THE MILITANT MONK OF MUSIC
Francis Vidal is the Relâche festival’s head worker, having entered into the religion at an early age as an avid listener of ‘Pop club’ and ‘Salut les les copains’... something which is still yielding fruit to the under-20s.
Why did you choose the name “Allez les Filles”?
Because we are feminists… and because right at the beginning, the association welcomed only women that were active in the male-dominated music scene.what started as a slogan became what we were known as; our actual legal name is ADMAA*.
From the first ever Relâche, a summer gem, to the 2017 edition, it seems that the festival is taking up more and more of your focus, is that true?
For the rest of the year, Allez les Filles is committed to more targeted events like ‘Funky Kids’ or ‘Soul Tram’ but only puts on around a dozen concerts. When the good weather comes, nowadays people are looking forward to our events. If you combine our first two in 2017- the launch of the festival in square Dom Bedos and the first Dancing in the Street in place St Michelmore than 15,000 people came. For many people, this festival is an opportunity to see many good concerts without spending huge sums of money on tickets, which elsewhere are progressively becoming more excessive, even in subsidised venues. Music-lovers have always followed what we do, but the majority of fresh-converts now know that, even if they don’t recognise the artists on the poster, they will always be of a high quality; most of them are appreciated around the world by their peers. Plus, people like the ambiance in the open air, with a peaceful and colourful crowd that includes many foreign tourists.
Which are your favourites for 2017?
That’s like asking a mother which of her children does she prefer. All of them. This year, there’s less indie rock and a predominance of latino music.
Not even a new album to recommend?
I wouldn’t really know where to start. I’ve listened to a dozen new ones every day… for fifty years.
* Association de Défense des Musiques Alternatives en Aquitaine (Association for the Defence of Alternative Music in Aquitaine)