Press release
For immediate release

The Festival d'été de Québec - Just Keep On Growing!

Quebec City, November 29, 2011 -  

It seems like nothing can stop the Festival d’été de Québec from growing, as Quebec City’s popular summer festival keeps racking up records.

For the second year in a row, all Hydro-Québec passes were snapped up, and even earlier than last year. Passes were sold out just 10 days after going on sale. In all, the Festival registered peak sales of 167,500 passes, front stage cards and day tickets! These numbers pushed ticket earnings up by 2 million, from $6,268,000 in 2010 to $8,459,000 in 2011.

“Results like this make us the biggest outdoor music festival in North America, and above all, make us even more self-sufficient, with 85% of our revenues coming from festivalgoers and private-sector partners, including our co-presenters Bell and Molson,” explained Nancy Savard, Chair of the Board for the Festival d’été de Québec. 

“The lion’s share of programming is directly paid for by festival fans, who spent $14.3 M in passes and on-site purchases, totaling 67% of sales,” added General Manager Daniel Gélinas. “And we’re thinking of our fans first by investing more and more in content.”

  • Hydro-Québec passes, Front-Stage Zone cards and day passes: 167,500 as opposed to 152,000 in 2010
  • Ticket earnings: $8.5 M as opposed to $6.3 M in 2010
  • Sales: $21.6 M as opposed to $20.4 M in 2010
  • Programming investments: $8.2 M as opposed to $8.1 M in 2010

Public Funding

Funding that the Festival currently receives is vital to the development and even the continuity of all the free activities offered during the Festival: the world beat shows at Place d’Youville, activities for kids at Place de la famille, the Arts de la rue street performers and their special events.
“Federal, provincial and municipal support helps give Quebec City its festive atmosphere during all 11 days of the Festival. And because these many varied side events give visitors a richer, more stimulating experience, we stay competitive,” the general manager pointed out.


For the fifth consecutive year, the Festival d’été de Québec has drawn over one million visitors. Close to three-quarters come from the greater Quebec City area, a number that grows from year to year along with the local attendance rate.  An attendance study by the research and survey firm, SOM, revealed that in 2011, 28% of local adults went to the Festival. And a telling new finding: 14% of these local fans, a little over 25,000 people, scheduled their vacations to be able to go to the Festival.   Another plus for the local economy! The money they spend is invested right here.

The Festival also remains as popular as ever, with a 94% satisfaction rate. And according to a SOM regional omnibus survey taken in September, fans have confidence in the Festival’s current team and believe the Festival will keep getting better.

  • 28% of Quebec City area adults attended the Festival
  • 14% of local festivalgoers scheduled their vacation to be able to attend the Festival
  • 90% of respondents to an omnibus survey think that the quality of Festival shows and programming will continue to improve
  • 93% of respondents trust the Festival team


In recent years, efforts by the Festival to attract outside media, especially from English Canada and the U.S., have paid off. For the first time, the influential American music blog, Consequence of Sound, covered the event along with journalists from Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton. They all loved it:

  • “Festival d’été deserves the title of best festival in Canada” - Barry Taylor, Chartattack
  • “I have never seen a city so transformed by an event” – Lisa Christiansen, CBC Radio3
  • “If you’re a music lover dreaming up a perfect vacation for next year, it doesn’t get any better than Festival d’été” – Kevin Mainmann, Edmonton Examiner

This year’s association with PC Images helped give the Festival greater international exposure. Photos of the shows ran every day in several newspapers and on Canadian and American websites.  Yahoo US, the world’s most visited website, mentioned the Festival d’été de Québec four times! Macleans, The Toronto Star, AOL, Yahoo Canada and CTV also ran major stories.

What’s more, French journalists accompanying the artists in the opening show, Paris-Québec sous les étoiles, published articles and reviews in Paris-Match, Figaro and Gala, three weekly magazines that reach millions of readers.

Press coverage was impressive again this year. From January to September 2011, the Festival d’été de Québec was the subject of:

  • 1,870 references and interviews on radio and TV
  • 1,350 references and articles in daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and on the Web

Taken together, these actions have all boosted the Festival’s reputation. According to a SOM survey, 80% of visitors had heard of the Festival before coming to Québec. And 68% came mainly or partly for the Festival.

“We are particularly proud of this pertinence index, especially in a city that has so much to offer visitors. This is good news,” Daniel Gélinas said.

Paris-Québec sous les étoiles

Presented for the third time since Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations, the media impact of Paris-Québec sous les étoiles is bigger than ever. This year, it adds up to close to 7 million accoding to an analysis by the firm DIRECTION communications stratégiques inc. Broadcast on Télé-Québec in August, on France 3 in September and several times on TV5 Monde, this show, seen by two and one half million viewers to date, is a fabulous showcase for Québec.

“In addition to the vignettes on different regions of Québec included in the French version of the program, each artist tells viewers why he loves Québec or his region of Québec. These moving testimonials certainly give people a taste for coming here on vacation,” explained Daniel Gélinas.

  • Economic value of press coverage: $500,000
  • Advertising value of TV broadcasting: $6,633,000

Broadcasting on TV5 Monde in Africa, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere around the world were not accounted for due to a lack of data.

Social media and website

Last year, the Festival d’été de Québec already made its mark by using social media. Whether for announcing artists, giving out information or for comments and questions, these new media are the basis of a meaningful dialogue with Festival fans.

“The 43,000 fans of the Festival’s Facebook page and the 5,400 Twitter subscribers know that they can count on these tools to get news, follow online sales, for example, or just to make suggestions. Our Webmaster’s work is often held up as an example,” said the chair, Nancy Savard.

The website,, totally revamped in 2011, is the number one source of information. The numbers speak for themselves: 80% of those who bought a pass consulted the site and 78% of visitors who came to Quebec City primarily for the Festival used it to plan their stay.

“Half of the Hydro-Québec passes sold, 83,000, were sold over our website,” noted Nancy Savard, “which is why it’s so important to have a website that is both user-friendly and effective, complete and adapted to our customers’ needs.”


“These brilliant results reflect on our entire team,” the general manager, Daniel Gélinas, pointed out. “Our main stage, the Bell Stage on the Plains of Abraham has a well-earned reputation, and the quality of our technical infrastructures, the work of our production crews, the professionalism of our communications team, our hospitality, dressing rooms, transportation, food— all this has made the Festival d’été de Québec a must on the major festival tour. To think that not so many years back, we had to tell people how to find Québec,” Daniel Gélinas wrapped up.

The 45th edition of the Festival de Québec will be held from July 5 to 15, 2012.

The Festival d’été de Québec is presented by Bell in collaboration with Molson Dry.

Luci Tremblay
Directrice des communications
Festival d’été de Québec
(418) 523-4540