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  • Katia Rose

Throwback to Clubbing in MTL

Writing a book about two DJs rising to fame in Montreal was tough to do during a time when the entire nightlife industry has been shut down indefinitely. I stopped and started working on the first draft of When the Lights Come On so many times I wondered if I even still had it in me to finish a novel. I couldn't go out into the world to get inspired, and relying on memories of going out with friends to all our well-loved haunts from back in the day just sent me down this spiral of wondering if we'd ever be able to do that again.

But enough doom and gloom! Once I started thinking of the book as a celebration of everything I love about the Montreal scene rather than some kind of eulogy for times gone by, things got a lot easier. I know music and lights and dancing your ass off until two in the morning aren't gone forever, and one day people like Paige and Youssef (the story's heroine and hero) are going to be able to pursue their passions again.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and share some of the place I loved to hit the dance floor in Montreal. I've had a few brief stints of living in MTL, and I'm always on the lookout for excuses to visit. Many a night of my early twenties was spent bar hopping around Boulevard Saint-Laurent, and I can't wait for the day I'll be able to go back.


I'm a little scared I've maxed out on the age range for going to Nesta, but for a few years, this was the club me and my friends would always end up at. The free cover certainly helped, but we also went for the awesome and unorthodox music choices, as well as the ambiance, crowd, and terrace in the summer. The risk of climbing the stairs to get in while wearing giant heels and/or feeling the effects of pre-gaming was always worth it. I don't think I'll ever walk past this place without smiling (and sometimes cringing) and all the memories it brings up.

Foufounes Électriques

Oh, Foufs. This is not really somewhere I see Youssef and Paige playing considering it's a punk rock bar, but it was always really fun and filled with a mixed crowd that kept things interesting. You never really knew what was going to come on the speakers next.

Piknic Électronik

This is a festival rather than a venue, but I couldn't not include it considering it's mentioned in When the Lights Come On! Piknic is a weekly electronic music festival that happens every Sunday in the summer. It's held in Parc Jean-Drapeau, and it's always a great and surprisingly chill way to end the weekend. I remember spending the whole day wandering around between the different stages. There's always some kind of festival going on in Montreal, especially in the summer, and this is one I can't wait to go back to.

Feeling the urge to hit the dance floor? When the Lights Come On might be just the escape you need!


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