Live Report: Festival d’été de Québec / FEQ 2022 | Live

Nested in the pure and blissful city of Quebec, the famous Festival d’éte de Quebecstands as the pinnacle of Canada’s festival culture and has dominated its industry since its inception in 1968. Featuring a range of stages and after-dark performances – via the Extras FEQ Stage, the July 6-17, 2022 offering, which offers audiences Presenting a series of pallets prepared for a post-lockdown environment across the city.

Live report: Festival d'été de Québec / FEQ 2022

Focusing much of its offering on electronica, this year’s roster of talent was both diverse in its offering and allowing audiences across generations to coalesce in collective moments of euphoria. Snakehips in particular added a wealth of joy to their offerings. The British hybrid couple took to the main stage on July 13 and stormed through their eclectic mix of synth, electronica and R&B with panache and panache, singing classics like “Water” and “Don’t Leave.” Both familiar and daring, the duo thanked audiences for their long road to super producer stardom. As they neared the end of their set and worked on the dynamic stage, they performed what might be one of their best-known hits, “All My Friends,” which made up for Tinashe’s absence, with smoke, flames and powerful, rainbow-colored stage lighting.

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Marshmallow, now rising to a global resurgence through musical partnerships with Coca-Cola, dominated the July 13 conclusion, particularly appealing to an older generation of listeners, but still managed to hold the gaze of attending families with even greater dedication center stage and cannons tossing glittering papers as he raced through his plethora of musical hits through the ages. As “Alone” roared in the background, there was not a quiet moment outdoors, the shimmer of the lasered lighting making the setting border on a club in seconds.

Live report: Festival d'été de Québec / FEQ 2022

Beyond the expanse of the main stage, the smaller stages like Loto-Québec and SiriusXM also let the future faces of pop, electronica and hip-hop shine. One of the current British faces of hyper-pop, Charli XCX used the intimacy of the former stage to showcase her talent for live performance and direction to music lovers. Donning a mythical bralet and a gladiator-inspired leather skirt, the singer emerged from a constructed staircase and led her dancers with every ounce of commitment. She continued in that direction early on on set, performing “Yuck” to an immediate echo from her Canadian fanbase. As she delved further into her discography with “Break The Rules,” it became clear that not only had Charli XCX become a true superstar herself, but that she was far too big a personality for the stage she was placed on. Hopefully next year she will rightfully be assigned the Bell Main Stage.

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Tai Verdes, arriving just ahead of Charli XCX, played a medley of recent releases from his 2021 “TV” debut and keeps things wonderfully calm and centered. Towards the end of his set, after his infamous “A OK” single, Verdes walked into the crowd and tested his command with them. Leading with every word, his confidence grew, and as a member of Gen-Z himself, he preached positive sentiments about sanity and calling before exiting the SiriusXM stage. “Do what you will,” he repeated, leaving a sentimental air on the grounds of Quebec’s FEQ festival.

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Live report: Festival d'été de Québec / FEQ 2022

Perhaps the most visceral display of musical ability came at Freddie Gibbs’ July 14 performance, when he performed in persistently overcast weather, infusing humor with a rare display of showmanship championed by the likes of Busta Rhymes and DMX in the early 2000s. While torrential rain ravaged his set, Gibbs performed cult classics as well as more recent releases like Big Boss Rabbit and Black Illuminati. He faced the rain with an undeterred approach to his set and continued while fans flocked in droves, reflecting both his zeal in building a legion of eager listeners and his scheming among newer fans who leave you embarrassed as the set progresses could.

Overall, FEQ delivered an unforgettable experience, offering listeners of all genres a home of diversity and discovery – something more festivals around the world could be working on at the height of genre-mixing and unorthodox collaborations in the contemporary market.

Live report: Festival d'été de Québec / FEQ 2022

Words: Nicolas Tyrell Scott
Photography: Stephane Bourgeois

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