Trans-Cultural Festival (music, dance, visual arts, visual or street, and even Rock 'n Toques' cooking), located in the center of Saint Brieuc (Côtes-d' Armor), Art Rock is processing its singularity. On the eve of his 36th birthdayd edition, which opens on Friday, an interview with Alice Bunet, 26, a programmer at this UFO festival.
Why are so few women working or programming festivals?
This famous glass ceiling is, unfortunately, a reality, in this environment, as well as everywhere. For years, women were not taken seriously, often down to status group, assistant shadow or "girlfriend." In just a few years, I already had many remarks about my status as a young woman, which does not have to fit with my position as an artistic programmer of the festival for the importance of Art Rock for some. It's crazy that in 2019 we continue to ask where is the person who helped me make the program or who is talking with the budget. Fortunately, I feel that things change little by little … Very slowly obvious, but we maintain a good end when we see the success of festivals like son Nuit and 3 Elephants, with programmers like Violin Didie and Perrin Delley doing a great job. The fact that the two big Paris festivals, Rock en Seine and We Love Green, are run by women, is a good indicator of changing attitudes.
Last year you discovered the happiness and ugliness of the first issue of your credit on the occasion of the 35th anniversaryd birthday. More fear, disappointment, pleasure, or revelation?
The pleasure of the festival is very much, but what I always prefer is the meetings created during Art Rock. I remember last year's two accolades written about life in my memory: those of the singers Camille and Katherine Ringer, exchanging their mutual admiration in the boxes of the Great Skin and the tangible feeling in the occasion of the meeting between Philip Pascal, the singer of Marquis de Sade, and Philip Decoufle. Two very powerful moments that sublimate the spirit of the festival: a meeting between artistic and musical genres … and certainly a lot of love. It is certain that this passion for art and the feeling of freedom felt as if we were forgetting all the fears, pressures and disappointments that we could have. The joy of watching artists still unknown to the general public returns the festival, also participants. I particularly remember the HMLTD and Kiddy Smile concerts at Art Rock 2018 or discoveries like Clara Luciani, whose career has been exposed since his stay in Art Rock.
Singer Camille during the Art Rock edition of 2018. Photo by Gwendal Le Flem
How does the financing of your budget and the amount of share reserved for the artwork develop?
The festival grows how and when it's published. First, physically, we went from a 2,000-to-ten meter to a dozen places with very variable gauges – from 250 to 11,500 spectators. This inevitably involves substantial technical costs for adjusting the mid-size center's center to accommodate 70,000 visitors during the festival for three days. We have also dramatically increased the number of artistic proposals in our programming. This year there are four exhibitions, a dance performance, a street theater show, a cinema concert, fifty-seven concerts, projections, showcases and conferences. The budget of the festival has been increased accordingly. The increase in fees for artists and the additional costs associated with public safety are also phenomena that drive our budget up. The share reserved for the art is relatively stable – about 35 percent of the total budget of 2.7 million euros this year.
Do you suffer from the impact of the downsizing of local government funds, are increasingly under pressure with the separation of the state?
Like many other French festivals, Art Rock's grants have been hot in recent years, although they still have 25% of our budget. About half of Art Rock programming is free. It would be impossible to keep this rich offer without these public utensils. But the support of local communities for Art Rock is not just financial. Fortunately, we can always count on technical community services, without which it would be impossible to set up a festival of this size in the center of the city.
What is your true width in choosing headdresses or artists discovered due to the growing impact of scraper?
Art Rock is an independent festival thirty-six years. Independent in the organization, but especially in artistic choices. We need to find a balance between the front pages and the discoveries, but especially among the expectations of the public and our will to surprise him. This year, the first name of the top poster of the festival does not have to speak to the general public: Good, bad and queen is a supergroup composed of top sizes (Damon Alban, Tony Allen, Paul Simon and Simon Tong). But this headline is also our way to differentiate ourselves from other festivals, because it is the only date in the West. It is true that tortoises are now ultra-influential, but it is necessary to take a step back from it. When I see that Susanne is the most prolific artist of the festival this year, she is surprised to me, because she is still at the very beginning of her career. Yes, her milestone is influential, but if you manage to tour for so long, the most thanks to his character. It's great on the stage, its shows really stand out. I will never program an artist to satisfy a dancer or because he "walks" economically, it would be to deceive the confidence that the public gives us.
And taking the risk, discoveries?
I work especially in terms of crush. It may seem completely naïve to think so, but that's it. If I allow you to program T / O, Charlotte Adigéry and Gabe Gurnsey at a party where we have to sell 1,000 tickets, this is mainly because the Art Rock audience allows us to be very free in our choices. The scene of the Forum is a place to discover, the public that comes there is curious and more trusted.
2018 edition of Art Rock, Kiddy smile. Photo by Gwendal Le Flem
Which groups do you want to attract absolutely to your program in future releases?
For a long time we are trying to invite artists such as Iggy Pop or Chemical Brothers, but they never have them. But nothing is lost because we tried to program Jungle for three years in a row before we received them last year. As for the new artists, it's hard to say because I do not know how the future of the cultural landscape will be. At the moment, I really like bands like Structures or Rapper Cashmire. In terms of contemporary art, I dream that I can expose one day the work of collective Children of Light, or – let's be crazy! – a retrospective of the work of Olafur Eliasson. We are always trying to attract artists into the cracks of our programming, but sometimes we have to learn to wait for the right moment before inviting an artist for the overall programming.
To read, tooDelgres, Creole Blues Take Off, on the Art Rock menu
Which artists or groups would you like to have, but which you will never be able to notice in terms of brand inflation?
There are so many! Circuses, Tyler Creator, Lana del Rey, Iggy Pop, Kids Gambino … Never say never: this is an official invitation.
How do you innovate, doubt, anticipate future releases?
Every year we direct our programming around a general topic. After robots, fashion, painting, natural elements and dance, this year we celebrate the fantastic and futuristic creatures with the animals[s]. This idea of the topic allows us to innovate every year, trying to go further into what we propose on every edition of the festival. We may abandon such an option if it leaks from steam and we return to the formula for artists, as we did for years to those offered to Miosec, Olivier Asayas and Agnies B, in particular. Perhaps it will be something completely different … The best way to innovate is precisely to be questioned every year, and not have a pre-established programming scheme in your head, to ignore ideas from the moment. For example, this year, we feel the desire of the public to get closer to artists beyond their concerts or shows. Therefore, we are organizing more intimate meetings, such as the public interview of Charlotte Gansbur at the Italian theater with 250 seats in partnership with of Inrocks, or mini cabinets in the city center.
And to increase, to grow, to play the card more, the sin of the pride of the festivals?
We do not have any special desire to "extend the festival" – even though we could barely do it because we can not "press" the walls of the city in which we are registered – but "rising" at the festival, proposing a second meeting in autumn. Art Rock – Uncertain time allows us to offer exhibitions and exhibitions more experimental, more sophisticated, original. The first edition of this new appointment was a success, because we posted both nights for the show manes from Fura dels Baus, a Catalan company that marked the history of the festival from the late 80's. That's why Season 2 is to be offered at the beginning of November.
What other festivals, in France or in the world, find you the most original, sharp or bold?
I still admire the Rock Road, which is fairly fair every year in their indie-rock program, Panorama for Electro and their scenography, Pitchfork Avant-Garde for discoveries. Abroad, I love Ars Electronica, a festival of digital arts in Austria, where I go every year to discover hundreds of works between art, new technologies and science. Fascinating.