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Lana Del Rey Enchants at Festival D’été de Québec: Review

Festival D’été de Québec returned for its 55th year on July 6th, kicking off one of its biggest editions to date. The first weekend saw headliners such as Foo Fighters, Weezer, and Billy Talent, who rocked the Plains of Abraham, a historic battlefield with a capacity of over 100,000 festival goers. Over the course of the 11-day event, everyone from Zach Bryan to Lil Durk to Jessie Reyez to Lamb of God performed at the historic event.

Beyond the lineup, FEQ stands above other Canadian festivals of the same capacity when it comes to accessibility thanks to easy walkability from different stages, as well as access to and from the city. It’s situated amongst various parks and greenery, creating a perfect balance of modern stage design and outdoors beauty. Located near Old Quebec, FEQ is also uniquely placed around various monuments and institutions where arts, culture, history and music clash. The colorful signage guiding visitors and the art installations setup throughout the city added to the event’s liveliness, making it seem as though the city’s entire population was the festival’s demographic.

The addition of up and coming local talent on the main stages and a “discovery” stage showcasing new artist throughout the festival reinforced FEQ’s love for its hometown. And its hometown consistently returned that adoration throughout the festival; if there’s one thing to note about Québécois people (aside from the unique and sometimes hilarious dialect), is our collective love for music.

Which only made it that much harder when, as weekend two of FEQ approached, extreme weather forced cancellations on Thursday night. Despite the missed performances, anticipation only built for the jam-packed bill set to close out the event. The Smile, Green Day, The War on Drugs, Pitbull, and yes, Lana Del Rey were all scheduled to perform over the final three nights of the Quebec fest.

But first, Montreal-based singer Isabella Lovestory kicked things off Friday on the main stage on the Plains of Abraham, with the crowd already filling in ahead of Pitbull’s closing set. This ultimately led to festival staff closing off the site, as the stage reached its full capacity for the night well ahead of the top-billed acts; who knew Pitbull had such a huge fanbase in Québec?

Meanwhile, the rock show thrived over at the Parc de La Francophonie, with an eclectic bill including TEKE::TEKE, Alvvays (who recently earned a spot on the shortlist for the Polaris Music Prize), and The Smile. TEKE::TEKE showed off tracks from their stellar new album, Hagata, while Alvvays closed out the SiriusXM stage with a set highlighting one of last year’s best releases, Blue Rev.

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