MONTEBELLO, QC, June 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - A record crowd estimated at over 200,000 people passed through the turnstiles for Amnesia Rockfest which was held on Friday and Saturday in Montebello. The 9th edition of Rockfest was a tremendous success thanks in large part to outstanding programming and rock-solid production! Those numbers and the enthusiastic response of festival-goers once again confirmed Rockfest's dominant position on Canada's rock calendar. The event was sold out.
The weather was great for the ninth edition and Rockfest hosted an incredible array of artists in the small town of less than 1,000 people. Among the highlights – and there plenty of them – was Friday night's performance by California punk-rock group Blink-182, and the exclusive reunion of the group Reset on the Quebec stage (original members with Pierre Bouvier and Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan) as well as the performance by California rock group Mötley Crüe that closed out the second night.
An unacceptable situation
« Despite the festival's growth over the past few years, Amnesia Rockfest's financial situation remains precarious following the Quebec government's decision not to adjust the financial support that it provides to the event. The grant awarded this year does not take into account the evolution of the event with respect to size and budget – which increased by 40% this year -, nor with respect to performance, customer traffic and the economic spinoffs which jumped from $3 million to $10 million in three years. The treatment that we received is unfair and inequitable. We have asked, unsuccessfully so far, for a review. When you consider the economic, social, artistic and tourism role that Rockfest plays not only in the Outaouais but also in Quebec, this situation is unacceptable. In the coming days, we will be in a position to evaluate the financial impact of the government's decision and the scope of the budget deficit », said Alex Martel, President and founder of Rockfest.
Festival management carried out major improvements this year with respect to logistics and production that resulted in a greater experience for festival-goers. Among those changes was the expansion of the festival's grounds, which included adding several new stages. Also, aware of the comments from some festival-goers and wanting to offer an experience that would meet their expectations, the Rockfest team will do everything it can next year, in concert with the Sureté du Québec, to improve access to Montebello and to the parking lots, particularly when the event gets started. For security reasons, on Thursday evening and on Friday, the SQ had to temporarily close Exit 210 on Autoroute 50 and block access to certain parking lots in order to reduce traffic.
We should remind everyone that the Festival d'été de Québec, through its sister company 3E évènement-expérience-émotion (event-experience-emotion), was responsible for the production and logistics for the 9th edition of Rockfest. Other partners included the firm of P. Miron Consultants, which specializes in field logistics and the local Orkestra agency, which was responsible for managing the festival's peripheral operations.
Once again, the festival's success had a positive impact on Montebello merchants and neighbouring towns: sold out lodging since last fall, lots of customers in all the restaurants from morning till night, corner stores and grocery stores being emptied out. Since being founded in 1854, the town of Montebello has never hosted so many people all at once! Residents also took part more by welcoming festival-goers onto their properties. Rockfest also enabled the Recreation Committee to carry out several fundraising activities during the festival. The major economic spinoffs on the region make the festival the most important tourist attraction of the MRC de Papineau and a major pillar for the Outaouais.
The event's popularity with tourists is indisputable: tickets were sold in every continent on the planet, allowing the festival to maintain worldwide notoriety in the music industry.
A message from Alex Martel
« I would like to thank all of our sponsors! Thanks to our title sponsor, Amnesia, for continuing to grow along with the festival. Thanks to Loto-Québec which continues to support alternative culture. Thanks to MusiquePlus who has been with us from the very beginning on your airwaves. Thanks to Budweiser for the evolution of our longtime partnership and to Jägermeister. Thanks also to Octane, V, Naya, IF Merch and all the other sponsors. And thanks to our public partners too, particularly Tourisme Québec (despite this year's grant), who believe in the festival.
Thanks to the festival's fantastic team, to all the volunteers who gave their time and to all of the teams: technical, security, derivative products, ticket office, cleaning and to all of the media that covered the festival. Thanks to the tourism industry and to the music industry for believing in the project: all the agents, managers, tour managers, artists, politicians, stakeholders and fellow promoters. Thanks to Mayor Luc Ménard, to Montebello town councillors and employees, who helped make Rockest 2014 a success. Thanks to the merchants and residents of Montebello for your open-mindedness and for giving our festival-goers with a warm welcome.
Finally, from the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to all of the festival-goers who attended the 2014 edition. Without you and your support over the years, Rockfest would not exist. You come back every year and you bring more people with you. You directly contribute to the fulfillment of a dream, to confirming that our passion is worth it all. You are living proof that our efforts, our hard work all year long, our battles, our risks and everything else are worth it. Rockfest is not a multinational; Rockfest is the idea of a 17 year-old kid from Montebello who loved music and who wanted to build something out of nothing in his hometown. Thanks for believing in it. We love you all and we will always appreciate your support. We have created something great that can't be found anywhere else in Quebec and it must live on for a long time! », said Alex Martel, President and founder of Amnesia Rockfest.
Founded in 2005 by a 17 year-old kid from Montebello who wanted to transform his small village into a rock paradise, Amnesia Rockfest is now the biggest rock music festival in Canada. Known for its impressive lineup, affordable tickets, party vibe and pristine location along the Ottawa River, Rockfest generated over $10,000,000 in economic spin-offs last year.
Amnesia is a Quebec retailer that specializes in selling clothes, shoes and accessories related to urban life, skateboarding, snowboarding and music. www.amnesiashop.com
SOURCE: Amnesia Rockfest
For further information: Florence Petit-Gagnon, Communications Infrarouge, [email protected], Cell. (514) 516-7412