Ever the producer and founder of the ComediHa! could not imagine that after a record year in 2019, the festival simply would not take place this year. For the first time in 21 years Wednesday, the ComediHa! Fest will not take off.
“It’s hard to consider this reality,” says Sylvain Parent-Bédard at the other end of the thread, then it takes a few days of vacation unexpected these days, instead of giving the kick-off of the festival.
The ComediHa! Fest was one of the last cultural events in Quebec to announce, in the spring, the cancellation of its 21st edition, which included more than 350 shows.
“We looked at all the scenarios, says Sylvain Parent-Bédard. But in the circumstances, there was nothing that allowed us to present a product to the height of our standards, both for artisans and for our fans. And it is clear that even with the permission of the gatherings outside of 250 persons or less, for us, it was too late. “
A decline in positive
That said, the ComediHa! Fest already has the eyes turned towards 2021. His concept of festival-boutique, which has several intimate shows in a variety of places unusual, is quite achievable in the current context. Sylvain Parent-Bédard is considering the return to the villages next year, but even more so.
“We are working on an event as large, but split between a larger number of venues. This will be all of the gatherings of 250 persons and less, ” says Sylvain Parent-Bédard.
If there’s one positive thing to remember from this cancellation caused by the pandemic, it is that the festival has accelerated its transition to digital, which will increase the issues of the future.
“The majority of the benefit will be in live performance, but there will be a digital component to each of them, that this is broadcast live online for a limited capacity of festival-goers or a strand complementary to the spectacle on stage,” says the founder of the festival.
The ComediHa! Fest will therefore be accessible outside of the borders of the city of Quebec.
Return of the galas
The festival ComediHa! only kept one thing this year : its six traditional televised galas, which will be recorded in front of an audience distanced himself in January next, at the Capitol. P-A Méthot, Fabien Cloutier, Cathy Gauthier and the duo formed by Jean-Michel Anctil and Véronique Claveau will drive four of these galas.
Positive in spite of everything, Sylvain Parent-Bédard is expected to revive, as soon as 2022, an edition as effervescent as the one we experienced in the past year.