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Festival d'ete de Quebec 2018 Part 1: Stars Come Out To Play


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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The 2018 edition of the Festival d'été de Québec took place July 5-15 in Québec City, Canada and once again the 11-day event presented music fans with an unparalleled experience. More than 250 shows took place on multiple stages throughout historic old Québec where ancient walls and ramparts of the once completely fortified city still stand; few festivals take place in such a picturesque setting. And the world, fans and players alike, came to Festival d'été de Québec to join in the fun.

The Festival d'été de Québec, now in its 51st year, always presents a wide variety of artists. World music acts like Brazil's Da Cruz, Jamaica's Skatalites and Nigerian Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti all performed as did American acts like Car Seat Headrest, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and blues group Mississippi Heat. Tons of Canadian bands and players from Québec performed too, many singing their songs in French. And while the excitement level was high at every Festival d'été de Québec stage, the largest and most enthusiastic crowds turned out to see the stars that performed on the Bell Stage.

The Bell Stage, the event's main stage, was situated on The Plains of Abraham, a huge greenbelt that was once the site of a historic battle known as the Battle of Québec. The soldiers who fought in that conflict in 1759 would be amazed to see what their battlefield is used for now; fans galore turned out for each night's entertainment which generally featured performances by three big acts. Early in the festival's run the highly-anticipated evening showcasing Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Kurt Vile and the Violators and Neil Young was a standout.

Nelson, who is Willie Nelson's son, led his band through a set that included "Die Alone," favorite "Sit Me Down on a Cloud" and the Led Zeppelin-informed "Something Real."


Lukas Nelson of Promise of the Real - Photo by Stephane Bourgeois

Vile, who amusingly punctuated his vocals with coyote yips, played a set that included "Gold Tone," "Wheelhouse" and "I'm an Outlaw."


Kurt Vile - Photo by Stephane Bourgeois

Young, backed by Promise of the Real, played a long set that began with a lengthy take on the psychedelic rocker "Like an Inca" from his Trans album and also included favorites like "Cortez the Killer," "Rockin' in the Free World," "Like a Hurricane," "Down By the River" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)."


Neil Young - Photo by Stephane Bourgeois

The who's who of big names that also performed on the Bell Stage over the course of the festival included The Weeknd, Future, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Greta Van Fleet, Foo Fighters, The Chainsmokers, Beck, Lorde, Cyndi Lauper, Atreyu, The Dave Matthews Band and Sturgill Simpson. We'll take a close-up look at some of the acts that performed on the other stages in Part 2 of our Festival d'été de Québec wrap-up.

Information on the 2019 Festival d'été de Québec will be posted here.

Festival d'ete de Quebec 2018 Part 1: Stars Come Out To Play

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