After an aborted edition in 2020 and another, entirely Quebec, presented at the Armory in 2021, the Festival d’été de Québec is finally reconnecting with the big names in international music. But the flagship event of 418 will once again give pride of place to local artists, for twelve days, from July 6 to 17.
Posted at 10:32
Updated at 1:01 p.m.
Charlotte Cardin, Loud and Half Moon Run will display their colors on the main stage of the Plains of Abraham during carte blanche shows. Among the entire program unveiled Wednesday noon, 53 artists, out of the some 120 names appearing there, are Quebecers or Franco-Canadians.
Among them: Hubert Lenoir, Lydia Képinski, Lisa LeBlanc, Patrick Watson, Alicia Moffet, Ariane Moffatt, Safia Nolin, Émile Bilodeau, Claudia Bouvette, Louis-Jean-Cormier, Laura Niqay, Vincent Vallières, Gros Mené, NOBRO, Fouki , Sarahmee and Koriass.
Thanks to a clumsiness of the team of the Swedish punk band Millencolin, who published on Tuesday on its Facebook page part of the poster which was not to be revealed until the next day, festival-goers already knew that Alanis Morissette, Sum 41, Garbage and Pennywise, in particular, would take a tour of the capital in July.
“We reacted furiously, but it was unfortunately too late,” explained FEQ programming director Louis Bellevance in an interview. “The band team thought we were a day later. It’s a unintentional erroras they say, but it destabilized us. We’ve been keeping the confirmations secret for a year, in some cases. That it comes out twenty-four hours from the official announcement is depressing, but the consequences are not disastrous. »
Keep safe values
Canadian Alanis Morissette, who will also stop at the Bell Center, is one of the artists who were to be part of the 2020 edition, torpedoed like so many other events by COVID-19. Rage Against the Machine agitators, surfer Jack Johnson, marshmallow-headed DJ Marshmello and Australian woman band Tash Sultana have all also renewed their engagement canceled two years ago.
We really fought to save the safe values of the 2020 program, which never took place. There were essentials like Jack Johnson that we had been working on for five years.
The major events on the plains in many cases look like thematic evenings, designed for lovers of country pop (Luke Combs and Matt Lang on the 8th), American rap ($uicideboy$ and 2 Chainz on the 10th), ‘EDM (Marshmello and Alison Wonderland on the 13th), Latin pop (Luis Fonsi, none other than Monsieur Slowlyon 14) feminine alternative rock (Alanis, Garbage and The Beaches on 15) and explosive guitars (RATM and Alexisonfire on 16).
Other headliners include fops Maroon 5, indie rock legends Spoon, Pakistani-American jazzwoman Arooj Aftab (who won a Grammy last weekend), the son of the Afrobeat founder Femi Kuti, the rebel of the Halsey FM band, the Ukrainian folk band DakhaBrakha, the beautiful insolent Charli XCX, the sunny Belgian rapper Roméo Elvis, the Ivorian reggaeman Tiken Jah Fakoly and the unhappy gentlemen of Three Days Grace.
Not too early, not too late
Last February, Louis Bellavance co-signed with a dozen of his counterparts from the biggest festivals in Quebec a letter addressed to Prime Minister François Legault, demanding more predictability as to the sanitary measures and the gauges which would be in force come summer.
“We got the answers we wanted in a respectful time frame. It wasn’t too early, but it wasn’t too late either,” says the programmer today. The return to strict sanitary measures could have “very damaging” consequences [sur la santé financière de l’évènement]but we have had guarantees from the governments that this year, we are learning to live with [le virus]. »
Did the Festival d’été de Québec have to give up the presence of major musicians, because the way in which the new waves of COVID-19 would be received in Quebec seemed too unpredictable to them? “It is certain that in certain cases, the situation was too uncertain to engage in more difficult negotiations. It made artists more cautious. There are some who preferred to go to Europe, because they were convinced that there, it was not going to close. But overall, we can say that the result we have is very satisfactory. »