Many people underlined how much Les Cowboys Fringants presented a historic show on the Plains of Abraham on Monday. But another aspect was also evident that night: proof that the appetite for Quebec song is alive and well.
I had the opportunity to attend this show where an impressive crowd of 90,000 gathered to hear Sara Dufour, Robert Charlebois and Les Cowboys Fringants.
This record audience for Quebec artists included children, teens, adults and seniors who sang the lyrics to the big hits by artists of all generations.
It was very beautiful and enlightening to see teenagers with Charlebois singing “J’t’aime” madly with big smiles while jumping and clapping their hands.
This is a good opportunity to denounce the fact that private broadcasters have been trying for decades to fool people into believing that the stations are not profitable due to the quotas imposed on them by the CRTC for French-language music.
They claim that these ratings are inconsistent with listeners’ interests and listening habits.
Luckily, the CRTC put them in their place in December, maintaining the 65% quota for French-language music. The problem is that commercial radio stations strategize to circumvent them and tend to air French-language music outside of prime time.
Stop the fall
The result is that French-language music is in sharp decline on commercial radio, according to a study published in 2021 by Deep Blue and ADISQ.
However, if we are to ensure the next generation of groups like Les Cowboys Fringants or artists like Robert Charlebois, it inevitably goes through commercial radio. You have to be able to hear the artists to see them perform. The demand is there. It is a duty to answer them.