Storm forces tens of thousands of fans to flee Festival d'été de Québec

All the shows at the Festival d'été du Quebec on the Plains of Abraham were cancelled last night due to a violent thunderstorm.

Imagine Dragons set cut short as winds topped 90 km/h in the Plains of Abraham

Dan Reynolds, singer for the American pop rock band Imagine Dragons, was singing in the rain Saturday night, apologizing to fans as the show was cancelled due to a severe storm. (Daniel Coulombe/Radio-Canada)

The Festival d'été du Quebec on the Plains of Abraham was cut short Saturday night due to a violent thunderstorm.

Tens of thousands of fans were left disappointed as the headline act, Imagine Dragons, was forced to interrupt their set after just two songs.

In a Tweet, the group told Quebec to stay safe.

"We're so sorry the storm cut the set short and hope you all got out OK. We'll be back soon, we promise."

The group played it's most famous song, Believer, 15 minutes ahead of schedule knowing a severe storm watch was in effect and the show may be stopped.

Singer Dan Reynolds announced he had to leave the scene due to weather conditions, though the storm didn't seem to bother him. He had stripped off his shirt and was singing in the rain.

During a brief interruption, he walked among the crowd and spoke with festival-goers in the minutes leading up to the show's complete cancellation. 

It took some time to evacuate the site.

One man was injured during the evacuation when he impaled himself on a fence. Paramedics say the man's life isn't in danger and he was conscious as he was taken to hospital.

The last time a show was cancelled at the festival due to weather was the Foo Fighters in 2015.

Tens of thousands of fans gathered for the show in Quebec City, but eventually they were all shuffled out with only one injury when the storm hit. (Daniel Coulombe/Radio-Canada)

The festival has a policy of cancelling shows if wind speeds exceed 85 km/h. In a statement, organizers say wind was blowing at 90 km/h last night on the plains.

Some bands and musicians did get a chance to perform before the festival was brought to a screeching halt. Among them was British musician Bishop Briggs and the band Kongos.

Both performances raised the spirits of the thousands of music lovers in the audience, but then, 25 minutes before Imagine Dragons took the stage, festival organizers told fans to prepare to leave the show early.

With files from Radio-Canada


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.