Billie Eilish, Placebo, The Strokes… For its 20th anniversary, Rock en scène offers itself “a program that has a mouthful”

INTERVIEW – Before the launch of the anniversary edition on Wednesday at the Saint-Cloud park, Matthieu Ducos, its director, tells us behind the scenes of the event.

To celebrate its 20e anniversary, the Rock en Seine festival has dug up a program “enticing“. Matthieu Ducos, at the head of the event since 2020, is proud of it. “We are very, very happy with the programhe confides. She has a mouth! From Billie Eilish to the New York group The Strokes, via The Chemical Brothers, Florence + The Machines or the Belgian DJ Charlotte De Witte, the 2023 edition promises to be memorable.

Every year since its creation, Rock en Seine is held at the end of August. It’s kind of “the last opportunity to enjoy the summerexplains Matthieu Ducos. We bring together music lovers in a pleasant setting to enjoy concerts and discover young artists before the start of the school year. New artists, the festival introduces them every year. We remember a certain Clara Luciani who, in 2017, interpreted her title The grenade on the small Île-de-France stage. Six years later, the title has nearly 70 million streams on Spotify alone.

Although the festival emphasizes the discovery of young talents, it prioritizes authenticity. “We still have a very pop/rock programming core that makes the difference with today’s festivals, while bringing in younger artists to spice it up”continues the director.

In 2022, the festival made a comeback, welcoming world-renowned artists such as Artic Monkeys, Stromae, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and Tame Impala. Matthieu Ducos remembers it, moved. The Nick Cave Concert was amazinghe recalls. There was a special aura. It was one of the concerts where the bond between the artist and the public was the most intense..

Parity of artists

Since last year, Rock en Seine has extended its program over four days, offering festival-goers an extended experience. In 2022, this decision was intended to celebrate the reunion of artists with their public after two years marked by the pandemic. This time around, the motivation behind adding an extra day is a global phenomenon, who goes by the name of Billie Eilish. She is 21 years old and everyone is tearing her up. “From Friday to Sunday, it was already requisitioned by two festivals in Englandsays Matthew. There was only one date left in the middle of the week, so we did it, with pleasure and without regrets.

This fourth day of festivities is an opportunity to “putting the spotlight on young female artists”. Thus, Wednesday August 23 will be a 100% women’s day. We will therefore find Billie Eilish, but also Tove Lo, Girl In Red, Lucie Antunes, Mae Stephens, Hannah Grae or even Nieve Ella. “It is a real will of organizationcontinues the director. Last year we set ourselves the goal of having 40% female artists, this year we wanted to do even better.

The second big surprise of this 20e edition is not much older than the festival. The Strokes, originally from New York, rose to prominence in the early 2000s as one of the seminal bands of the garage rock revival. They will perform for the first time at Rock en Seine, closing the 2023 edition in the most beautiful way. “It’s a great satisfaction to have them with us., Our paths had never crossed before.”continues Matthew.

For future editions, the director of the festival hopes to obtain “beautiful signatures”. In the meantime, its main objective remains to “continue to bring people together around the same passion”. And unlike other French festivals, Rock en Seine will indeed be able to take place in August 2024, despite the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. A “project of association with the Games through a labeling of the festival” was even mentioned.

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