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Thursday August 14th, 2014

Repairs to the sewer main beneath St-Michel boulevard had to be halted after workers discovered a settlement of ravers living in the fetid waters coursing under the streets of Montreal. “We were digging up parts of the boulevard when we started hearing yelling,” says construction worker Jean Cousteau. “That’s when we noticed tents beneath the pile of broken concrete we were tearing through.” The workers were shocked to discover that the sewer they were trying to fix was home to a dozens of ravers. “I never would have imagined that our sewers are inhabited by hoards of teenagers."

Urban archaeologist Ted Refuord says this is common in most large cities. “Huge mazes of abandoned pipes can be found beneath most large metropolitan cities,” says Ted. “Young people who are priced out of the rental market often turn to the sewers for affordable housing. Ravers are often poor and uneducated, so they're at greater risk of becoming sewer dwellers than your average citizen.”

Ex-sewer dweller Krystal Banner says it’s not just about the money. “It’s also about respect. I spent a year living in a fetid pool of dank, scummy water because I wanted to be closer to the music I listen to — my taste in music so underground, that the only way to respect it is to live beneath the streets. That’s where techno comes from, that’s where EDM is born, in the sewers.”

Krystal eventually moved out after getting vaginal gangrene. “Sure, living in the sewers wasn't a healthy decision,” says Krystal. “But it was worth it.”

Krystal’s time beneath the streets of Montreal weren't lonely, either. “There are dozens of raver settlements beneath Montreal,” says Krystal. “Ravers have laid claim to the tunnels beneath this city. They’re building a new empire built on underground music and sewage.”
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