Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

These World Famous Montreal Festivals May No Longer Be Free

Enjoy free shows while they last, Montreal.
Staff Writer
These World Famous Montreal Festivals May No Longer Be Free

In an open letter, Jacques-Andre Dumont, president of the group that organizes the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, and Montreal en Lumière, estimated that it the coming years, Montreal's most popular festivals will no longer offer free events around the Quartier des Spectacles.

After on-site vendors demanded a $5 million dollar injection to help them recoup financial losses, organizers are scrambling to figure out how to accommodate everyone without potentially losing millions more. 

READ MORE: 15 Easy Summer Jobs For Montreal Students You Can Apply For Right Now

TL;DR  Montreal's favourite festivals might not offer free shows anymore after organizers struggle to recover lost millions. Even after $20 million in public funds have been used to keep the festivals afloat, organizers project tough times ahead.

Dupont has proposed a special tax to help finance the free content offered by the festivals. As if the Montreal public isn't taxed enough, a report reveals that for the past six years, over $20 million dollars in taxpayer money has been used to support the festivals around the Quartier des Spectacles.

Even worse, festival organizers have never footed the bill to close the roads around Place des Arts. Instead, that responsibility fell to the city. 

Mayor Valerie Plante underlines that the city of Montreal gives enormous contributions to the many festivals that the Quartier hosts. She says that even though they draw enormous crowds and bring an influx of millions to local businesses, festival organizers must get creative if they want to keep offering free shows to the public. Plante goes on to say that public funding is not a sustainable solution to this problem. 

Last year's Jazz Fest drew an estimated over two million people to the Quartier des Festivals, with some free shows drawing 100,000 spectators. With over $1.5 billion invested in festival infrastructure over the past decade, festival organizers and the city administrators say that it could take two years to strike a fair deal with Montreal. 

@festivaljazzmtlembedded via  

For the moment, free shows will continue. Stay tuned for updates. 


More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.