Up until a few years ago Country Music and Quebec were two terms that you often didn’t hear together, that is not until organizers of the Festival Country De Lotbinière decided that country music had a place in Quebec as well.
Festival Country De Lotbinière the beginning
First announced in February, 2015 Lotbinière Country Festival would introduce Quebec to Canadian Country Music superstar Jason Blaine who would make his Quebec debut at the festival that July. The following night, North Bay’s own (and former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player) Cory Marquardt thrilled the crowd with his high octane show.
I remember speaking to Cory a few weeks after the show in Lotbinière and asking what it was like being part of one of the first major country music festivals in Quebec and Cory distinctly remembered the crowds and their hunger for country music and how they knew every word to his songs. That’s a highlight for every artist when they take a show to a new region or country.
Last year the festival grew a little bit more for it’s second year doubling the number of artists that would take to the stage. Last year’s lineup featured Nashville’s own Blackjack Billy, Emerson Drive, Ottawa’s own River Town Saints and the return of Cory Marquardt for the second year in a row due to popular demand. Once again the festival was a smashing success and further strengthened the roots of country music in Quebec.
If you needed more evidence that country music is taking over Quebec all you need to do is look at the major country music tours of 2017 and you’ll see that everyone from Tim Hicks to Eric Church and Florida Georgia Line stopped at major venues in Quebec where they were greeted by sold out crowds of screaming country fans.
Festival Country De Lotbinière 2017
Fast forward to the summer of 2017 and our friends at Festival Country De Lotbinière are getting ready for their third annual event coming up, a little earlier this year, on June 16-18, 2017.
June 16 – The Washboard Union and Alee
Opening night of this summer’s event features an impessive lineup to get the party started with, 5 X Country Music Award winners for 2016, The Washboard Union headlining the evening. The Washboard Union have defied classification and have become one of the most exciting and talked about new bands on the Country music scene.
In the few short years they have been together, The Washboard Union have defied classification and become one of the most exciting and talked-about new bands on the Canadian Country music scene! As regulars to Nashville Tennessee the band recorded their latest EP In My Bones at the legendary RCA Studio A. You simply have to see them Live!
Joining The Washboard Union is newcomer to the Canadian country music scene, who is wasting no time leaving her mark, Alee. Fresh off the release of her debut album Bad Habit Alee will brings her fresh up tempo style and sound to country music fans in Quebec.
A singer-songwriter-musician-entertainer regarded for her musicianship, the strength of her original songs, and charismatic performance, Alee has the versatility of a veteran performer with the ability to take her songs from full band down to a simple acoustic performance, varying each show from the preceding one, in an essence described by her audiences as engaging, passionate and authentic.
June 17 – Tim Hicks and James Barker Band
Country music fans in Quebec better be ready because my good friend Tim Hicks is coming to Lotbinière and he is going to Shake those Walls, joining Tim on Saturday night (June 17) are the boys of the James Barker Band fresh of the release of their debut EP Game On!
Formed in 2013, the James Barker Band consists of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Bobby Martin, and Connor Stephen. As winners of the 2015 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, they were awarded a release with Universal Music Canada and an all-inclusive trip to Nashville, Tennessee. The band was also given the opportunity to open for Thomas Rhett on the Boots and Hearts main stage in front of 40,000 of country music’s biggest fans and returned to play the festival in 2016 on the main stage.
Saturday’s headliner needs little introduction, with the 2015 Get A Little Crazy Tour under his belt, Tim Hicks cemented his reputation as one of Canada’s most dynamic live country performers. On this, his first national headlining tour, Hicks served up ample helpings of the grit, humour and good time anthems something his audiences have come to expect.
In 2013, he was the #1 highest selling digital Canadian Country Artist of the Year and Most Played Debut Artist overall at Country radio. Since, he has been honoured with a 2014 Canadian Radio Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, the 2014 CCMA Rising Star Award, and the 2015 Country Music Association of Ontario Award for” Album of the Year”(5:01). What sets Tim Hicks apart, beyond an ample sense of humour and his depth as a songwriter and performer, is his ability to tell those kind of truths in a way that anyone, whether they’re a country fan or not, can relate to. His songs resonate with so many people because, just like his fans, he works hard, plays hard and recognizes that chasing your dreams – whatever they may be – takes a toll that often requires taking some time to cut loose.
It’s worth mentioning, to our friends in Quebec who may have yet to catch Tim Hicks live in concert, that Friday saw the release of Tim’s first ever Live album, Tim Hicks Live, recorded during his Shake These Walls Canadian tour, if you want a preview of what you’re going to get on June 17 why not buy the album and give it a listen.
One thing is for certain June 16-17 is going to be a weekend that country music fans in Quebec will remember for a very long time, if you don’t have your tickets for this show yet do yourself a favour and pick them up ASAP.
We’ll be seeing you there, Sound Check Entertainment will be onsite all weekend so be sure to come and say hi!
While You’re in Lotbinière
While visiting Lotbinière be sure to visit some of the incredible scenery the region has to offer. From parks to farms the Chaudières-Appalaches tourist region is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Eastern Canada. For more details on what you can do between shows be sure to visit Tourisme Chaudières-Appalaches
This is the country music event of the summer between Eastern Ontario and PEI and you will not want to miss out! Tickets are on sale now and are still only $30 for the weekend (until June 2 $35 after June 2), or go VIP for just $60 which gets you access to the all new Coors Banquet Zone. Day passes are also be available at $26 per day ($30 per day after June 2). You can purchase your tickets here.
Festival-goers, who have purchased their passes by May 31 , will receive a link by email to receive a 15% discount on tickets to the Professional Bull Riding Canada tour coming to Quebec City. The PBR Canada Monster Energy Tour takes place June 2-3 at the Vidéotron Center. Get your pass now to get the promotion! An exclusive OFFER for customers #FCL!
Why buy tickets when you can win? We’ve got an exclusive contest just for our readers, from now until Wednesday May 31 at 5pm EST (to allow anyone who didn’t win to take advantage of the early bird ticket pricing) share this post on social media and tell us who you want to see the most, be sure to tag us in your post (if you can’t tag us share a link to the post in the comments of this article so we know it was shared). Use the hashtag #FCL2017. Winner will be announced by 6pm EST.
Contest Rules: Must like or follow Sound Check Entertainment and Festival Country de Lotbinière on Social Media, must not have won in the last 30 days, must share this post using the hashtag #FCL2017 to qualify. Prize does not include accommodations or travel to Saint-Agapit, Quebec.