The 10th Festive !: the festival that wants you well

“There are shows at festivals where people come to talk. But you, you are really there for the music, it seems! “Launched Tire le Coyote at the beginning of his free show on the Baie-Saint-Paul quay, by putting his finger on one of the ingredients of the winning recipe of the Festive!
I s are always a few bunches back talking, beer in hand, but, generally, we actually feel that the spectators Festive! are there to live a musical experience. They love the festival, applaud their good moves and point out the improvements they can make – knowing full well that the team is constantly testing and adjusting.

Clément Turgeon, the founder and general manager of Festivals !, is often seen in the back of crowds, watching and smiling to see how what he has created brings joy to his fellow human beings. “We always have new concepts, it helps maintain interest and allow the festival to continue to develop without distorting,” he says.

Arrange spaces

The largest stage, housed in the former schoolyard behind the museum, can accommodate up to 4800 spectators this year, while Clément Turgeon spoke about 4600 last year. “We reviewed the layout. By undoing the big square of sand that was there, we were able to retreat our tents. If we filled to capacity, we could accommodate 5000 people, but we stop at 4800, by choice, so that it is comfortable. ”

Shaded areas, with integrated benches, offer festival-goers a break in parking spaces on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street. An addition that was necessary, since the Festive! almost always rhyme with heat wave. In 10 years, the director remembers only one rainy day, when the precipitation had stopped at 17h. “We sometimes have plans B inside, but there are few spaces in Baie-Saint-Paul that can accommodate a lot of people, so let’s say we’re lucky that the weather is on our side”, note -t it.


The use of reusable beer and wine glasses with the effigy of the Festive! significantly reduces the amount of waste produced by the festival. The principle is simple: we leave a deposit of $ 2 that we recover by bringing his empty glass. It can also be kept as a souvenir for later use.

“It has sites where we do not even need to put trash because we are zero waste,” notes Clement Turgeon. “We have a team doing the sorting. Compost, recycling, everything is weighed and sent to the right places. ”

Another interesting idea: the terminals for depositing cigarette butts are placed at several places near the sites of shows, which avoids turning the streets and sites into carpets of rubbish. At Gogol Bordello, the couple in front of us were carrying a small pot specially to put their butts and be able to get rid cleanly at the end of the show.

To drink and to eat

At Festive !, we drink beer from the Microbrasserie Charlevoix and wines from the region and we eat local products prepared by the Black Sheep, the False Shepherds and the Migneron Charlevoix Family. Half a dozen chefs from Quebec (reinforcements because the Charlevoix chefs are too busy in the summer) also cook with local products for pop-up food. A celeriac kebab was enjoyed watching the rainbow during Friday’s shower and the chefs handed out fish-skin chips during the Jerome 50 show on the river.

” Flusher big breweries and hot dog Lafleur, at first, we said it would not work, remembers Clement Turgeon. It requires investment. At our bars, we need triple the volunteers to be able to serve beer in cask rather than cans or bottles. Microbrasserie Charlevoix had to update itself just for us. You have to want. ”

Clandestine bar

By putting his hand on one of the cards distributed by a false priest around noon, 75 people had access to the new Festive bar! Friday night. In the basement of the Auberge de la Grande Maison, on Saint-Jean-Baptiste, they could listen to They Call Me Rico, the man-orchestra Frédéric Pellerin, who was grooving the place with his energetic blues. They could especially drink free on the arm of the Microbrasserie Charlevoix, being served through bars. It was rather hot in the cramped space (the fans unluckily dropped shortly before midnight), but the Festive team! was working on making the place cooler for the second night, with another guest artist on Saturday.

Why an “other” late-night option, when the possibilities are already numerous? “It allows us to live in other places and to offer something new to those who do not have show tickets. There is also an inside local, since the local has already hosted a bar. It’s a nod to the people of the place, “says Clement Turgeon.

For our last hours at the Festive !, we sleep late with Wild Things and Lydia Képinski in the basement of the church, before catching the bus at 2am for a performance of the electro artist Ryan Playground and see the sun get up with Philippe B.

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