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Festival d’ete de Quebec

Just came back from the Festival d’ete de Quebec – Canada’s largest outdoor music festival. In my ignorance, I had never even heard of it before. For those of you in the same boat as me, here’s your primer.

For ten days, there are three big venues (including the Plains of Abraham which can hold over 100,000 people) and a ton of secondary concert spots across Quebec City. You get a velcro wristband with a bar code that you scan when you enter a venue. (Excuse the blurriness – all photos were taken with my phone).

The square thing is a button with an LED flashing light that you can turn on at night (handy to add to the blinding display at the Skrillex show).

There are no beer tents – you can drink anywhere. You just need to flag down one of the “bartenders.”  They have to carry these beer boxes around all night, so most of them pimp their boxes with glow sticks, etc. They work for free, weaving through the crowd for hours, so feel free to give them a nice tip. (And I hope you like Molson Dry).

Here are some of the highlights – Misteur Valaire. Fun and funky. And pimped out jackets.

Excellent indie night on Tuesday the 10th – was introduced to Swedish/Canadian band Thus: Owls.Lead singer Erika Angell’s voice blew my mind. Erika is joined in the band by her husband, Simon Angell, who plays with Patrick Watson. Tried to buy their latest album – it is currently import only. Boo!

Keeping it indie and Swedish, Loney Dear was next.

Finishing off the night – Patrick Watson. Gorgeous performance, entertaining Franglais banter (from what I could tell), and those who couldn’t fit into the grounds cheering from the nearby street. (The picture is as terrible as the show was great).

My final night of concerts was another indie dream. Hey Rosetta – one of my favourites. Sadly, they were only able to play for 45 mins, but they packed in a whole bunch of goodness.

Half Moon Run were next – lots of excellent harmonies and downright endearing excitement to be on stage in front of so many receptive people.

And your headliner – Metric! The crowd loved every move that Emily Haines made. And as always, her gams were mesmerizing (and shiny/sparkly? Full disclosure – I’m a straight female with a serious girl crush). I think this is the only night stage shot that turned out for the whole festival:

The stage lighting was excellent – complementing the electro-rock sound.

And ending off with an acoustic sing along never hurt anybody. Swoon-inducing.

Oodles of other acts played – indie stars (Cults, Dan Mangan, Beirut, Grimes, !!!, City and Colour, Great Lake Swimmers, Hollerado, Dan Aucoin), hip hoppers (Big Boi, K-OS, Radio Radio), stuff for your teenage brother (the aforementioned Skrillex, Offspring, LMFAO),  stuff for your Mom (Sarah McLachlan, Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie – I can’t lie, I saw Lionel and I loved it). I can’t recommend this festival enough, and I can’t wait to go back next year.

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