The first edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1980 brought some 100 artists to the city to celebrate a shared love of jazz and a passion for music. Since then, the festival has seen millions of visitors flock to French Canada’s largest city each year to witness jazz’s biggest names and smaller acts alike, and was crowned as the largest jazz festival in the world by Guinness World Records in 2004.
The festival takes over 20 different stages across Montreal, offering various free outdoor events as well as indoor stages. Every year the programming features over 650 performances, 450 of those being free outdoor concerts. Since its inception, the festival has brought names like Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Cat Power, Lauryn Hill, Danny Brown, BADBADNOTGOOD, Erykah Badu, and the Sheepdogs.
Ticketing for the event is organized on a concert-by-concert basis, rather than one pass or wristband for access to the entire event, with programming in venues all over the city.While there are no accommodations for festival goers on-site, Montreal is a massive city centre with plenty of options for those looking to stay for the duration of the festival.
There are several street closures during the event in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles in downtown Montreal. The festival recommends parking away from the centre of the festivities and walking towards the festival grounds. Alternatively, festival goers can make use of public transit or taxi services as detailed on Montreal Jazz Festival’s website.