Summer Festivals Go French
This summer again, the French produced artists will be taking the international route, playing the biggest festivals across the globe.
With more than 5,000 French concert dates recorded abroad in 2006, including 1,500 in the US, 1,350 in Germany and 600 in the UK, the strength of French performances has been confirmed, especially in the summer festival scene.
North America, with its abundance of summer festivals, remains the destination of choice for French produced artists. The festival period started off great, with exceptional performances by Justice, Manu Chao, and David Guetta at the Coachella Festival in Southern California. Coming up on the East Coast is the Francofolies de Montreal Festival (July 26 to August 5), which will present the crème de la crème from the French scene with more than 20 French artists, including Juliette Greco, Emilie Simon, Abd Al Malik, and the Plastiscines. Nearby the Festival d'Ete de Quebec has Manu Chao, IAM, Renaud, Francis Cabrel, and more lined up in July. In another scene, the nomadic American Festival Lollapalooza, to take place on August 3, has locked down Daft Punk and Femi Kuti as headliners for the show. If that weren't enough, Air will be returning in September for a North American tour after their successful introductory tour in April and May.
In Japan, the Fuji Rock Festival (July 27-29) is expected to host over 100,000 fans and welcomes Feist, Justice, Teenage Bad Girl, Surkin, and Fishbones to their stages in Naeba. The festivities continue over next few months with the Summer Sonic Festival, held simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka August 11th and 12th with an estimated 155,000 attendees and presenting Digitalism, Vitalic, and Jehro on the same stages as international stars like Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani, and The Black Eyed Peas.
In Russia, the electronic event of the month of June was without a doubt Air's performance at the Steroleto festival, kicking off the first of many concerts in line for the duo in Moscow and St Petersburg. Three festivals warmly welcome French artists in July: the Castle Dance Ice Edition in St Petersburg on the 7th will host Cassius and around 10,000 fans, the Krylia Festival in Moscow on the 21st and 22nd will have Spooky Jam and Pleymo in attendance, and the Hush Puppies will be in the Russian capital for the Pic Nic Afisha Festival on the 28th and will see about 20,000 people.
Closer to us here in France, Spain is holding more and more international summer festivals as well. After the great success of Primavera Sound (end of May) and Sonar (mid-June) in Barcelona, it is now the Festival de Benicassim that welcomes the French sound, with artists like Cassius, Chloe, Nouvelle Vague, Herman Düne, Peter Von Poelh et Vitalic from July 19 - 22. Air and Phoenix wont be far off, both playing at the Summercase Festival in Barcelona and Madrid on July 13 and 14, sharing the stage with Lilly Allen, DJ Shadow, Block Party, and Arcade.
In Great Britain, the Womad Festival will take place as usual from July 27 to 29 and makes room for many French productions, including Daara J, Toumast, Cesaria Evora, Frederic Galliano and Kuduro Sound System, Le Trio Joubran, Tinariwen, Hocus Pocus, and Gnawa Diffusion. The electro duo Digitalism will be touring throughout the country this summer as well.
And finally, the summer in Germany began with the Fusion Festival which boasted an important French line-up: DJ Missill, Alif Sound System, Guns of Brixton, Jamika (Zenzile), La Ruda, Le Peuple de l'Herbe, Leoparleur, Socalled, Wax Tailor and Chloe. French music will also be present in other festivals, like at Bardentreffen in Nuremberg July 27-29 with Alan Stivell, Sergent Garcia, Corou de Berra, Herman Düne, Leoparleur, Keren Ann, Akli D., Mayra Andrade, N&SK and Dobacaracol. The Weltnacht Festival will have performances from Kana, Akli D., Lo Cor de la Plana, Seyni & Yeliba and Toure Kunda. And last but not least, 4 French groups (Roce, Rose, Peka (Pierpolijak), and Babylon Circus) will play in Berlin in the Popdeurope Festival.
No matter where you are this summer, there is no excuse for missing the French sound live and in your face!
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