Despite the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, airport chaos and the difficulty of hiring workers, Quebec is poised for the big reunion with its Summer Festival stars.
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It starts tonight, exceptionally on Wednesdays for a twelve-day FEQ instead of the usual eleven, with the white card concert of the Quebec phenomenon of the hour, Charlotte Cardin.
As in the good old days, tens of thousands of festival goers are expected every night on the Plains of Abraham, where we will see Jack Johnson, Luke Combs and Maroon 5, the main headliners of the festival’s first weekend.
“There is a great emotion. Everyone is eager to get started, ”says programming director Louis Bellavance.
Yesterday, workers were hard at work completing the assembly at the three main outdoor sites.
New this year, the shows will be presented on two alternating stages in a redesigned Francophonie park, which can accommodate up to 15,000 festival attendees. As for the free stage already at Place d’Youville, it is moving in front of the National Assembly.
Good news: Mother Nature has decided not to spoil the party. Clear skies are expected tomorrow evening, but bring a warm sweater as the mercury could drop as low as 14 degrees Celsius.
Airports at a glance
Re-launching the Summer Festival after two years of absence has its share of challenges. In particular, the FEQ crosses its fingers so that artists are not affected by the critical situation in airports across the country.
“We follow him diligently. We have reviewed the itineraries of all the artists and compiled a list of all the groups in transit in Montreal or Toronto. We have warned those who are too close together and help them find alternatives, ”reveals Louis Bellavance.
Stock Photography Stevens Leblanc
The director of programming of the Festival d’Été de Québec Louis Bellavance.
“It’s worrying,” he admits. It will definitely not be an FEQ like the others.
As for COVID-19, we will have to live with the seventh wave.
“Right now things are going well with our teams. We have plans in place to take over. There is a lot more work to plan, ”says FEQ CEO Anne Hudon, who specifies that the organization will be able to deliver goods if artists have specific requirements related to COVID-19.
With the exception of the hand sanitizing stations at the entrance of the sites, the festival will not impose any sanitary measures during the event, following the public health guidelines.
As for the workforce, Anne Hudon assures that the festival has all the staff it needs to run its sites, even if recruiting has been more difficult.