The 32e edition of Francos kicked off Thursday evening, without fanfare. The beginnings were modest, but oh so much appreciated, for the return of this event to the Quartier des spectacles after a year of hiatus. Sanitary measures oblige, the crowds were much less compact than in previous years. Despite a long power failure which delayed the performances of Klô Pelgag and Alaclair Ensemble by several minutes, and the death of a technician the day before which darkened the atmosphere, the pleasure was there.
• Read also: The vaccination passport required for Francos
Passport and other measures
The Francos are one of the first festivals to have to apply the health passport. To reduce the wait, the organization has placed “vaccination passport validation” kiosks on the festival site where people can obtain a bracelet that certifies their double vaccination. People without a bracelet could present their passport on their phone at the same time as their ticket. By the early evening, the process seemed to be going well at the sites of both stages.
Due to the measures dictated by public health, the Francos could only accommodate 2,500 people per stage, in areas of 500 spectators. Between each show, the organization had to empty each area to disinfect it. After the performance of Laurence-Anne, at the Place des Festivals, the areas all emptied in top eight minutes.
Modest early evening
How good it was to see Francos again at the Place des Festivals for the first time since 2019 on Thursday evening! The superb weather even made us think that we were back in June, on the usual festival dates. When we arrived at the Quartier des spectacles, shortly before 7 p.m., however, we were far from the frenzy of the Festival des belles années. The five zones for each scene were far from complete. However, the 2,500 tickets allocated for the evening shows were mostly used up. The spectators absent were obviously numerous. The very sparse floor did not, however, mar our appreciation of the evening. Without hesitation, we take little Francos before any show in a drive-in.
Long power failure
The Francos team probably had a cold sweat for a good half hour, Thursday after the show by Laurence-Anne. Without warning, a power failure occurred on the sites of the two stages. No more music and lights, the spectators present were all in the dark. And in the sky, in the distance, we could see many lightning bolts. This did not bode well for the future … Fortunately, the dreaded thunderstorms avoided Montreal and the preparations for the Klô Pelgag concert were able to resume. At the time of writing, the songwriter had just arrived on stage, about fifteen minutes late, initially scheduled to start at 9.45 p.m.
On the stage of the Symphonic Parterre, Alaclair Ensemble also started with a delay of about thirty minutes.
“The skies of the Francos have darkened”
The Francos started off very sadly on Wednesday. Following the suicide of a technician on the site of the event, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the festival has decided to cancel StudioFest, a preview of the festival.
Thursday morning, the head of programming, Laurent Saulnier, shared his emotions on his Facebook page.
“The skies of the Francos darkened Thursday because one of us took his own life. Our first thoughts turn to his loved ones to whom we all offer our support. We also think of our shaken team, because a festival is also a family. […] And we said to ourselves that the best thing we could do in the face of this immense sadness is to continue. Make the most beautiful mini-Francos in the world! For you, the public, the friends. Family. “