FEQ is an annual 11-day music festival in downtown Quebec City, my adopted home. It starts on the first Thursday of July, every year since 1968. Its main stage is in an outdoor setting on the historic Plain of Abraham with a site capacity of over 100K, which makes it the largest of it's kind in North America. Say woot?!! Music enthusiasts from around the world gather on this sacred music festival to enjoy more than 300 performances from different kind of music and international artists.
There are 10 outdoor and indoor stages that host various artists every day starting from 5 PM till mid night. Only 5 of these stages required a ticket to get in. The rest is free for anyone. There is also one venue dedicated for family with kids, complete with attractions and activities, much like a fair. This venue is free. There is also a very clean outdoor foodcourt where famous food trucks line up and are ready to serve their best dishes, as well as beer booth's and cocktail bars. And as if all that ain't enough to entertain everyone, street performers are popping out from corners and show off their talents. One of this year performer was the Plasticiens Volants, a street theater group from France. They brought their giant aerial puppets and terrorized the city with their inflatable Godzilla.. rawrrr rawrrr rawrrr...
FEQ is definitely a nonstop party for 11 consecutive days for everyone, y’all!!
Oh, did I tell you that even Sephora is participating in this event? Well, they did. They opened a pop-up make up truck, helping those who wanted to look pretty before the concert. Fancy!
For the music shows, all the big performances are held at the main stages, which require you to have a pass. The regular pass itself is relatively cheap, this year costing only 95 CAD per pass if you managed to get it on pre-sale event online. The pass gives general admission to ALL the shows for ALL 11 DAYS of the Festival. Children from 0 to 11 years don’t require any pass as long as they are accompanied by an adult (obviously).
Most big names have performed in FEQ, from The Rolling Stones, Sir Elton John, Sting to RHCP, Tiesto, Deadmau5, and many more. Since 2014, I have seen more live shows of my fav artists that I have ever imagined. My fav shows so far were Rammstein in 2016 and Lady Gaga in 2014. They were A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Check out for the full list of the main bands from 2010 here.
The thing with FEQ is, you will never know who are going to perform until a few days before the ticket sale starts, and the ticket get sold extremely fast. It's mysteriousness is enticing. FEQ highlight for this year for me was definitely the Backstreet Boys. Their appearance in FEQ was totally a sweet surprise. I have never thought I'd be able to see their concert, ever. I thought they are a piece of fossil of my sweet sweet teen-hood, yet there they were, singing, dancing, and whatnot in front of me last Sunday evening. They are definitely still Larger Than Live.
The 11 days of FEQ is the ultimate peak of festive season of the year in Quebec. Extra public services are provided to cater the gazillion festival-goers every year in year out from the government. Hotels, motels, hostels are giving out their best offers in this season and mostly sold out months before the Festival. If you like being outdoor, music, and summer, and the combination of the three, Quebec city during FEQ is definitely where you want to be.
Unlike any other festival atmosphere where prices are skyrocketed, prices of food, beverages, and services in downtown Quebec where FEQ is happening are relatively under control and affordable. The government provides a special bus pass that valid for unlimited usage during the Festival for only about 30 CAD (compare to normal fare for one trip which is 3.25 CAD). Bars, cafés, terraces, and restaurants are open until late, and this is when they go all out with their best menu without spiking their regular price.
Packages that includes FEQ pass, accommodation, and whatnot are also available. Seriously, every single businesses in the city and surrounding are devoted to cater festival-goers with the maximum pamper-ation, if that’s even a word.
Canada, especially Quebec, has a short yet upbeat summer with hella rad activities. Be there!