Festive and safe, that is the goal. The first season of post-Covid festivals is getting organized, now that it is possible to raise the curtain. It is confirmed, the Printemps de Bourges will be held from June 22 to 27, the Francofolies de la Rochelle from July 10 to 14, the Vieilles Charrues de Carhaix from July 8 to 18.
After a summer 2020 without concerts and long months of uncertainty, it is already time to celebrate. “It’s even better than expected! I was afraid that closed rooms would not be authorized, that we could not put on the big stage… And it will be possibleexclaims Gérard Pont, boss of Francos, also director of Printemps de Bourges and of Morgane Production. The day before the President’s announcements, I was thinking about canceling ”, he confides. Same relief for Boris Vedel, director of Printemps de Bourges, explaining: “We wanted to want to: it was unthinkable to do two white editions in a row. “
→ READ. Printemps de Bourges will be held in 2021
Programming, organization… everything has to be reinvented. But these constraints do not prevent good humor, nor to launch names with greed. “We’re going to have Cabrel, who hasn’t been to La Rochelle for 17 years! »Rejoices Gérard Pont. Vianney, Vitaa & Slimane, Jane Birkin, Benjamin Biolay, Raphaël, Imany are part of the Rochelle festival. The actor Daniel Auteuil will sing Paul-Jean Toulet, French poet of the early twentiethe century, and Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Reggiani… accompanied by Colin Russeil and Arman Méliès, author inspired by Laurel Canyon.
French song is back in force
On the Bourges side, Alain Souchon and Catherine Ringer who sings the Rita Mitsouko play the locomotives. Apple, Gaël Faye, Suzane, authors of recent albums come to present them on stage. The rocker Jeanne Added will return with I feel for you, a tribute to Prince, died in 2016.
Noirlac Abbey will host an acoustic concert by Ayo in its sound box. The Saint-Etienne cathedral in Bourges will resound with the voices of Lou Doillon and Sandra Nkaké performing songs from Portishead. As for the Fire group! Chatterton, his energy carried high in Clay palace, will be heard in Bourges as in La Rochelle, a winning double that also achieves Jean-Louis Aubert.
French song is preparing for its comeback. She will reign supreme over the summer of 2021 deprived of foreign artists (postponed to 2022) and rappers. “ Urban music artists cannot play in front of seated spectators, their audience is very young, they want to move ”, recalls Gérard Pont. PNL, Nekfeu, Dadju, Ninho, Romeo Elvis, Chilla, and Izïa will not shake La Rochelle. On the other hand, the young talents selected by the iNOUïS de Bourges and the Chantier des Francos in 2020 and 2021 will finally have a springboard to get started.
Fees and recipes on the decline
Health situation requires, the festivals of summer 2021 will be held in reduced format. “The artists have all agreed to play in Bourges with gauges at 65%”, Boris Vedel details. The fees have been reduced. “ The artists have adapted their cachet to the situation, we thank them ”, explains Gérard Pont.
The Printemps de Bourges, which attracted 200,000 people in 2019, should at best welcome only 10,000 festival-goers in 2021 and its largest venue, the Palais d’Auron, will only receive 1,000 people. In Francos, “The maximum gauge will be 5,000 people seated, with masks, barrier gestures, but no distancing. It will be like in a train ”, details their boss. Masks, obligation to present a negative test, traffic plans … “We got used to these constraints, they reassure everyone and don’t spoil the party”, assures Gérard Pont.
→ PRACTICAL. Covid-19: terraces, shops, cinemas … The reopening schedule
On the financial side, there are a few grimaces: “ We must be able to make ends meet ”, believes Boris Vedel for Bourges. “At Francos, we have a budget of 5 million euros in 2021 against 6 million in 2019, and we will lose money”, calculates Gérard Pont. Fixed costs, such as setting up a marquee or a stage, ensuring security, etc. cannot be reduced, whereas receipts, especially tickets and refreshments, are. In addition, certain support arrangements must end on 1er July. Not enough to spoil the good mood of those who are busy reinventing, in two months or less, summer festivals. All repeat it over and over: “We’re going to be happy! “