Photo Gallery: A First-Person Look into Quebec’s Festival De Musique Émergente (FME)

Photo gallery can be found at the end of the article.

The city of Rouyn-Noranda in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec hosted the 17th edition of Festival de Musique Émergente, otherwise known as FME. The festival hosts a wide array of artists from different genres, of both emerging and popular status. For reference, Rouyn-Noranda is seven hours North of N.D.G and has a population of just over 42,000 people - 400 of which volunteered to help with the four-day festival.

From August 29th through September 1st FME took over the whole town. According to festival organizer Jenny Thibault, FME has reached maximum capacity. She added that the only way for the festival to grow would be if somebody built a new hotel.

The weather wasn’t too cooperative on the first night which saw steady rain throughout Kid Koala’s headlining set at the outdoor stage. Unfortunately, the rain most likely kept people at home as the Young Gods concert wasn’t all too populated. However, that did not stop the Swiss trio from putting on an energetic concert which allowed them to showcase their new album, Data Mirage Tangram, along with some older songs spanning their 32 year career. Furthermore, electro pop band Ellemetue was the surprise hit of the evening. And too close off the day, the Mingo l'Indien and Nunu Métal duo put on a stellar show for the festival guests and hometown crowd.
The skies cleared for Friday’s outdoor shows featuring hip hop artists Sarahmée and Loud. Speaking of loud, Atlanta group Material Girls had the audience shaking their heads in amazement with their dose of glam-goth. For those who prefer their rock on the classic rockabilly side, The Televisionaries and all the way from Tokyo, Japan, The’s had a packed audience at the Diable Rond venue dancing the night away.
Saturday was the busiest night of the festival which included an all night rave that saw the sun rise at The Paramount. Montreal hip-hop artist Naya Ali with help from DJ John Brown kicked off the evening with an energetic and powerful performance. Half Moon Run played their second sold out concert at the festival. New Brunswick trio Motherhood as well as Texans ...And You Will Know Us From The Trail of Dead only knew one way to rock and that is loud and fast with a touch of drone for taste.
Along with the scheduled shows there were many secret ones that popped up around town. One memorable unadvertised show was when La Julia Smith played in the basement of a local restaurant. The acoustics might not have been the best but the trio from Concepción, Chile, made up for it in spirit with their energetic flavour of austral rock mayhem.
Sunday, the final day of the festival, valued quality over quantity. Quebec folk singer Émile Bilodeau proved that he is an artist to keep your eyes on, with his long and fun show to an overflowing crowd at the SiriusXM Garage. Down the street it was folk-rock night at L’Agora Des Arts with Doiron-Placard, Daniel Romano, and The Sadies playing to a jam-packed house. Dallas Good, guitarist and singer of The Sadies said that he didn’t want to screw up, being that it was such a privilege to play at the festival and that FME was something quite special. It was the band’s third time making the trip up North and they didn’t disappoint; even going that little bit extra by treating their fans to an unscheduled extra half hour of performance. For the metal aficionados, of which are numerous in Rouyn-Noranda, the trio of metal bands to close out the fest did not disappoint. The Archons, Necrotic Mutation, and Despised Icon proved that head banging is a universal dance form.
Organizer Jenny Thibault said that FME is all about making memories. If that is the case then FME 2019 was a resounding success. From beginning to end the festival showcased the wonderful spirit of the Rouyn-Noranda and Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. The festival has grown over the past 17 years but the host city sure hasn’t lost the small town intimacy - ultimately making it a unique and noteworthy gathering.
1. Straight outta the CJLO hip-hop conference Naya Ali and DJ John Brown at Stage Évolu-Son.
2. Dylan Phillips of the Montreal band Half Moon Run.


3. …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead brought a bit of Texas rock to Rouyn-Noranda.
4. La Julia Smith during their secret basement show.
5. The SiriusXM garage was filled inside and out for Quebec folk sensation Émile Bilodeau.
6. An intimate evening with Julie Doiron and Dany Placard at L'Agora des Arts.
7. Having a drink with metal band Archons.
8. The Sadies won the best dressed by a performer or band award at the festival.
9. Brazillian musician Sessa warmed up a rainy day.
10. For those who like irony! But if you didn’t advertise a secret show it would be a pretty empty venue.
11. The Televisionaries from Rochester, New York, know how to create a rockabilly moment.
12. Quebec hip-hop artist Sarahmée at Scène extérieure Desjardins.
13. The giant heavy metal deathcore blow out courtesy of Despised Icon was a great way to end FME 2019.