Fifteen. A number that is not to be taken lightly, more so in Clermont-Ferrand, land of rugby. Fifteen indeed. A number that is not to be taken lightly considering also it should have been the 15th edition of Europavox festival in Clermont-Ferrand. This adventure in itself, since 2006, has already taken on many changing forms. From the first steps disseminated all over the Auvergne territory, to the latest years in open air in front of the Coopérative de Mai, there has been some artistic discoveries or establishments, some complicity moments, unexpected meetings, friendship formed, and a loyalty that imposed itself.
On top of this, many anecdotes, the ones that build legends: arbitrarily and among others, the Mayor Serge Godard handing over the keys of the town to the legendary bassist of Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook, Clermont and Salford – located in close to Manchester – being twin cities. Also, an improvised jam session of French singer M under the trees close to the factory stage, in front of amazed passers-by, or the high-spirited concert performed by Manu Chao in the mythical Michelin stadium.
Therefore, the event imagined and driven by François Missonnier and Didier Veillault never ceased to gain in importance and reputation, to polish the success feedback of critics and general public – more than 40 000 festival-goers gathered in the hot summer nights for the latest edition. Daring to play a blinker-free programming card (in short hip hop meeting folk, rock rattling with electro, metal dating pop), where a lot of established and emergent artists crossed path – never forgetting to dig deep in the amazing local talent pool – and always looking for the artistic jewels in the neighbourhood and all over Europe. Europavox earned its colours of festival that matters, among all the ones that are – rightfully – convinced, that together we’re stronger, especially on the artistic and cultural side.
This local rendez-vous shines bright internationally (and vice versa) – journalists are coming from all over Europe to tell stories about concerts, the vibrant crowd, diversified gourmet food and passionate conferences. The 15th edition of this polyglot event should have been launched this Thursday, June 25th, in front of the Coopérative de Mai. There is a but… the implausible happened, this unprecedented health crisis that stroke Europe and the entire world. Just like other music Rendez-vous of summer 2020 Europavox had to take it on the chin. However, it was impossible not to mark the occasion, and so Europavox On Air was born. It is also perfect timing to celebrate a new cycle for the Europavox Project, ambitious 4-year program gathering seven partners in seven countries (France, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Romania), as many festivals, an online media, and a few crazy ideas, virtual or real.
So for this June 25th, 2020, between 6p.m. and midnight, 18 artists will perform live on socials for a program looking back / at Europavox philosophy, including as a red wire La Coopérative de Mai choir singing songs from M, Gaétan Roussel and Franz Ferdinand. With the faithful support of historic partners (Vidéoformes festival, the City of Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region among others), some local artists are performing in iconic places : Morgane Imbeaud will unleash her elegant pop at the Vulcania greenhouse, the retrofuturistic soul of Thomas Khan will resonate in the Michelin Stadium, or the flow of the rapper Illustre will bounce against the walls of the FRAC, showcasing contemporary art collection. In Belgium, the band Glauque will confirm that they are indeed “the band the entire world was expecting” (les Inrockuptibles).
In Vienna, the trio Dives will definitely prove that women are the future of rock, and from Lithuania, Victor Diawara – aka Afrodelic – will celebrate the release of his single “The time has come” and the wedding of traditional and electronic sounds to pay tribute to his father, poet and writer. Meanwhile, under the name of H.O.P.E [Collective], the Italians JoyCut and Julian Zyklus bonded, even with a distance, with the Clermont-Ferrand artists Comausore, Léo Roche, Mr No and Nicolas Höfner to shape I Can’t Breathe, an original creation.
Europavox is not a simple palliative. Starting with the organisers and main stakeholders, everybody knows that the sensations from “real” live concert are unique – this acclaims that resonates, the skin brushing against the skin, the bodies waving, the communion settling when the artist on stage is looking for the perfection of imperfection. Concerts the digital way also are unique moments – shared with dozens of thousand of people – a rare moment when our senses – hearing and seeing, mostly – are on the alert. Where the animated image becomes the perfect, dreamed companion of a original soundtrack by an artist performing without a safety net in front of merciless cameras, attempting to find a perfect balance.
Between viewers and musicians, only remains the essential: the emotions, the thrills that one melody, one rhythm, one sample, one chorus are capable of triggering. These emotions and thrills, no matter the artist origin, are one and the same language. With the help of everybody convinced of that, that is the language Europavox intend to defend before anything, smashing boundaries, barriers, constraints, and facilitating the encounters, may it be implausible, between artists, music genres, people, all thanks to its media Europavox.com (reaching 700 000 people monthly!) and its multiple networks. All in order for us in Europe, one the music side and all others, to get in tune.