The Emerging Music Festival began nearly 10 years ago with a group of friends and a desire to witness live music locally. Living in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a small city 700 KM from Montreal, it was always a trek to catch a concert. So, in 2003 these friends launched the first edition of Emerging Music Festival in their hometown.
Now in its ninth year, the Emerging Music Festival boasts 60 bands, all who perform in local bars, restaurants and theaters. While last year brought 17,000 music fans, co-founder Jenny Thibault hopes 2011 will see an increase due to big Thursday and Saturday night shows and an electronic picnic held at a nearby lake. Thibeault is proud of the festival’s intimate nature: fest venues hold no more than 400, which allows artists to easily communicate with fans.
“[It’s] like a big summer camp for the music industry,” Thibault says of the fest, which has been described as a Canadian mini-SXSW. “At the end of the summer, you [attend] the Emerging Music Festival to be up-to-date about what’s going on in the music scene in Europe, Quebec and Canada.” In an interview with Billboard Pro, Thibault explains how the staff selects the line-up, why the fest showcases independent acts, and what can be expected at the festival.