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June 19, 2014

Music and Culture in Québec

By Ingrid Skjong | Music

Music and Culture in Québec
Festival d’ete de Québec

When it comes to music festivals, bigger isn’t always better. But when a sizable lineup still manages to feel well edited, as it does at the Festival d’été de Québec (July 3–13)—Canada’s largest outdoor music event—everyone wins.

“Diversity defines us and the program reflects it,” says CEO Daniel Gélinas. “Music is everywhere! Our festival is for the trend-setters, the followers, the curious—all of them.”

More than 300 shows featuring a thousand artists will take to ten indoor and outdoor stages throughout downtown Québec City for 11 days. Ambitious? Certainly. But with the historic capital as its backdrop—and a wealth of street performances and activities held throughout the city—the 47-year-old festival has a charming feel that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Lady Gaga, Blondie, Billy Joel, Queens of the Stone Age and ’90s grunge band Soundgarden headline. A tribute show pays homage to French-Canadian singer-songwriter, actor and poet Félix Leclerc, giving a nod to the happening’s hometown; Nigerian guitarist Bombino and Ivory Coast reggae singer Tiken Jah Fakoly represent a global contingent. The John Pizzarelli Quartet jazz troupe will play, as will British blues great John Mayall (both at the Impérial de Québec theater, which is pictured above).

“Staying on top is the most challenging aspect of putting together a festival like [this one],” says programming director Louis Bellavance. “We need to reinvent ourselves constantly in order to stay ahead. It’s all about balance.” We can’t wait to listen. infofestival.com.

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