Le 34ième Montreal Audiofest

Sunny? Spring-y? Even more bizarre: No snow is predicted for the entire weekend of the 34th Montreal Audiofest, which runs from March 24 to March 26.

It always snows during the 'fest. It’s tradition!, like watching the ducks on the rooftop pond leap out of the water to snatch a beak-full of grain before leaping back into their watery trenches. Like people in elevators talking about how nippy it is outside.

There's none of that this time: It was so warm out on Friday that the ducks were floating as nonchalant as duckies bobbing in a (warm) bath. I didn’t hear anything about the weather except the occasional, perplexed, under-the-breath utterance from one regular Audiofest attendee: "Huh, it’s not snowing this year."

With weather like this happening during Audiofest weekend, it's tempting to think I'm living in some alternate 'verse of the multiverse. Never mind cold: How cool it would be if I'd turned into Alternate Rob with a half-million dollar system waiting for him at home?

Anyway, the next best thing to becoming Rich Alternate Rob is to be at the Montreal Audiofest a warm weekend in late March, checking out megabuck systems. No snow, plenty of warmth outside, and 300+ pieces of the latest, greatest hi-fi gear, some of it priced in range of, say, a house in the (even warmer, with nice ocean beaches) Dominican Republic.

When I arrived Friday afternoon, a parade of people was waiting in line to buy tickets, at the Hotel Bonaventure entrance, some with friends, some with partners, some with children. I thought, "Who are all these people? Why aren't they at work? Shouldn't the kids be in school? Will there be any seats left for me in the best rooms?"

Ah, well. It's great to be back. All prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.