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yay-terry rodgers

I just want to rant a bit first before actually writing the review. I was going to do this last night but decided to sleep on it and calm down a bit. But, turns out, I still feel the same way.

Yesterday was a great day. I saw great bands. It was lovely weather. Coldplay was absolutely magical with the fireworks, and the paper butterflies and the big yellow balloon and the various other shenanigans going on. But what do I remember most about last night?

HOW I HAD TO WAIT FUCKING 1.5 HOURS JUST TO GET ON THE METRO. Yeah. It effin’ sucked.

Perhaps you’re thinking, well it would have been a good idea to leave before the show ended, or right when the show ended to hustle your way to the metro to avoid the rush. BUT WHY SHOULD I? I wanna see the encore. I paid for a ticket so that doesn’t mean that I should leave early because Osheaga organizers and the STM couldn’t get their shit together. NO OTHER FESTIVAL, for crying out loud, not even HOCKEY GAMES in Edmonton have this poor organization.

It is not possible to up the speed at which they’re leaving? To run as if they were in rush hour? I get that there are only a few trains that can run max because of the way the tracks are organized, fine, that’s great. What about alternate methods off the island. For example, shuttle buses. Those can fit at least 50-60 people per bus, have 20 some buses going back and forth off the island to alleviate the stress on the metro. Maybe this is too expensive? Maybe this is worsening the carbon footprint? So, fine. don’t have the shuttles.

BUT AT LEAST FUCKING COMMUNICATE WITH US. No one knew WHERE to go. I was one of the unfortunate ones that went to the other fork in the path and ended up coming into the metro on the side, and not the other fork, which would have been directly towards the metro doors. Why weren’t there signs telling people to go the other way, or at least staff? Our side took at least 3 times longer to get to the doors than the other. And probably made the other line much more inefficient as well. Why not group everybody in the line that matters? And if this isn’t the case, still! Why not tell us how many trains are going, how many people can get on per train and how long it takes? Perhaps this isn’t they’re job? Communication is the key to from disgruntled, tired, pissed off people, to disgruntled and tired people who accept what is going on. We’ll still complain but at least we’ll know what’s going on. And that’s better than keeping us in the dark.

Osheaga is a festival that is about to terminate. Organizers even said that if this one doesn’t go well, they might not have another one (once I find the source, I will post it). Shit like this, where thousands of us, with our feet literally so brittle from having been on them all day, bodies tired from the sun and from dancing, and our moods utterly in the deep depths of hot pissed off fiery hell, were complaining our asses off and really frustrated in having to wait over 1.5 hours just to get on a train!

Osheaga, it’s great that you organized free transportation for people who have tickets on the metro, but this is fucking shite. Surely, you learned from the previous three years?! That tens of thousands of people waiting for one fucking metro line will take eternity and piss off a lot of people and doesn’t leave us happy? At. All?

I can only imagine all the people behind me…who must have waited 2+ hours…and I don’t know if the train extended their hours either, as the metro usually stops running until 0100. People were running to different connecting lines when I got off at Berri around that time. You would think that they extended the hours, they HAD to, otherwise thousands of people would have been stuck on an island, or at Berri. See? No communication. Where are the posters saying that there would be extended hours on these days so people don’t freak out and panic that they can’t get home without having to pay for an extremely expensive cab ride or have a long walk home?

I am still pissed off. Mainly because I was exhausted yesterday, and standing in the middle of the crowd like that, inching forward a few feet per 20 minutes on feet that were about to crack from overuse, was getting claustrophobic, and required even more energy (barely any left), just to survive brinking anarchy. I am sure I was not the only one.

So fuck you Osheaga and STM for not having organized a way of getting tens of thousands of people off an island. You suck. And I have more things to complain about like how they were taking the caps off the bottles of water (making them unreuseable), having barely any garbage cans or recycle bins on a vast amount of space (making your grounds super dirty, bottles in the garbage and garbage in the recyling, and not to mention extra time and money in clean up crew), and having so little vendors that the line ups for food and drink took a fucking long time (except for Dagwoods, they knew what was coming and prepared. Probably the best organized thing about this festival). But you know, it’s a four year old festival, but you would think they’d learn from their mistakes, learn from the bigger festivals or even MJF…why do people go back to those festivals all the time and don’t have much to complain about? Because it’s well organized. If Osheaga stops next year, or even the next few years, I won’t be surprised if it keeps going the way it’s going.

But you know what, enough negativity. Though the experience wasn’t as good as it could have been, the music was. I feel better now that I have all of this off my chest. I can’t complain about the shows, they were great, they were wonderful. So come back later today for a full review of the first day!

Edit 05 08 09: Sorry this came so late. This ended up being the only day of the two Osheaga days I went to because the second day was full of bands I’d already seen, and plus, I just didn’t want to deal with the metro at the end of the night. In the days between Osheaga Day 1 and now, I’ve been dancing to industrial, learning how to speak Jersey courtesy of my couchsurfers, and reading in the park. But I realise I gotta get this done before anything else. I HAVE SO MUCH MUSIC TO SHARE WITH Y’ALL. But first, the review of the Osheaga Day 1…after the jump!

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atm-knaanclose

I’ll give you love and affection
love and affection
I hope you give me direction
When I give you my love.

…sings K’naan, who was born in Somalia and whose name in Somali means traveler. Somalia. A country that conjures images of turbulent destruction, unbridled brutality, ruthless and merciless death by those that wear its crown. Somalia. A place where everyone is in the line of fire. Nobody is safe from the belligerence, the barbarian ruthlessness of the costs, traumas and atrocities of war. Somalia. Where GI Joes and Barbies turn into cold hard loaded AK-47s in the hands of 8 year old children; where “childhood” exists in chronological terms alone. Somalia, among the top of Forbes list of the “Most Dangerous Destinations” joining war torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Congo.

But at the same time, where there is war there is resistance. K’naan is the epithet of resistance. He is a poet, a musician, an artist, and a fighter for the freedoms of his people and for all those born with chains, struggling with more than just the color of their skin, the status of their politics, or the status of their wallets, but with the simple task of making it to the next day, subsisting with the risk of becoming nonexistent in the next.

Through his art he inspires peace and raises world truths unbeknownst or ignored by most. He asks us, “is it true when they say all you need is just love? What about those who have loved only to find that it’s taken away? And why do they say that the children have rights to be free? What about those who I’ve known whose memory still lives inside of me?”

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Asa

Africa, like the world’s pulse…
Africa, like a troublemaker…
Africa, like a cry of hope ringing in your ears…
Africa, like Asa.

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