By: Staff –
FME has announced its 2021 lineup. Taking place September 2nd to 5th, 2021, this year’s edition will feature performances by Backxwash, Cadence Weapon, Lido Pimienta, and more as the festival will accommodate more festivalgoers and offer bigger events than last year, all the while complying with sanitary measures in place.
New for this 19th edition: Poisson Volant and its stage, la scène Desjardins, a site which will be hosting outdoor concerts right up until the end of September. This ephemeral venue, located on the peninsula of Osisko lake, is replacing the outdoor stage previously found on 7e rue.
Also of note, the return of many indoor venues, historically key locations at FME, that includes: Cabaret de la Dernière Chance, Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda and Diable Rond. The Agora des arts is currently undergoing cosmetic changes, but it’s no big deal, since Église Immaculée-Conception will be taking on venue duties, capable of hosting a great capacity for the pleasure of festivalgoers. Lastly, our headquarters will be located at Club de Curling for a second straight year.
The team unveils its official musical programming that combines up-and-comers with mainstays! This year, SiriusXM, in collaboration with Vidéotron, presents more than 60 artists from Quebec, plus a delegation of music pioneers from Toronto, the festival again offering a great diversity of genres and styles.
Headlining this year’s edition of FME, a perfectly sublime delegation of melody makers, making the trip from Toronto, that includes internationally-renowned rapper, poet and writer, Cadence Weapon (Short list for the Polaris), experimental neo-soul queen, US Girls, savant electronic cumbia singer, Lido Pimienta and reckless post-punk outfit, The OBGMs (Short list for the Polaris). Also travelling on Route ON-11-N to visit the festival, Filipina hyper-pop collective, Pantayo, jangle-pop duo, Ducks Ltd., grunge-punk dilettantes, Bad Waitress, psychedelic quartet, Hot Garbage, as well as “moccasin gaze” Ojibway prodigy, Zoon (Short list for the Polaris).
Festivalgoers can discover 2020 Polaris-winner, Backxwash’s visionary brand of industrial hip hop, headbang to the rhythms of Hochelaga collective, Ragers, undergo subversive tremors through the rhymes of Francouvertes-finalist, Calamine, or show off their swag as they flex their dance moves on acid jazz tracks from Maky Lavender, all the while catching former half of Heartstreets, Emma Beko. Fans of spitting are also presented with a Rap Queb bill for the ages, when trap/drill specialist Shreez, mumble rapper White-B, and street rap veteran Souldia take on the stage back to back at Poisson Volant on Friday night.
Again turning to this heterogeneous Quebec scene, FME presents a plethora of artists showcasing tight grooves and a knack for modern textures, inviting Pierre Kwenders and his rhythmical and lyrical serenades, along with an array of great beatmakers. First to take the stage on day one: local prodigy Mr Santé and his unique disc jockeying à la Dj Shadow. Later that evening, Gayance proposes a blend of house, rooted in african and latin music. Also showcasing their mad modulation skills, Montreal-based multidisciplinary music virtuoso, Ouri, as well as electronic label Kindisch signee, Kora.
Last, but not least, ÎLESONIQ takes on curation duties for a matinee that will turn the site into a daytime electronic jamboree of epic proportions. On Saturday starting at 11:30AM, fans of dubstep will be treated to DJ sets by UnXpectD, Stoned Level and Krimer.
Late on Friday night, we will be hosting Nuit Électro, a dance party infused with techno, house and drum’n’bass, and featuring DJ sets from Rouyn Noranda-based artists: Seraphun, Drazil, BoLow and RA10.
Neo-romantic electronic duo, Paupière, will sound the first bells of pop at the festival, which also offers a great balance between well-established artists and fresh finds. Alternative melodists with a flare, Laurence-Anne and Sophia Bel, will be present, joining the duke of the 90’s sentimental ballad, Gab Paquet. Beat Sexü and Pure Carrière will be defending their Pantoum-crafted novel and beautifully-weirdish pop, mysterious and versatile singer-songwriter, N Nao, plays the church, and new arrivals on the Quebec scene, Robert Robert and Valence, present their latest dadaist works.
Staying within the confines of pop music, marquee singer-songwriters Ariane Moffatt and Martha Wainwright act as ambassadors for a new stage, la scène Vidéotron, at Église Immaculée-Conception. Former member of Karkwa, Julien Sagot, will also be offering songs from his latest release at this same venue. Lastly, Ariane Roy proposes soulful earworms as part of a family concert series, presented by Agnico Eagle.
The curators also programmed pop infused with funk and R&B. Janette King will be playing songs from her latest album, What We Lost, while sophisti-pop crooner, Kristian North, brings his musicians for a Friday night concert, following up with a DJ set at Poisson Volant the very next day.
Wishing to celebrate the many facets and declinations of today’s rock music, the team presents for the very first time at FME, two pillars of the shoegaze renaissance in Quebec: prolific Montreal outfit, No Joy, and The Besnard Lakes, who will be playing songs from their latest, heavenly opus. Friday at midnight, the ex-frontman of Les Marinellis unveils his new project: Hippie Hourrah. Making the trip from La Grande Métropole, the new hallucinogenic group, Fhang, featuring Mishka Stein from Patrick Watson and Teke Teke.
Digging deeper into psychedelic music, FME welcomes Paul Jacobs and his motley crew for a can’t-miss live concert, as well as Yoo Doo Right, who could very well overpower Petit Théâtre’s sound system with their epic dosage of decibels. Garage rock band extraordinaire, Double Date With Death, and Alias in rock’n’roll orchestra format, are also on the program. For psychedelia in la langue de Molière, festival goers will want to catch Bonbonbon’s Saturday night bill, featuring Vanille and Mort Rose.
Those on the lookout for new brands of punk will want to visit Cabaret de la Dernière Chance on Friday to catch présent-punk phenoms, Crabe. There’s Visibly Choked who describe their experimental no wave as “a hardcore Kate Bush-fronted five piece having a panic attack”. Also from the fringes, but this time taking the form of a supergroup, there is Drogue, featuring members from Le Nombre, Galaxie and Les Dales Hawerchuk. Speaking of timely collaborative projects, Alain Quirion premieres: Johnny Clash and the Porkyz. Lastly, nominee for best band name, Caniche666, will unleash high volts of hardcore punk on Saturday.
For folk aficionados, the curators have, as is tradition, sprinkled the program with novel artists, the first of which will be Laura Niquay, singing in her native tongue of Atikamekw at Place de la citoyenneté. Maude Audet offers an insight into her pop-folk amalgamation, Saratoga has us dreaming of picturesque lands, and Étienne Coppée (winner of Les Francouvertes 2021) tells his tale musically. Attendees can also chill to the sounds of Jay Scott’s folk-rap hybrid.
For those not interested in Sunday School, FME proposes a metal takeover that will see legendary group Voïvod close out this year’s festival at Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda. Also joining the titans of Quebec metal, the thrash group from Montreal, Reanimator, and Malartic-based stoner doom ensemble, Tumeurs.
Also on Sunday evening, Quebec pop music magnates, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Louis-Jean Cormier, will be playing fan favourites, old and new, at Poisson Volant. Cormier will draw on material from his latest releases, Quand la nuit tombe and Le ciel est au plancher, while Arthur will take the stage with usual bandmates, Olivier Langevin and François Lafontaine, with whom she recently crafted a new single: Tout Recommence. Bon appétit!
Festivalgoers will be able to purchase tickets online, starting July 27th, at noon. Again this year, in light of venue capacities, there will be no festival passes. Individual tickets will give access to a specific concert.