Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed

Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed ; feed

Thirty street trucks are on the Osheaga site.

Osheaga is three days of music, art and celebration at Parc Jean-Drapeau, where 50,000 people gather daily. And that, that in fact, mouths to feed!  

The challenge is all the greater for festivals that are not held in the Quartier des Spectacles. When we talk about the Jazz Festival, the Francos or Montréal en Lumière, the food offer is not limited to the perimeter of the event, from where people come and go as they please to have a bite elsewhere. .  

For Osheaga, like ÎleSoniq and Lasso, it is quite the opposite. Festival-goers spend the whole day on the site, where the food offer must be complete in order to meet everyone's needs, no other alternative being possible to buy food.  

Icing on the cake: everything must be done in camping mode, since the restaurateurs only have their food truck or a tent.

< p>“We build a city, explain to MetroPatrick Bigras, vice-president of hospitality at Groupe CH, which includes the Canadian, Spectra and evenko, organizer of the various festivals mentioned above. We start from nothing and we have to make sure we have all the infrastructure: water, sanitary services, food, first aid… we have to think of everything so that we are almost independent on the site.”< /p>


Osheaga is the festival that offers the largest number of street trucks, since there are about thirty. If several this year are located in the YUL Eat Gardens (where you can find Montreal restaurants such as Babacool, Red Tiger, El Gordo, Kwizinn and the NO.900 pizzeria, but also), you can find them everywhere on the site.

Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed

Photo: Metro

Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed

Photo: Métro

“We've been doing Osheaga for 16 years, so we still have good history to know what people like, what they don't like and the volumes needed,” summarizes Patrick Bigras .

Some partners return each year, but new players approach the organization regularly, allowing Osheaga to renew its food offer with each edition, food being part of the experience.

If Patrick Bigras and his team have to refuse requests from restaurateurs as they receive so many, it happens that they have to canvass establishments to come up with a “more niche” offer.

“It is certain that 16 years ago, gluten-free was not very popular and the vegan was present, but much less than today”, gives the example of the vice-president hospitality. Over the years, the options have multiplied in this direction, but sometimes it was necessary to seek them out.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or halal food is easily found in Osheaga, but kosher cuisine is not available on the festival site. “There is no supplier in Montreal – we searched and we did not find – to do that in camping mode, and to serve kosher food, there are a lot of constraints”, points out Patrick Bigras.

The potato king

Even though you’ll find poké bowls, bánh mì or falafel quite easily, these options with the healthier label are not necessarily the most popular, says Patrick Bigras.

Of course the traditional poutine is what remains the most popular. What we see with our history is that there is a clientele for all types of offer, but let's say that it is even more numerous for the junk!

Patrick Bigras, vice-president of hospitality at Groupe CH

Poutines, pizzas, hot dogs, beaver tails and even poutine on a beaver tail (we swear, we're not inventing anything!) are therefore sold in quantity on the Osheaga website.

Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed

Photo: Metro

Osheaga and its 50,000 mouths to feed

Photo: Metro

It’s similar to Lasso and ÎleSoniq, with a few differences. “Of course we are not addressing the same audiences, notes Patrick Bigras. We adapt to our customers to meet their needs. ÎleSoniq is drastically different. It is a young clientele, which party, who eats little and drinks more. We still have a great offer, but much less volume.»  

What does not change from one festival to another is the seriousness of the mission. Hygiene rules (which sometimes exceed MAPAQ requirements, according to Patrick Bigras) and the ability of restaurants to process high volumes in a short time are top priorities for the hospitality team.

“The last thing we want is for someone to get sick,” concludes the man who ensures that festival-goers can enjoy the music with a full stomach.

Osheaga ends this Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau, in Montreal.
ÎleSoniq will be held there on August 12 and 13, then Lasso on August 18 and 19.

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