FME celebrates its 20th anniversary and unveils its complete programming!

Festival de Musique Émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and SiriusXM, its official partner, invite you to blow out the candles on 20 years of concerts featuring the very best new music and renowned musical acts from here and abroad, and to celebrate the return, after a two year absence, of its international programming. On September 1-4, 2022, FME strikes again with an eclectic selection of artists offering alternative, novel and singular music, while presenting many up-and-coming outfits of all genres. In all, no fewer than 100 performances are taking place in the premium concert venues and other unique locations of Rouyn-Noranda.

The team recently announced the Événements SiriusXM concert series, taking place at Scène Vidéotron, where headliners Hubert LenoirAnimal CollectiveLisa Leblanc and Loud rub shoulders with Les Hay BabiesP’tit BelliveauKoriassSarahméeCRiElizabete BalčusRich Aucoin and Lou-Adriane Cassidy!

“We are so proud to present Festival de Musique Émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue as the title sponsor and to have been a supporter for over ten years,” said Jean-Philippe Lavoie, Manager, CCD & Industry Relations, SiriusXM Canada“Showcasing Francophone music on-air across North America and live at events is incredibly important to us, and FME provides the ultimate platform for this.”

This year, Scène Vidéotron is newly located on Murdoch Avenue at the corner of 8th Street. The festival will continue to take over numerous festive venues and locations, namely: Guinguette chez EdmundPetit Théâtre du Vieux NorandaSous-sol du Petit Théâtre du Vieux NorandaCabaret de la Dernière ChanceDiable RondParamountClub de Curling a.k.a. Le Hub Desjardins, and Garage Rheault; which last year hosted visionary artist Backxwash in extremis, when the FME team were forced to improvise and move their performance due to Mother Nature!

Neo-soul/R&B provider and new Bonsound signee, Magi Merlin, is the first artist to perform at la Guinguette chez Edmund a.k.a. the Fonderie Horne Stage. She sets the tone for Connaisseur Ticaso, the latest Album rap de l’année-winner at l’ADISQ, as well as for Naya Ali, a Quebeco-Ethiopian hip-hop artist whose verve is as thorny as it is groovy. Trippy armada Choses Sauvages are headlining on Friday night, playing the intemporal dancy songs found on their latest album: Choses Sauvages II (via Audiogram). They are joined by post-disco singer-songwriter Sheeneh Ko, and Paris neo-psych outfit Brama. Saturday, FME first presents a family concert featuring Julie Aubé, soon to release a new album via Simone Records, and aerial, sparkly pop singer-songwriter Thaïs. Later that day, attendees are treated to the anthems of Pas l’temps d’niaiser, the new opus from mercurial band Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire. Also playing on the shore of Osisko Lake that evening, we have Montreal minimal pop artist Hélène Barbier and Maryland psych pop ensemble Tomato Flower. Sunday, we turn to Alicia Clara who is presenting songs from her sublime Outsider / Unusual EP, released via Hot Tramp.

On Thursday, Scène Hydro-Québec (set within the confines of Petit Théâtre du Vieux Noranda) puts an emphasis on culturally-diverse artists that cleverly meld alternative, noise and avant-garde with traditional music, through new experimental powwow collective, Medicine Singers (featuring FME mainstay Yonatan Gat as well as Thor Harris and Christopher Pravdica of Swans), Canadian-Ukrainian protest-fuelled outfit, Balaklava Blues, and Avalanche Kaito, a griot/punk/noise project led by Burkinabe artist Kaito Winse and Belgian musicians Benjamin Chaval and Nico Gitto. Garagerock’s new posterboy, Gus Englehorn, is going on first on Friday, followed by Daptone-protégée, Tamar Aphek (Tel Aviv) and her hybrid of art-punk and neo-jazz, then by multidisciplinary Sub Pop artist Chad VanGaalen, a pioneer of Canadian psychedelia if there was ever one. On Saturday, long list of nominees for the prestigious Polaris Music PrizeLes Louanges and Lydia Képinski, catapult the content of their new albums, Crash and Depuis, respectively. Fernie takes on opening duties, playing a cocktail of neo-soul and R&B. Sunday presents, as is tradition, a proper dosage of metal, all at once brutal, technical and genre-bending. Decibels are the affair of American metal titans, Dying Fetus, celebrated for their complex riffs and mean cadences, who close the night following sets from First Fragment (technical metal) and Abitabyss (grindcore).

First off, don’t miss the grand return of Gros MenéFred Fortin’s prog-meets-grunge project, at Cabaret de la Dernière Chance, Saturday at 11:30 pm sharp, and then on Sunday, a performance from legendary band Eric’s Trip founder member, Julie Doiron, on the same bat-stage at the same bat-hour. Also making stops at Le Cab, a slew of artists with a knack for writing alternative gems, namely: Gustaf and Grim Streaker, making the trip from Brooklyn; in addition to MNNQNS (Rouen, FR) and Gloin (Toronto, ON). Because FME also caters to A&R’s on the lookout for the very best new artists, the festival is again hosting showcases curated by French psyche-delicious étiquette de disques montréalaiseBonbonbon and trend-setting Toronto label Hand Drawn Dracula. The former presents delirious troubadour Larynx and hypnotic newcomer Allô Fantôme, while the latter presents Tallies (also signed to renowned British label Bella Union) and calorific noise pop project Fake Palms. For the pleasure of insatiable new music aficionados, Sunday brings Révélation Radio-Canada-winner, Lysandre, who shares her unique soulful decoction.

Diable Rond, a quaint, great-sounding venue is yet another bar to catch even more concerts, namely: Sub Pop country artist and Orville Peck accomplice, BriaOmbigiizi, a new collaborative work between Adam Sturgeon (Status / Non-Status) and Daniel Monkman (Zoon); post-modern singer-songwriter Lucill; Folivora’s latest roster addition, Solipsisme; as well as sweaty rock’n’roll threats, Tha Retail Simps and Killer Kin. Last, but not least, FME was able to sway legendary country artist and B movie director – who worked with rock monuments such as Kiss, Metallica and Guns & Roses – Johnny Pilgrim into playing two (!) shows, the first of which is held at Diable Rond on Thursday.

For its opening night, FME invites you to the Vidéotron Stage for the festive living room pop of Bibi Club, a new duo combining electronica, krautrock, jazz and post-punk into fresh jams. On top of hosting a second performance by cowboy Johnny Pilgrim, the stage also welcomes triple Félix-nominee, Matiu, known for his powerful folk heard via Musique Nomade, along with producer and multi-instrumentalist, Mitch Davis, whose jazz and psychedelia-drenched neo-soul was noticed by Arbutus, the label releasing The Hunt, his first solo album, on April 22nd.

“Music is an important pillar of our culture, which is celebrated across all of Québecor and Vidéotron’s platforms, in all regions of Québec. It is a great honour for us to support and promote, through our involvement in FME, the many artists that enliven our everyday life, that take us to new places; the very same artists who will perform for years to come on the biggest stages the province has to offer.” – Pierre Karl Péladeau, President & Chief Executive Officer at Québecor

Onto the armoured concrete of Garage Rheault lands a motley mix of artists that include: electro-pop ensemble Le Couleur, back from France where they recently presented Concorde (via Lisbon Lux); Montreal-Lyon cooperative rap mixtape project, Latitude 45; Montreal Afrofuturist outfit AfroTroniX and their deft alloy of deep house, dubstep and African rhythms; not to mention American supergroup CDSM (featuring ex-members of FME alumni Material Girls). Club de Curling also becomes the Desjardins Hub, where festivalgoers can catch dreamlike songs from Crease (via Constellation), the new album by avant-garde singer-songwriter Kee Avil, plus an audiovisual feast by Le.Mira, a project created by a pair hailing from Dubuisson and Malartic.  

For the nocturnal concert series taking place at Sous-sol du Petit Théâtre, the team of curators has opted for an abundance of novel musical acts that range from electro-pop, all the way to subversive techno and post-punk, inviting Montreal projects: Pelada, Super Plage, La Fièvre, SEULEMENT and No Waves; together with international artists Gargäntua (Paris, FR) and aforementioned CDSM (Atlanta, GA), who play the first of two sets there on Saturday. Les Nuits Électros, taking place at chic venue Paramount, presents a superb bouquet of modern rhythms and sounds, three nights with unique amalgams of genres, starting Thursday with hyper-stylish pop from NarcisseVirginie B and La Bronze. Friday, the crowd is sure to be bopping late into the night as NouvelleLuneIxindamix and Nocide provide the beats. Finally, the saturnalias promise ambitious low frequency turbulence, brought to you by MamiilouLaure and Sinca.

A grandiose and enchanting circuit spanning Downtown Rouyn-Noranda will be available to the public in July. Stage design elements and artifacts from previous editions of FME will be seen at the many key locations to be found along this stroll down memory lane, bringing back fond memories, while also showcasing the festival’s unique evolution over the years.

Every edition sees FME carefully establish a central location where artists and festivalgoers alike can gather, also known as the Desjardins Hub. This year,  with support from Desjardins, attendees can enjoy a multitude of kiosks featuring local artisans as well as CFME radio station, plus an XR garden – a space offering different immersive activities through extended reality technology – and much more!

‘Blind’ passes for the 20th edition of FME have been available since June 10th via the festival’s website. With the complete programming now announced, pass holders have the priority to choose the concerts they wish to attend until July 13th. Single tickets will be made available at noon on July 13th.

Keep an eye on the social media accounts, FacebookInstagram and Tik Tok, for future announcements!

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