The Festival d'été de Québec
Canada's largest outdoor music festival!
Picture a modern, yet historic city taken over by a music festival and 1.5 million festivalgoers. Twelve indoor and outdoor stages, venues where you can gather to celebrate and to discover what's new, on which a string of international superstars - The Black Eyed Peas, Rammstein, Iron Maiden, Plácido Domingo, Sting, Paul McCartney, Charles Aznavour, KISS - along with top new talent play for a full 11 days! In all, more than 1,000 artists and close to 300 shows! Rock, French song, hip-hop, electro, jazz, classical music and world music greats. All this right in the heart of beautiful Quebec City, easily accessible and totally affordable!
Watch as jugglers, acrobats, stilt walkers, and troupes of wacky and wonderful performers captivate crowds in the winding streets of Old Québec! Take the kids to Family Place - sponsored by le Lait - for family-friendly fun and games all day long. During the Festival, the whole city is celebrating!
In 1968, seven young artists and a group of businessmen looking for a way to liven up the city's public spaces and promote local talent got together to launch the Festival d'été de Québec. A fabulous showcase for music, dance, theater and song was born!
A window on the world
In the early 80s, the Festival broadened its horizons as musicians from Africa, Europe and the USA got Québec crowds grooving to world beat! For its 25th anniversary just twelve years later, the Festival lined up 414 shows featuring artists from 22 countries. This was the start of a long love affair with world music that has thousands of festivalgoers dancing to the beat every year!
With its growing international focus, the Festival d'été de Québec began making headlines with big-name stars.
ZZ Top, Simple Plan, Billy Talent, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Rick Wakeman, Nickelback, Tryo, Helmut Loti, Gregory Charles, the Red Army Choir, Angélique Ionatos, Gilles Vigneault, Calexico, Diane Dufresne, Jamil, John Mayall, Tinariwen, Mes Aïeux, Scorpions, Louise Attaque, Pierre Lapointe, Nathalie Choquette, Jon Anderson, Rush, Karkwa, Staff Benda Bilili, The Cat Empire, Johnny Clegg, Jeff Beck and Loreena McKennitt are among the superstars that have played the Festival.
The public warmly welcomed the shift, with a 2004 study by the survey firm SOM showing a 99% satisfaction rate.
Anniversaries to remember
For the 1992 edition, the Festival produced a giant poster, four times bigger than usual, which won several international and national awards. That year, the Festival presented an international lineup of 414 shows from 22 countries with a $3.2 million dollar budget.
In 2007, the 40th anniversary was celebrated with music greats such as Renaud, Manu Chao, Kanye West, Patrick Watson and Rachid Taha, to name just a few of the crowd-pleasers.
And for the first time in its history, the Festival topped the million spectators mark!
The following year, the Festival got on board for Quebec City's 400th anniversary festivities. This was a banner year for the city and for the Festival, with visitors converging from the four corners of the earth. This was a also year of truly grandiose performances - Charles Aznavour, Van Halen, Stone Temple Pilot, Linkin Park, Wyclef Jean ...and a record 1.7 million festivalgoers. An anniversary to remember!
Culture, tourism and the economy
Today, the Festival d'été de Québec is a major cultural enterprise that generates $25.4 M in added value for Québec and $7.4M in provincial and federal tax and parafiscal revenues. Still Quebec City's best-loved event, the Festival now draws more and more tourists and foreign media to town.
With its stellar lineup, huge crowds and 150,000 passes sold, the Festival d'été de Québec is now in league with the top American and European festivals.
Have a Great Festival!