Bal en Blanc without a venue with 3 weeks' notice

Three weeks ahead of Bal en Blanc's 25th anniversary edition, the electronic music festival is scrambling to find a venue after the Sud-Ouest borough denied the organization a permit to go ahead with the one it had planned to use.

The cavernous Grandé Studios in Pointe-Saint-Charles are located in a residential part of the quiet neighbourhood just below the Lachine Canal, and isn't zoned properly to accomodate large commercial functions.  But the Sud-Ouest borough council granted the facility an exception this spring so it could host two conferences — annual creative entrepreneurship summit C2 Montreal, as well as the mobility-focussed Moving on Montreal.

But local city councillor Craig Sauvé told Radio-Canada this weekend that the borough council has heard from residents concerned about the same permissions being given to a nighttime party.

He said that the borough doesn't want the area to become a hub for crowds and noise that frequent events would bring.  "During the day is one thing, but a party three nights in a row was not the intention", he told the broadcaster.

Bal en Blanc has in years past taken place outside — usually near the Palais de Congres in Old Montreal — and just for one evening, running from 9:00 pm until noon the next day.

For many years considered a must-do on the global rave circuit, the festival has struggled in recent years, failing to put on shows at all in 2014, 2015 and 2018 due to logistical issues.  

Bal en Blanc's organizers have told the 1,000+ ticketholders for this year's event to look out for further updates.  In a statement, they said the event will go ahead, but at a new location.