Who doesn’t like the smell of a fresh can of Montana spray paint in the air? I sure do!
On August 9th and 10th Montreal’s Hip Hop community will come together to celebrate yet another edition of longest running international Canadian Graffiti Festival – Under Pressure. After 19 years, this annual community block party/ festival brings together all 4 elements of hip-hop culture, and it is not to be missed. The festival will be closing down a section of St-Catherine’s street between Berger and St-Elisabeth, or between Foufounes Electrique and Fresh Paint Gallery. There will be breakdancing and skateboarding competitions, live Djs, sweet low riders, clothing booths, but most importantly, so much amazing live painting by graffiti muralists and street artists, who reach from coast to coast and all over the world.
Co-Founded by a Montreal veteran graffiti artists SEAZ, Under Pressure began in 1996 with ten graffiti writers and a wall. Seaz aka Sterling Downey, silver-haired and covered in tattoos, now runs a developed enterprise with North America’s largest graffiti convention, an internationally distributed magazine, and a record label! The festival has had its ups and downs, but it has always shinned on through. It continues to educate people about this incredibly bold art form.
UP is a purist graffiti festival, therefore I will not be name dropping any writers. You will have to come and discover the artwork and the writers yourselves, and I guarantee you will be plesantly surpised! All I can say is, artists are coming in from all over the world for this event.
The festival will host live music with artists such as DJ Sugarface Nene & Dj Serious Black, and many more ripping it up on the outdoor stages all weekend long, as will the skateboard and breakdancing competitions. The festival setup is directly on St-Catherine, and all outdoor events are free and all-ages, so feel free to bring along the whole family!
It’s definitely worthwhile to take a walk around on Sunday afternoon,to see all the finished pieces by the artists. It is simply amazing to witness what these artists can do over 2 days! Sunday will also end with UP’s annual, FREE, closing concert. This year, hip hop’s legendary Afrika Bambaataa (founder of the Universal Zulu Nation movement) will be on live as of 10pm at Foufounes Électriques.
Hope to see you there!