Travel Blog

15 Jun

Size-large French music fun

Montréal might be second when it comes to the largest French-speaking cities on planet Earth (after Paris), but we’re definitely numero uno when it comes to fêting francophone music. Les FrancoFolies de Montréal – which encompasses French pop, rock, hip-hop, punk, chanson, electro, blues, jazz, world music and more – welcomes nearly a million festivalgoers every year, making it the biggest music festival in the French-speaking world.

Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, from June 8 to 18, celebrate the abundance, diversity and quality of musical offerings from the international Francophonie. This year, for the 29th edition, festival organizers are welcoming artists representing a dozen French-speaking countries – from Belgium to Algeria, the Ivory Coast to Guinea – at 50 indoor shows and 150 free outdoor shows throughout their sprawling outdoor site in the Quartier des Spectacles.

Five different music series unfold at five of Montréal’s most-loved venues. Look for some of the giants in Québec music (like Daniel Bélanger, Pierre Lapointe and fast-rising star Safia Nolin) in the big rooms at Place des Arts, hip-hop and rock (Eric Lapointe, of course) at Metropolis, a mix of European pop and hip-hop at Club Soda, an eclectic combo of established artists and up-and-comers (take Carotté, described as The Sex Pistols meets Québec traditional music) at Astral, and the “Intimate Songs” series at Cinquième Salle. For complete programming, please go here.


New this year, the spacious Place des Arts Esplanade (where crowds typically gather to watch shows and relax) has been redesigned to transport everyone to a Paris of a bygone era, with décor invoking the Parisian district of Montmartre, resto kiosks serving up French flavours and Le Petit Orchestre Parisien getting the crowd up and dancing every day starting at 6 pm.


As you may have heard, the city of Montréal is turning 375 years old this year, and for this auspicious occasion Les Francos have added another day to their schedule (Sunday, June 18) for the purpose of throwing a massive, nine-hour outdoor party that’s free and open to everyone. From 3 pm until midnight, a slew of the biggest names in francophone music from Québec, Europe and Africa – folks like Les Cowboys Fringants, IAM, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Philippe Brach and K.O.K.A. – will perform at this unprecedented concert event featuring music from across the spectrum, from rock to reggae, rap to pop, electronica to chanson.

Up next:Your summer guide to Montréal’s Olympic Park

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