Festival d’été de Québec is making a big splash by bringing together the biggest names in international music and unveiling a decidedly contemporary program for its 51st edition! FOO FIGHTERS, THE WEEKND, BECK, THE CHAINSMOKERS, SHAWN MENDES, FUTURE, LORDE, CYNDI LAUPER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and DAVE MATTHEWS BAND will all be meeting in Québec City from July 5 to 15th. FEQ has entrusted the carte blanche evening to Patrice Michaud for an unrivaled concept show. FEQ will also welcome the legendary NEIL YOUNG for his very first visit to the Capital: a long-awaited visit that will attract huge crowds to the only show he will present in Canada.
The FEQ passed an important milestone with its 50th anniversary. Now we are looking to the future and continue to innovate with a modern and diversified program. This next edition is following world trends very closely: we’ll be having a lineup of top stars from many leading festivals, and we’re convinced that festival-goers from all parts of the world will be flocking here this summer – Interim General Manager, Claude Doré
An explosive reunion is expected for festival-goers and the FOO FIGHTERS, who clearly intend to finish performing the show they began in 2015. That show was cut short after four songs by a severe storm. Ever since that surprise turn of events, legions of rock fans have been clamoring for a long-awaited return. The Foo Fighters will do only one show in Québec, and it will be at the Festival on July 9. Folk-rocker Frank Turner will start off the night, followed by the young and talented quartet GRETA VAN FLEET whose pent-up energy will plunge festival-goers into the heart of 1970s rock—with a style and voice reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and their singer Robert Plant.
Among the must-see nights this year, the FEQ is especially proud to welcome the legendary NEIL YOUNG to the Plains of Abraham, at long last.
We’ve been working on bringing him here for years, and I’m particularly delighted with this catch, all the more so because he’s only doing three dates this year. He’s a legend on a par with Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bob Dylan. He’s still delivering high-intensity performances. A memorable show is awaiting us, that’s for sure – Louis Bellavance, program director.
With plenty of masterpieces like Heart of Gold, Old Man, Rockin’in the Free World, and Harvest Moon, the reputation of this elusive star speaks for itself. Keep in mind he’ll be appearing in Québec City for the very first time. Willie Nelson’s son and his group, LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL, will warm up the crowd and then join Neil Young on stage for the main show of the night.
The kick-off for the 51st edition on July 5 is promising to be spectacular with global star THE WEEKND. This fresh face from Toronto has been in the top 5 for the last two years, smashing all records with his songs Can’t Feel My Face and Starboy. His seductive charm doesn’t wear off, thanks to his undeniable charisma and languorous R&B. Having collaborated with Drake, Daft Punk, Ariana Grande, and recently Kendrick Lamar, the new king of pop is ready to turn the Plains of Abraham into a huge dance floor. The night will begin with the hip-hop group BROCKHAMPTON, followed by the electropop duo CHROMEO.
The young generation will be centre stage on July 8 with the new pop sensation SHAWN MENDES. The prolific singer first made it big on social media but is now invading the radio waves and becoming the new fave of his generation. His hit songs Stitches and Treat You Better will get everyone singing on the Plains! The English electropop duo OH WONDER will open the festivities at 7p.m.
On July 12, the gifted indie rocker BECK will be rocking the Bell Stage as part of his first visit to Québec City. With an eclectic and unique slate of musical offerings, combining experimental rock, extravagant funk, and rap, this pop genius will present his greatest hits, including his 1994 classic Loser and material from his latest opus Colors—a rainbow of pop music genres that promises to be even more festive, radiant, and dance-happy. For the first part of the night, the renowned French group PHOENIX will warm up the crowd by delivering Indie pop tunes to the beat of the 70s and 80s.
As the new queen of smart pop, LORDE will start her tour in Québec City on July 13 and then fly off to Europe. With the thirty or so awards she’s won at the Grammys, the Brits, and the MTV Awards, thanks to hits like Royals, Tennis Court, and Team, the New Zealand singer has been pursuing her exceptional rise to the highest peaks of success. To start off the night, the colourful icon of the 80s CYNDI LAUPER, who was responsible for the sensations Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Time after Time, and True Colors, will make a rare visit to Canada, and only to Québec. This performance will be preceded by Montréal electropop duo MILK & BONE, who will send the crowd heavenward with their bewildering selections and entrancing vocal harmonies.
On Saturday July 7, rap will take the stage with the suave group FUTURE. With their hypnotic, rapid-firing, and yet flexible flow of words, Future has been more impressive than ever with its two complementary albums, Future and HNDRXX, released in 2017. While the band has been having fun mixing and mingling pop, rap, and straight R&B, none of this has deterred the industry and the critics, who see a bright future ahead for this group. Its performance will be preceded by the master of old-school rap BUSTA RHYMES, one of the leading rappers of the 90s, and by Loud, a renowned Québec artist that is making a stunning rise in the international rap scene.
Who hasn’t heard of THE CHAINSMOKERS this year? The New York City duo, who have made a splash with their hits Don’t Let Me Down and Closer, are promising a wild performance for the Soirée ElectroFEQ! With their entire backup team of musicians, the duo is slated for the Bell Stage on the Plains of Abraham on July 11 and will get everyone dancing for this yearly get-together. The Canadian DJ YOUNG BOMBS, the English house duo GORGON CITY and one of the most sought after hip-hop sensation, TORY LANEZ, will ignite the ElectroFEQ with an unforgettable round of electronic music.
A highly charged ambiance is expected for the Bell Stage on July 14. The heavy metal band AVENGED SEVENFOLD, which is very popular in Québec City, is back in the Capital. When they last came to Québec City in January, M. Shadows and his band made a point of telling the crowd at the end of the concert that they wanted to play again at the FEQ. Their wish, and their fans’ too, was heard! Let’s bet their show will be every bit as intense this time as in the past—an electrifying stage performance with catchy refrains sung in unison. It’s gonna be a great night!
How will these 11 music-crammed days finish off? With a superb night to the tunes of DAVE MATTHEWS BAND on July 15, who will likewise be coming to Québec for the very first time. The band’s charismatic leader and his talented musicians, known for musical performances that will blow you away, will be redoing their hits ‘jam band’- style. With a real mix of rock, jazz, funk, and world music, this group from Charlotte, North Carolina, has sold over 30 million records since the mid-1990s. The opening acts will be done by the energetic Australian group JOHN BUTLER TRIO and the winner of the 2017 Best Country Album award at the last Grammy, STURGILL SIMPSON.