Published Sep 01, 2010One of Canada's premier festivals off the touring circuit kicks off its eighth edition tomorrow (September 2). The eclectic Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue - which condenses to the awesome acronym FMEAT - has been called Pop Montreal North and features a slew of not-to-miss artists.
The festival takes place in Rouyn-Noranda, QC, about a seven-hour drive north of Montreal, and lasts through the Labour Day weekend (September 2 to 5). The unlikely headliners are sludge rock gods the Melvins, and the roster includes Howe Gelb, Martha Wainwright, Polaris short-listers Karkwa and the Besnard Lakes, as well as a host of electronic, hip-hop and experimental pop acts.
"I started this festival in a selfish way," FMEAT organizer Sandy Boutin tells Exclaim! "Born and raised in the area, I often had to drive down to Montreal to catch the shows I wanted to see. I felt like the music presented here did not always meet my musical taste."
Fellow FMEAT organizer Jenny Thibault adds: "We are all from the area. A somewhat remote area... which is something that plays for us and against us at the same time. It really gives a chance for the public and for the bands playing to establish a very intimate connection. The atmosphere is very unique and very festive. It really has become an event where people meet for the first time, where most artists take the time to go see other shows as well".
This year's festival is more ambitious than ever, with more outdoor events and even one including a performance on the town arena's roof.
For more information and the full festival lineup, check the festival's website here. Also, check back on Exclaim.ca in the coming week for a full wrap-up of the festival's events.