Quebec City's Festival d'été de Québec turns 50, celebrates with The Who and 300 other performers
Courtesy of FEQ

On July 1 this year Canada reached a very significant milestone: the 150th anniversary of the uniting of numerous adjacent colonies into a dominion that would evolve into modern day Canada. It is amazing to think that Canada’s biggest music festival, the Festival d'été de Québec, has been around for fully one-third of that time. Referred to in English as the Quebec City Summer Festival and known familiarly by its French acronym FEQ, the Festival d'été de Québec, a massive musical party set to take place in Quebec City July 6-16, plans on celebrating the golden anniversary in grand style.

FEQ presents about 300 shows over the course of 11 days and the performances take place on various stages around old town Quebec City. The main stage is called the Bell Stage and it is located on the historic Plains of Abraham, a lengthy green belt that can accommodate tens of thousands of fans. This is where the biggest names perform, and the city is abuzz about the lineup this year, highlighted by a visit from the legendary English rock band the Who, who’ll perform on Thurs. July 13. As always, the Bell Stage will host shows by a wide variety of artists including Kendrick Lamar, P!nk, Nick Jonas, the Backstreet Boys, Fetty Wap, Metallica, Muse and Gorillaz.

The second biggest stage is the Loto-Québec Stage and well-known acts play here as well, beginning on opening night when Melissa Etheridge plays after classic rock band the Zombies warm the crowd up for her. As the festival moves on, Pierce the Veil, Wolf Parade, DNCE, the Strumbellas, The Devil Wears Prada, the fun-loving Men Without Hats and Canada’s own the New Pornographers will be among those appearing.

Numerous other stages will be overflowing with talent too, and again there will be a little, actually a lot, of something for everyone, from MxPx to Phantogram, from Los Lonely Boys to Kid Koala and from Tony Allen to Death From Above 1979. Corey Ledet & his Zydeco Band will bring their buoyant Creole sound to FEQ, and world music stars like DakhaBrakha, Mbongwana Star and Amadou et Mariam will appear too. Of course the homeland will be well-represented too, with lots of stars from Quebec and throughout Canada appearing, including beloved local crooner Michel Louvain, Isabelle Boulay and the Montreal-based Lisa LeBlanc.

FEQ also offers entertainment geared towards children, places to dance the night away, and street arts and street performers. Stages are generally within easy walking distance of one another, and certain areas also feature an array of vendors and fun, free activities. The big stages require paid entry but there is countless free entertainment to be had every day throughout the festival.

For a complete list of entertainers and all the other information regarding Festival d'été de Québec, go here.