Paléo Festival revealed the line-up for the 44th edition of the festival on a sunny spring morning that hopefully promises great weather for the festival which will take place from the 23rd to 28th July. Paléo has managed to grow over nearly half a century and turn from a small local gathering to one of the major outdoor festivals in Europe. In an economic and cultural context where more and more concerts and festivals happen everywhere, Paléo’s recipe for success has kept them going year after year, offering a variety of concerts from global pop and rock stars to new and quirky bands.
Finding a way to create new generations of festival-goers whilst pleasing the faithful fans who have been supporting the festival since it started 44 years ago is a delicate task, and it is with this mission in mind that the team in charge of creating the line-up for the festival work away secretly for most of the year.
Giants of rock and pop
Paléo can boast its share of megastars that will please older and younger generations alike, with new-wave legends The Cure who will bring their 40th-anniversary tour to the grounds of l’Asse, or the younger pop sensations Twenty One Pilots, who have been filling stadiums around the world for the past couple of years. Another giant who will please the crowds in Nyon will be Lana Del Rey and her funky electro-pop.
This year’s line-up sees a big increase in the number of bands and musicians who sing in French. As Jacques Monnier, one of the main people in charge of programming for the festival explained, this is a testimony to the vitality of the French-speaking music scene, and the apparition of new generations of musicians who don’t see singing in their native language as an unfashionable thing. From up and coming artists who bend genres between pop, hip-hop and rock like Angèle, Hoshi or Aloise Sauvage, to bands who have already made their reputation like Christine and the Queens- who were nominated by the Guardian as the best band of the year-, Patrick Bruel or M, l’Asse will resonate with songs in French this summer.
Another reason can explain the important number of French-speaking band, as this year’s Village du Monde – the area of the festival dedicated to world music and conceived as a « festival inside the festival » will highlight the vibrant and exciting Quebec music scene, alongside food stalls that will probably be stockpiled with poutine, maple syrup, smoked salmon and other gastronomical delicacies from “la belle province”. Les Cowboys Fringants will bring their festive tunes back to the festival for the third time – last time they came they were voted best concert of the festival by the volunteers! – and even if your French isn’t up to touch, their contagious energy and good vibes will brighten you up. Les Trois accords are another band who sing in French, their light and pop songs full of absurd lyrics about unicorns and dolphins. Their slightly surrealistic music and their weird music vidéos have made them quite an internet sensation.
Elisapie mixes her Inuit heritage with contemporary folk and a slightly electronic vibe, traditional chants merging with uplight and dreamy beats, for what will probably be a beautiful and touching concert.
Quebec has a very exciting hip-hop scene at the moment, and some of the artists who are shaking things up over there are also invited to the party. Both Dead Obies and Loud rap in their own brand of Frenglish, mixing American influences with trends coming from French-speaking Hip-hop.
In tune with the trends
Hip-hop and electronic music have become more and more present in each year’s line-up, as Paléo tries to stay in tune with the global and local music trends. Hip-hop has most certainly expanded at an incredible rate these last few years, with certain rappers rising to fame in a few months, going from playing small clubs to filling stadiums with tens of thousands of fans. Moreover, the genre has diversified and blended with other styles, cosying up to French variety and pop, like Lomepal, Damso or Dadju. Another sign of the importance of the French-speaking scene today, all of the hip-hop artists coming to Paléo are French, like Soprano or Jazzy Bazz, Belgian like second-degree duo Jean-Jass and Caballero, or even Swiss, with local star Makala and prolific producer Muddy Monk.
For fans of slightly calmer or more old-school music, the festival will have its traditional classical concert on the Saturday with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne for the very first time, who will present a selection of pieces from Mozart to Mendelssohn. Jane Birkin will revisit Gainsbourg’s legacy alongside a symphonic orchestra, and she shouldn’t feel too lonely as both her daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon will also play during the week. Young British singer-songwriter Charlie Cunnigham will bring his delicate texts and intricate folk, and Australian band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever will make their public jump around with their energetic rock.
The tradition of ending the night with a DJ set continues, and godfather of French Touch Etienne de Crecy will be ready to turn the grounds into a huge open-air dance-floor. Another project to look out for will be Kompromat, a celebration of the early Berlin roots of techno lead by Vitalic and Rebekka Warrior, who have both come to Paléo separately in the past.
You can discover the whole line-up here on the Paléo website, and also download the official Paléo app that offers alot of helpful information. Tickets go online next Wednesday 3rd April at midday, and usually sell out really quickly!