According to programmer Louis Bellavance, the success of Luke Combs’ show at the summer festival doesn’t automatically confirm country music’s return to the Plains of Abraham next year.
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“I’ll think about it,” he told the Protocol.
The question is, would country fans, especially new country fans, turn up in such numbers for another Nashville standout?
“There aren’t many Luke Combs. I can’t necessarily tell myself that next year I’ll take Jason Aldean or whatever and we’ll do the same thing again. It’s a question mark. We chose the country’s biggest star and he came here and made concessions to celebrate the occasion. Can we continue on this path? I hope so, I think so, but there’s not as much in the bag as you might think,” analyzes Louis Bellavance.
Maroon 5: Why Not Adam and Friends?
This was the story of the first weekend of FEQ. Charmed by the response from festival-goers, Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine offered on stage to return to the festival every year.
Louis Bellavance casts off.
“Bon Jovi also wanted to come back. It’s nice, but is it realistic to bring back the same headliner year after year? Would it have the impact we want at the box office? But… there is no rule. It’s not forbidden.”
What would make him lean into the yes camp? May Maroon 5 returns with high-profile guests.
“I would love it. I’ve tried that so many times. If he were willing to take carte blanche, it would take that to convince me. Adam and friends? Perfect, without hesitation,” he says.
Adam Levine’s enthusiastic onstage comments, says Louis Bellavance, were no frills. He was sincere. “He really wants to come back. If I send him the same offer and ask them to be there in 2023, they will be there, but there are other artists we want to see.
10, 11 or 12 nights?
Even the addition of a twelfth night at the Festival d’été de Québec in 2022 may not be the exception that proves the rule. The traditional formula of eleven consecutive evenings of events is not set in stone.
“Every year we think about reshuffling the marathon,” reveals Louis Bellavance.
For his return, the FEQ added a 12e Evening, only in the Plains of Abraham, with Charlotte Cardin headlining Wednesday July 6th.
Louis Bellavance has a fondness.
“I’ve always thought there was something fun about Wednesday through Sunday, and we’ve had that five-day block twice this year,” he says, dropping the idea of the formula of two episodes of five days of concerts, but with one Break on Monday and Tuesday.
Latino: Reflection in progress
Louis Bellavance is open to the idea of bringing Latino star Luis Fonsi back to Quebec, whose concert on the Plains was canceled due to the violent storm that hit Quebec City on Thursday night.
“He’s a good artist with a good catalogue,” he says of the man who ended Thursday night at the Armory singing two of his hits, including Despacito.
As for a recurring Latino night, as in the case of country music, the FEQ programmer will think about it. Because of the weather, he could not rely on the experience of 2022 to determine if there was any success.
“It was gray and dark all day. Of course, this had an impact on traffic. On the other hand, I discovered a crowd made up of people who might not come to the festival very often. I could hear people singing all the lyrics during DJ Alex Sensation’s performance. It screamed the lyrics in Spanish. Is it FEQ fans who know us or did they buy the ticket for this concert this year and it’s a new audience? We will try to analyze the data as accurately as possible.”
In his eyes, a return of Latin American music would not necessarily go through the Plains.
“Could it be done on an enlarged George V/Franco Park set? We will keep all doors open. There are definitely people for whom it was the moment, even if it was raining and they missed Luis Fonsi.