Le Festif : a Party Story

The most beautiful stories often start from an idea that seems completely absurd. The Festif is no exception. It all started in 2009; A group of friends, a few drinks in the nose, the heart at the party and the whole evening in front of them. Clément Turgeon jokes to his friends that what is missing in Baie-St-Paul is a major event and that the city deserves a party worthy of the name. But at that time, no one could have imagined that this sentence would resonate enough with Clément to really give it meaning.


In 2010, a year later, the first edition of the festival was born. Several volunteers and a committee of young Charlevoisians also embarked on this great project without suspecting the immediate success it would have. In the end, the 2010 edition of the Festif ended with five shows, a festive evening and 2000 people who came for the occasion. Clément and his team could finally say mission accomplished; Baie-Saint-Paul had its party.


But they weren’t going to stop there. Clément saw bigger than that. He imagined his city coming to life, literally. That’s why over the years, scenes have been added here and there. At the Quai, in the basement of the church, in a schoolyard, on the Rivière du Gouffre, in a pit of sand; nothing is impossible. Le Festif continues to surpass itself, innovate and surprise us year after year. Organizers sometimes surprise themselves by doing the impossible. They have kept this little naive, human, simple and cracked side that characterizes them. Pop up shows in the large yards of residents of Baie-Saint-Paul or in a cement mixer? No problem, as long as the Baie-Saint-Paulois get on board.


In 2022, more than 40,000 festival-goers traveled to the beautiful region of Charlevoix to take part in the celebration. Good music, renowned artists, excellent local food, plenty of beer; everything was there to get the party going. At the Festif, there really is something for everyone. With more than 95 artists performing throughout the event, music lovers should be prepared to discover talented artists.


We all love to see Baie-Saint-Paul transform and come to life year after year. We appreciate it even more when it shines, reinvents itself and takes part in something big. For this, its organizers are ready to do what is necessary. They know that it comes with a share of awareness and responsibility, both on their side and on that of the festival-goers. This is why the Festif becomes more and more green with each edition. Here, beer is drunk in Ecocups to avoid waste and pollution, while promoting the circular economy. The delicious beer comes from a local microbrewery, like all the rest of the food. At the Festif, we eat locally. Artists are no exception. They receive local and bulk food in their lodge. As if that were not enough, the organizing committees even take care of the transport of its festival-goers. Remember that it is a pedestrian festival and that everything goes smoothly. In addition to this, several alternatives have been thought of : shuttles, a carpooling Facebook group, a bicycle service. There is no shortage of options. Several other small gestures like this have been thought of by the organization and make the Festif what it is: A whole eco-responsible party.


Clement’s idea was perhaps not so absurd after all. Casually, twelve years later, it resonates like music in the ears of thousands of festival-goers who come from all over to take part in this great annual party. A remarkable story, which we hope will continue to be written for a long time.


Picture : @lefestifbsp on Instagram

A vibrant city, all year long