Covid-19 requires the Fête de la Musique to be invented in France with artists coming out to meet the public. The annual meeting is also marked by the death, Steve, in 2019 during a police operation in Nantes, at the end of an electrical evening.
A “corona-compatible” Music Festival. This is the watch on June 21, when France is just emerging from the Covid-19 epidemic. Mobile concerts, floating stage and very digital: from Grenoble to Nantes via Paris, the artists will meet the public, rather than the other way around.
The 2020 edition is also marked by a deadly anniversary: The death of Steve Maia Caniço a year ago in Nantes, during a controversial police operation, at the end of an electric party.
Jack Lang, the creator of the Fête de la musique, dedicated the 2020 edition to the 24-year-old extracurricular presenter, whose body was found in Loire, while the news is characterized by a mobilization against police violence.
“The death of this music lover (…) forever grieves the Fête de la Musique. Steve is in my heart,” said the former minister of culture.
Over the past year, the young man has become a symbol in Nantes, where the slogan “Justice for Steve” has succeeded in several demonstrations. A white march gathered several hundred people in his tribute.
Following reports from the National Inspectorate of the National Police and the General Inspectorate for Administration, three legal investigations “against X” in Rennes are being investigated. One for “manslaughter” regarding the death of Steve, the other for “endangering the lives of others” regarding police intervention and the third for violence against “person in charge of authority” acts to take part in the police.
In Nantes, still characterized by drama, “playlists” will be suggested by artists in the city on a site in the town hall, while residents are called to perform in the evening on their balcony or window, in music.
Giant karaoke and virtual reality concert
Jack Lang, meanwhile, will be at the Institute of the Arab World as he now chairs. IMA invites music lovers to participate in a large outdoor karaoke on the building’s foreground. Three sessions with gauges for 400 people are arranged during the afternoon and early evening. At the same time, DJ sets and musical performances follow each other on the roof and are broadcast on Arte.
The life performance world has been hit hard by the pandemic and considers itself the “big loser” of the crisis. Everywhere in France, the rule remains the ban on concerts by more than 10 people and artists must show imagination.
Jean-Michel Jarre set the tone by announcing that he would be playing live on Sunday, “as an avatar, as in Matrix”, in a virtual universe where he can be joined “by viewers’ avatars in total immersion, a world premiere.
At the Philharmonie de Paris, no augmented reality show, but the first reason with the public since mid-March in the great Pierre Boulez hall (2,400 seats) with pianist Khatia Buniatishvili in front of a reduced class (800 people).
Floating stage and mobile concerts
In the four corners of France, it is especially the idea of mobile concerts that seduces.
In La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime), the municipality proposes to bring hip-hop sets, brass bands and concerts in horse drawn carriages to different places to avoid crowds. Les Francofolies, canceled as the overwhelming majority of major summer festivals, will put music programming online.
Further south, in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), five trucks will cross the city for a musical marathon on the streets and on the Internet.
The idea is also in the limelight in the east: in Nancy the party will take place “on the balcony and in a carriage”, the small tourist train that runs in the center of the streets with musicians on board. Designed “Unesco music creative city”, Metz will also see DJs roam the streets of floats to get residents to dance in their apartments.
In Strasbourg, a “floating stage” with DJs and local groups will be installed on a boat sailing on the River Ill to set the mood for the quays. Ten noise-laden cargo bikes will wander through the neighborhood and residents will be invited to sing or play percussion with the artists.
In Lyon, the Fête de la Musique is particularly marked by bans, especially playing for amateur musicians.
In the Alpine region, in Chambéry, six DJs will swing in an empty space by the lighthouse, the large concert and exhibition hall. But the public will be able to interact by filming on Zoom and the images will be projected on giant screens, an idea that has become commonplace since theaters closed.