Festival d’ete de Quebec
Quebec City, QC, Canada
11 Nights of Music: Festival d'Ete de QuebecThe Imagine Dragons are 30 seconds into the first song of their set, Believer, when the rain starts falling. And not just a drizzle, but hard, pelting sheets to match the music a quickly soaked frontman Dan Reynolds is belting out: “Seeing the beauty through the rain… It rained down…”
If you weren’t in the middle of it, you’d think it was a production stunt.
The crowd of 80,000 goes wild. It is the penultimate night of Festival d’Ete de Quebec (FEQ), Canada’s largest music festival, which runs for 11 nights in July and attracts major league artistic talent — the 2019 line-up also included Mariah Carey, Blink 182, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Twenty One Pilots, Gucci Mane and Logic. And that is just on the main stage, there are multiple stages as well as pop-up shows and a nightly after party with more live music in a more intimate venue.
All this music for a grand total of $80: yep you read that right, less than $100 for 11 nights of music on multiple stages. It’s the best deal around.
The Imagine Dragons wouldn’t make it past the end of their second song before the weather forces the evacuation of the outdoor Plains of Abraham festival venue (it is also a historic battlefield site) at the edge of Old Town Quebec City. It is disappointing. The abrupt ending of the headlining act, but not nearly as much as it would have been had you purchased a ticket only to this show, and not days of big name acts.
Besides being Canada’s largest and cheapest music festival, FEQ is also its longest running. The 2020 event will be its 53rd, which makes it two years older than Woodstock. One of my favorite parts about attending this festival is it doesn’t start until evening. So there is no FOMO if you want to spend your days exploring Quebec City, which is equally magical and looks like no where else in Canada — think a cobbled, pedestrian old town dating back to the 1600s.