I’ve been covering the Quebec City Summer Festival since 2009, and this is the first time I’ve written a report with a relaxed head, without the usual dark circles that appear under my eyes over the course of 11 nights of concerts. In stages scattered in the upper and lower town.
Honestly, I can’t wait to get tired.
Two years into the pandemic, I’m starting to miss the very short nights of sleep, the shows starting so close to the deadline, and above all, huge crowds dancing and singing with their idols.
The 2021 Scale Model Summer Festival, which wrapped up Sunday evening, was a stark reminder of this. Especially since its main location was the Armory, which offered a breathtaking view of the hopelessly empty Plains of Abraham.
Forced to ignore its 2020 release, FEQ decided to move forward, in 2021, by developing Plans A, B, C, etc. to the middle of the alphabet, without exaggeration or hardly.
Faced with ever-changing health standards and still-closed borders, its leaders have opted for security: 100% Quebec programming. Two shows per evening, 500 people max.
Under these circumstances, one cannot ask for better, and FEQ 2021 will have fulfilled its mission of reconnecting artists to the public in Quebec.
Photo courtesy of Philip Roel
The Coeur de pirate was sensitive and funny, and charmed the 500 spectators who gathered at the Armory, during the second evening of the Summer Festival, by playing the card of simplicity.
We’ve also stopped counting artists who shared between two songs their joy at resuming concerts and cursing the pandemic.
In addition, the shows I watched were, in general, in very good shape.
Barring that, even if several concerts are available online, performances inspired by Cœur de pirate, Klô Pelgag, Paul Piché and Tire le coyote, to name a few, will remain a well-kept secret rather than shared by many thousands of People, outside, on a beautiful summer evening.
Photo courtesy of Stephane Bourgeois
The chief architects of a high-profile folk concert, Tire le coyote and his partner Shampooing, delighted the assembled crowd at the Armory.
Nothing illustrates this better than the sad sight of an almost deserted Grand Alley, under a gray sky, during opening night. No excitement, no queuing at the entrance to the plains.
Stevens LeBlanc’s photo
In the great history of FEQ, this 2021 edition will be an arc. A pleasant break, without a doubt, but one that is quickly forgotten. This morning, festival-goers, Grande Allée shopkeepers and even festival directors are definitely looking forward to 2022, with the goal of a fantastic return to normalcy.
I’m certainly not the only one who has circled the date of July 16, 2022 on his calendar, when Rage Against the Machine will finally land on the Plains of Abraham.
Photo D’ARCHIVES, Reuters
We tens of thousands meet there.
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