We just returned from Quebec City’s Festival d’été and we are still trying to process what we witnessed. The annual festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary so this year’s lineup is appropriately packed with tons of Canadian and international talent spanning 11 days across multiple stages. Naturally, we chose the two most turnt up days and hopped on a plane to Québec’s capital.
Thousands of exhilarated attendees were lined up for the Loto-Québec stage where Jazz Cartier (and then Migos) would later perform hours before the gates even opened. If that wasn’t indication enough, the crowd exploded with excitement when the Toronto rapper stepped up to the plate. Jazz made a point of “exploring” the entirety of the stage and finding a home on top of a stack of speakers. The flurry of hits like “100 Roses,” “Dead or Alive,” “Tempted” and more had the crowd jumping so hard that they cracked the concrete beneath the venue, resulting in the need for some quick repairs.
With a new, reinforced floor in place, the crowd piled back into the space and began to chant “MI-GOS, MI-GOS” until DJ Durel finally brought out the Atlanta trio. Quavo, Offset and Takeoff ran through a fiery and energetic set – a reminder for those unaware that Migos have been putting out hits for years before Culture. The immensity of the audience literally rattled the stage during highlights like “Bad and Boujee,” “Hannah Montana,” “T-Shirt” and more. Quebec City definitely has love for the Migos.
Our second day at Festival d’été took place at the Bell stage on the Plains of Abraham, an enormous venue boasting a capacity of 80,000 attendees and the largest non-permanent festival stage in North America – and it takes a certain type of performer to set off giant smoke machines during a 7:45 p.m. set. DVBBS always seem to exceed expectations when it comes to performance regardless of the flak they get for being “mainstream.” You can’t hate one anyone from Canada that throws entire 24-cases of water bottles into the crowd while simultaneously shooting a dozen pillars of fire into the sky.
FETTY WAP AND MONTY
After all the streamers from DVBBS’ finale had settled, RemyBoyz took over the stage and flipped the vibe into a heavy performance from Fetty Wap and Monty. The New Jersey rappers ran through a high-energy set consisting of tons of 1738 hits – “Trap Queen,” “679,” “My Way,” “Aye” and countless others. Fetty concluded the performance by jumping into the photo pit and throwing signed RemyBoyz merchandise into the crowd.
We couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion to our experience at Festival d’été than a headlining set from Australian DJ and producer Flume. After revealing his stage design from behind the cover of the giant banner inspired by his Skin projects, Flume jumped straight into the loudest and most awesome (in the literal sense of the word) visual and auditory experience of the week. Whether it was flips of iconic dance records or samples of his work with Vince Staples, the crowd responded with huge waves of both chanting and dancing. Flume finished the set with well wishes for Québec City and a promise to return again soon.
Festival d’été de Québec continues through July 16 and features headlining performances from Danny Brown, Of Mice & Men, Gorillaz, Muse and more. Visit the official website for tickets and more information.