such a pleasure to work with a sponsor that truly understands what Osheaga is all about,” said the festival’s founder, Nick Farkas, about the relationship that has blossomed between Osheaga and Oakley over the past eight years. “The integration of all things Oakley is seamless and always complementary to what we are trying to achieve.”

As the reputation of Osheaga grows, so does its unique artist catering; currently handled by the Crown Salts Crew, founded by Oakley ambassador and Montreal’s own Chef Chuck Hughes. Chuck, along with Chef James Baran (Le Garde Manger) and recent Canada’s Top Chef Season 3 runner up, Chef Danny Smiles, treated artists to what is rumored as the best food that artist have ever experienced at any festival or concert.

Osheaga was also the Canadian debut of snowboard icon Shaun White’s band, Bad Things. Bad Things brought their California rock to Montreal after playing Lollapaloza in Chicago where Shaun looked just as comfortable with a guitar strapped over him as he did strapped into his Burton board dropping into the X-Games superpipe.

With rumors already spreading about who will appear on the stages next year, Oakley is already marking their calendars to break in their dancing shoes for Osheaga 2014.