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Record dealer, disc-jockey, booking agent for most of the city’s historic clubs, then at Rockschool Barbey, Garden Nef Party, Garorock…, radio host, concert producer, helping artists further their careers; Francis Vidal has done it all since he began working in the independent music scene in 1981. Since 1996, it has been under the associative and nomadic flag of Allez les Filles that he has organised up to around 60 concerts per year on a tight budget in dozens of venues in and around Bordeaux. Since then, the increasingly savvy audiences have enjoyed the benefit of Vidal’s eclectic and far-reaching knowledge and, as a result, local groups have formed. However, Allez les Filles’s activities are not just restricted to the artistic dimension. For example, they put on events that mix boxing and soul music, “Funky Kids” workshops aimed at schoolchildren and spontaneous DJ events to warn about the dangers of binge drinking. When the summer arrives, the association comes together to put on an intense mobile music festival that is free for everyone: tourists passing through, summer workers and residents who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to go. They call this the Relâche: an event that runs over 35 dates and alternates concerts, “soul siestas” and DJ nights in a convivial atmosphere helped by a comprehensive list of artists. Ste Croix, St Michel, St Genès, Mériadeck, Bacalan, the Submarine Base, Parc aux Angéliques on the right bank… Relâche is present in all of Bordeaux’s neighbourhoods and beyond, even in the domaine du Pinsan in Eysines, the parc Fongravey in Blanquefort, Old Lormont and the parc du Bourghail in Pessac. On the menu for 2017 is the usual: upcoming acts, veterans, legends and local artists bringing you soul, pop, rhythm ‘n’ blues, indie rock and latino music.
Relâche is a mainstay of Bordeaux summers, in a city that has gained a reputation over the last 40 years for its vibrant scene. It is the flagship event of the Allez les Filles association and its mentor, Francis Vidal.