From the iconic music event — simply called Quebec Summer Festival — and the Wendake International Pow-Wow to the Quebec City Pride Festival, the area around Quebec City offers plenty of amazing summer festivals. There are events for art and culture lovers, music buffs and sports fans. With so many options, it can be hard to narrow down the best to include on your summer trip to Quebec.
But don't worry, we have you covered! The travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations help visitors plan their trips to Canada. Many of our most popular itineraries include time in and around Quebec. We've scoured the area to bring you a hand-picked selection of the top summer festivals in Quebec. From the biggest music festivals to the most unique cultural events, our list has got it all.
Discover some of the best summer festivals in Quebec and get ready to experience the excitement and energy of Quebec in summer.
About the Quebec Summer Festival
The aptly named Quebec Summer Festival (1) is an 11-day music extravaganza held annually in Quebec City. It has come a long way since its inception in 1968 when local artists and businesspeople aimed to showcase local music. Today, it attracts millions of visitors and acts from around the world.
The festival showcases a diverse array of genres, from electronic and rock to hip-hop, punk, world music, classical, and more. With over 250 performances in venues across the city, this festival offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer stage performances or street shows, Quebec Summer Festival promises an unforgettable musical experience.
The Quebec Summer Festival, also called Festival d'été de Québec, is a music festival that lasts for 11 days every year. The festival has a lot of different kinds of music, from electronic to classical.
The dates for 2023 are July 6th to July 16th, 2023 — and it's sure to be a highlight of the summer. The price of a pass to the Quebec Summer Festival starts from $75. So mark your calendars and come to one of the world's most exciting music festivals!
Tips for Quebec Summer Festival 2023
The following are a couple of things to keep in mind while attending the Summer Festival in Quebec:
- There is a security screening for bags. Avoid bringing alcohol and other prohibited items into the event site.
- There are separate security lines for guests without bags and people with backpacks and strollers.
- Items allowed at this site include binoculars, beach towels, disposable cameras, and non-professional lenses.
- Passes are mandatory for the ages 11 and above. Those aged 11 and below can gain free entry when accompanied by an adult. Each adult ticket allows entry for two children.
- The pass allows entry to every show for 11 days
1. Mosaïcultures Québec
Presented for the first time in Quebec in 2022, this outdoor show has 200 plant sculptures made from more than 6 million plants. The event celebrates the natural beauty of our planet with the theme "Once upon a time, on Earth." The impressive sculptures were set up in 20 locations around Bois-de-Coulonge Park.
In 2022, it took place from June 24 to October 10. This exhibition is no longer on display. The festival may return to Quebec in the future.
2. KWE! Meet with Indigenous Peoples
At KWE (2), you can learn about the 11 different Indigenous nations in the area now known as Quebec City. This free festival happens every year, giving people a way to connect with the Indigenous community. There are workshops on the traditional ways of doing things, artist demonstrations, and performances.
This year, the festival is from June 16th to 21st, 2023.
#1 Travel tip: Indigenous experiences
If you can’t attend KWE! or Wendake Pow Wow, visit the Huron Traditional Site to discover the Huron-Wendat way of life. The site is only a 20-minute drive from Quebec City.
3. Les Passages Insolites
Les Passages Insolites (3) is a public art festival. Eighteen works of art will be on display across the Petit-Champlain, Place-Royale, and Old Port areas. There will also be indoor exhibits and temporary performances. Immerse yourself in the avant-garde art scene and be amazed.
This Quebec City festival is held from June 22 to October 9, 2023.
4. Bleu : Le Québec sous les étoiles (Free Multimedia Show)
The National Day of Quebec is celebrated with a fascinating multimedia show (4) that takes place at the Parliament Building. The show is projected onto the outside of the building and looks at the architecture, culture, and history of Quebec.
Bleu will take place from June 18 to 22 and June 24, 2023. It is free and begins at dusk (weather permitting).
5. Wendake International Pow Wow
The Pow Wow is a way Indigenous people affirm their culture and solidarity between Nations. It involves dancers and drummers in traditional regalia. The Wendake International Pow Wow (5) highlights the First Nations cultures and provides an opportunity to learn about their heritage through various workshops, demonstrations, and delicious food.
This year, the Pow Wow will take place from June 30 to July 2, 2023.
6. Festival d'été de Québec
In 2023, this music festival (showcased above) will feature performances by Billy Talent, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Lana Del Rey, Pitbull, Weezer, and many more world-famous musicians.
Running for the past 40 years, the festival has become well-known all over the world. This year, it will take place from Jul 6 to Jul 16, 2023.
7. Grands Feux Loto-Québec (Fireworks)
The stunning pyrotechnical display is a must-see. During this free event, the night sky is illuminated with an array of colors. A front-row seat in front of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac offers the best view of the fireworks, which are launched from firing platforms along the St. Lawrence River. You can also secure a spot along the river bank for an unparalleled views.
The Grands Feux Loto-Quebec (6) will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from August 1 to August 24, 2023.
8. Québec Opera Festival
The Quebec Opera Festival (7) is a two-week summer celebration of opera that takes place in July. The festival line up features three main productions and a number of outdoor activities. Shows are in French.
2023 festival dates are July 23 to August 2.
9. Québec, MAGIC city!
As the biggest magic festival in all of North America, Québec, MAGIC city! (8) entertains the whole family. See free magic shows by street performers, take in the art exhibitions, watch impressive magic stunts, and more.
The Quebec Magic Festival will be from September 20 to 24, 2023.
10. Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (New France Festival)
Old Quebec is always full of history. This festival has spectacular shows and performances that highlight North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Other activities include storytelling sessions and re-enactments.
This year the New France Festival (9) will be from August 3 to 6, 2023.
Hailed as a Beach and Eats experience, Cigale (10) is a weekend-music festival in beautiful Baie de Beauport in Quebec City. With two different stages, the festival featuresclose to 20 musical performances. Enjoy cocktails, craft beers, and food while relaxing on the beach.
Cigale will be from August 12 to 13, 2023.
12. FLIP Fabrique
FLIP Fabrique takes place in August and offers circus acts in venues all over Quebec City. Don't miss the free outdoor shows in different parks around the city. The 2023 festival is called 'Vacances' (11).
Shows are between July 20 and September 2, 2023.
13. Vélirium - International Mountain Bike Festival
At Vélirium, one of the Mountain Bike World Cup events, athletes from around the world compete in intense downhill and cross-country races. This action-packed festival offers entertainment for the whole family.
No dates have been announced for Vélirium in 2023. However, the Monte-Sainte-Anne World Cup is happening October 5-9, 2023.
14. Plein Art
This 13-day festival (12) showcases the fine arts and crafts of 140 local designers. Held in big marquee tents, you can meet the makers, buy their creations, and learn about local craftmanship.
In 2023, Plein Art will take place from August 1 to 13.
15. ComediHa! Fest - Québec
This comedy festival (13) has run for 20-plus years and features live stand-up from more than 200 performers. Many of the comedy shows are free and some are family friendly.
Dates for 2023 are August 8 to 26.
16. Festibière de Québec (Beer Festival)
At this huge beer festival, held in the Old Port of Quebec, you can sample local malts and brews from 60 exhibitors. Enjoy the live music and food trucks while you are there.
Quebec Beer Festival (14) will take place from August 17 to 20, 2023.
17. Québec City Pride Festival
Over the September Labour Day weekend, people from around the world come to downtown Quebec City for Pride Festival (15). Enjoy the parade, free music performances, buskers, drag shows, LGBTQIA+ conferences, and more.
For 2023, the festival is from September 1 to 3.
#2 Travel tip: Stay at the Chateau
Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is Quebec City’s iconic landmark and is often noted as the world’s most photographed hotel. Some rooms have spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River.
18. Envol et Macadam
Envol et Macadam (16) is an urban festival showcasing new and established alternative music bands from around the world. This urban festival includes both indoor shows and outdoor concerts across various venues in downtown Quebec City.
Dates for 2023 are September 14 to 16.
19. Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
At this UCI WorldTour event, professional cyclists race through the heart of Old Quebec. The event is a unique opportunity to see the world's elite cyclists in an exciting setting.
The Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (17) will take place on September 8, 2023 in Quebec City.
20. Québec City Film Festival
The Quebec City Film Festival (18) gives film enthusiasts the opportunity to see regional and international film premieres.
The festival is from September 13 to 17, 2023.
21. Marathon de Québec
The Quebec City Marathon (19) follows international standards and participants can use it to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The 2023 edition of this major sporting event will see a modified race course that takes runners past many of Quebec City's beautiful attractions.
This year's marathon will take place from September 29 to October 1, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the summer festival in Quebec held every year?
The summer festival in Quebec is held in July. The 2023 festival is from the 6th of July to the 16th of July.
What are some essential tips to follow for the summer festival in Quebec?
Avoid taking large bags and unnecessary items as there is a security check point.
What was the cost of a ticket to the summer festival in Quebec in 2022?
The starting cost of a ticket to the Summer Festival in Quebec is $210.00
Which items are not allowed in the summer festival in Quebec?
There are several prohibited items at the Quebec summer festival, such as knives, fireworks, camera stands, alcohol, pets, and others.
How can one reach Quebec?
Quebec is accessible by car, train, bus and plane. Speak with an advisor at Canadian Train Vacations about arranging a trip to Quebec.
Why is the Summer Festival in Quebec so famous among music-lovers?
The summer festival in Quebec has been around since 1968 and has attained much of its popularity since 2009. It is the largest outdoor musical event in Canada. Millions of music lovers come here to enjoy 11 days of performances.
Which artists performed at the Quebec summer festival in 2022?
Some of the headliners were Jack Johnson, Maroon 5, Halsey, Rage Against the Machine, and Alanis Morissette.
About the author: Louise Weiss is Director of Legendary Hospitality with Fresh Tracks Canada. Having worked in the Canadian travel industry for more than 25 years, she enjoys sharing her local expertise with visitors. She is based in North Vancouver and has spent time... Read more
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