It was in the spirit of audacity and relevance that the FME concluded Sunday night on Kiwanis Beach, situated right in the heart of the city. A stage on the shores of the lake, a natural amphitheatre, and concerts by artists who marked the musical landscape of Quebec this year, including Klô Pelgag and Matt Holubowski. And as a finishing touch, a tribute concert to Richard Desjardins, Desjardins, on l’aime-tu!, presented for Desjardins himself for the first time, in the region of his birth. It was a moment rich with emotion, as the headliner from the very first edition of the festival was honoured, fifteen years later, by a lineup of Quebec artists who were all inspired by this great man. It was a memorable concert for the 12,000 people in attendance, and it fit in perfectly with the evolution of both the FME and Quebec’s musical landscape.
For fifteen years, the festival has managed to preserve the same formula: Concerts on a human scale, all taking place over four days of music and encounters, artists with a common goal, groundbreaking concerts presented for audiences of true music lovers, with truly innovative programming. The FME always delivers quality music, great networking, and wonderful conviviality in a city that sizzles with music and culture.
As such, it was necessary to reserve lodgings early in order to enjoy this anniversary edition. People are coming from ever further afield to come to the festival. This year’s edition was attended by more than 50 European music industry professionals and over 100 from Quebec and the rest of Canada. Even after the seemingly endless circuit of summer festivals, the FME is still a can’t-miss. It’s a kind of reunion, a family get-together for a dynamic Quebec music industry that has always wanted to do things on its own terms.
This year, an inspiring collaboration with the team from the Pikogan Pow-Wow allowed festivalgoers to immerse themselves in Anicinabe culture. With a sharing circle and the Makua show, among other events, people were invited to take the time to explore other cultures. It is certainly the beginning of a great relationship between the FME and the Pow-Wow.
Accounting for all the official events and the surprise concerts on the periphery of the official programme, 92 concerts took place in 31 different venues throughout Rouyn-Noranda. Nearly 80 different artists appeared on the various festival stages. To date, this is the biggest musical harvest in the history of the festival since its inception in 2003 with around 37,000 entries.
We’re already looking forward to next year’s 16th edition of the FME, from August 30 to September 2, 2018!