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The little history of a great Festival

Bell Stage on the Plains of Abraham. Festival d'été de Québec 2022.
The du Maurier Stage on the Plains of Abraham.
Old stage at Place D'Youville.


Older than Glastonbury and one of the longest-running festivals in the world, Festival d'été de Québec has been making hundreds of festivalgoers dance and sing every summer since 1968 in the heart of the provincial capital.

As the largest outdoor festival in Canada, FEQ presents more than 150 shows of all kinds, for music lovers and families, with international stars, rising stars, and emerging artists.

For 11 consecutive nights, the downtown area transforms itself into a true urban celebration!

1968 : The birth of FEQ

Seven artists are at the origin of the Festival d'été. Diane Lavoie, Constance Paré, Bernard Pelchat, Louis Ricard, Hélène Savoie, Hélène Trépanier, and Michel Viel, aided by a group of businesspeople, launched the Festival with the goal of enlivening public spaces and promoting popular arts. The program for the first edition included classical music, jazz, opera, poetry, song, and theater, among other things.

1969-1979: Great Quebecker success

From its early years, the Festival brought together renowned Quebecois artists (Félix Leclerc, Ginette Reno, Pauline Julien, Donald Lautrec, Oscar Peterson, Gilles Vigneault) and quickly established itself as a major summer celebration of local music. Legendary groups like Harmonium and Beau Dommage made their debuts there.

1980-2007: Opening up to the world

The turn of the 1980s also marked a shift for the Festival, which now welcomed artists from all over the world. The stage at Place d’Youville was created at this time, and the famous festival button became mandatory for attending shows on the main stages. Rap and electronic music made their debut in the lineup and have never disappeared since!

2008 to this day : Always more surprises

Since Quebec celebrated its 400th anniversary, the FEQ has firmly established itself as a must-attend event of the summer. Every year, new records of popularity are set; every year, the FEQ offers unique opportunities to see both established and emerging artists on stage.

They performed on stage at FEQ...

For over 50 years, from the Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga, including Charlotte Cardin and The Foo Fighters, the biggest headliners have graced the stages of the FEQ. See the list of hundreds of artists who have thrilled Quebec since 1968.