5 festivals in the Quebec country-side you can’t miss this July

Woman cheering with one hand in the air, sitting on a man's shoulders at the front of a big crowd Photo by KOTOIMAGES/Shutterstock

Quebec has no shortage of summer festivals to satisfy your musical or artistic itch, whether you’re in the mood to watch Green Day perform live or meet a hundred potters! Here are a few events to consider if you’re in ‘La belle province’ this July.

Quebec City Summer Festival

835 Wilfrid-Laurier Avenue, Quebec City
July 6 to 16

Hosted annually at Plains of Abraham Park, this festival is a staple in tourist-friendly Quebec City. Previous editions have drawn in more than a million attendees with international sensations such as Lady Gaga, Elton John, and the Black Eyed Peas. This year’s lineup is just as impressive: fans of alternative rock have already tuned in to Weezer, Imagine Dragons, and the Foo Fighters from July 6 to 8, but pop fans can still look forward to performances by Lana Del Ray, Green Day, Pitbull, and Vance Joy from July 13 to 16. 

1001 Pots

2435, rue de l’Église, Val-David
July 7 to August 20

This year marks the 34th annual massive pottery and ceramics festival 1001 Pots. There’s a wide variety of sculptures, clay crafts, pots, and vases to appreciate, made by more than 120 artists from Quebec and beyond. For attendees who prefer to get their hands dirty, the festival offers hour-long vase spinning and ceramics classes on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $4 per person, but children 12 and under can enter for free.

Tremblant International Blues Festival

Mont-Tremblant Village, Mont-Tremblant
July 12 to 16

Anyone who’s been to Mont-Tremblant in the winter knows that it’s famous for its world-class ski hill. But they might not know it’s also one of Canada’s biggest summer blues festival venues. Caleb Taylor, the Jazz Street Boys, and Smooth Gentlemen are only some of the musicians performing at more than 100 free concerts in the village square. It’s also the perfect time of year to take a scenic gondola ride up to the top of the mountain.

Route des Arts (Arts Trail)

Various locations, southwestern Laurentian region
July 15 to 23

Route des Arts is an opportunity for creatives in the Laurentian region to showcase their art, and an approachable and intimate way for people to access art outside the gallery. It’s an unconventional show, in that it doesn’t have a set location; each artist’s works can instead be viewed at their individual studios or homes, whose addresses are listed on the festival’s personalized Google Maps page. The artists work with a range of styles, as in Marie-Pierre Goudreault’s abstract paintings, Isabelle Meriot’s hyper-realistic animal portraits, and Sheila Watson’s surreal sculptures and functional pottery. 

Le Festif! de Baie-St-Paul (Baie-St-Paul Festival)

Various locations, Baie-Saint-Paul
July 20 to 23

Spread across more than 10 venues hosting performances by around 100 artists, Le Festif! de Baie-St-Paul is a jam-packed event! There’s no shortage of genres and musicians to encounter at this festival, including folk, with singer-songwriter Daniel Bélanger; classical music, with Le Domaine en Fugue; soul, with Ghost Funk Orchestra; and electropop, with Milk & Bone duo. Only some of the shows are free, while tickets for paid shows range from $15 to $40. Check the festival program for more details.

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