Despite a gloomy climate and a sluggish mood, the party has not said its last word. From January 21 to 23, the Maison de la Radio et de la Musique will organize the very first edition of the Hyper Weekend Festival. A new cultural event to warm souls in the hearts of winter and celebrate the teeming French scene of contemporary music. “We are not going to do just one more festival but a festival that tells something else and which will make it possible to put a focus once a year on the gigantic offer of musical programming offered by all our branches, explains Didier Varrod, the Director. musical from Radio France. I also wanted to focus on creations, things that we will never have seen before and that we may not see after, and on artists who are just starting out. “
For three days, more than 50 artists will follow one another on the different stages of the round house, from the 22nd floor to the auditorium, via studio 104. On the program: concerts by November Ultra, Iliona, Pierre de Maere, Superpoze or the “Divas 2022 – the voices of tomorrow” with singers Jäde, Joanna, Lazuli and Nayra (preceded by a masterclass on the place of women in music). On the creative side, spectators will be able to discover a unique show by Clara Luciani accompanied by the Radio France philharmonic orchestra but also the encounter of House music and gospel with Kiddy Smile. Jean-Michel Jarre, Lala & ce and Alex Beaupain will also be there (the complete program is
to discover here). Didier Varrod tells more to 20 Minutes on the launch of this new festival.
Is there something a little political in keeping this festival going and this message of support sent to the music world?
I had already started working on this festival in January 2020 to organize it in 2021 but there was containment, so we postponed it to 2022. But a year ago, we were in full curfew , Juliette Armanet and Malik Djoudi who had trained the collective “And we put the sound back” called me for help. In fact, I understood that in this “we can’t take it anymore” that it was not so much the fact of no longer playing, but of not seeing each other. We set up HyperNuit in three weeks, there were 100 artists in full curfew playing. It was great because I heard the echoes backstage and the artists were happy to meet up, to exchange… Some had tears in their eyes. In January 2021, for me to put back the sound and the collective it was a political act. In January 2022 it was supposed to be a festival of support for music in the natural order of things, I thought we would have returned to normal. But it is through this decision to maintain that it becomes a political act. However, in the unmasked festival that I imagined, politics was elsewhere, in the programming.
How is it?
On a first evening where there are only women, already. You look at the program of Rock en Seine, and you will see that there is a small gap. These artists, be it November Ultra, Yndi, Lala & this, they have things to say about the place of women in music, about their place in the galaxy in love … I really wanted this programming, of which I knew that she was in the middle of the presidential campaign, tells it without highlighting it. That is to say: what is France? It is a young multiple generation as our friend Stromae would say, which asks itself essential questions which are those of gender, of ecology, without a raised fist but in the very expression of their art. Jean-Michel Jarre in another genre, what is political is that I take him out of his logic of gigantism where he gives free concerts in beautiful places for 1 million people. There he is in the proximity and works on the history of sound in the public audiovisual sector.
You have always been keen to highlight emerging scenes, why is this so important to you?
I always believed that my rightful place was where I could shine a light on what did not yet really exist to the ears of the general public. I follow artists out of loyalty and love but what interests me is what really makes me thrill: the discovery, the excitement when I come across a soundcloud … Sometimes I get too excited because I’m enough excited by the idea of what is starting, which has to do with vitality, fragility. I think we’re lucky to be in a country that has crazy creativity and creativity. When I started there was Daho who arrived, Niagara, the Rita Mitsouko, we already had the impression that it was the promised land compared to Sardou, Johnny and all the variety artists of the 1970s that I loved. well eh, but it was ultimately still very limited. Today when we see the number of proposals we have available with projects that are relevant, and often very ripe for emerging projects… I am fascinated by this generation.
In a cross-interview in “Libé”, Jean-Daniel Beauvallet and Grégory Vieau express the difficulties that the musical media have in maintaining their roles as facilitators in the era of streaming, the proliferation of proposals and algorithms. In your opinion, is this also one of the challenges of the media?
There are so many proposals today that a well-established media outlet should not have any difficulty in continuing to be a prescriber and to give reference points to people on editorial choices, which are not necessarily those of the platforms. streaming. They say that musical radios and radios are over, that young people no longer listen … Yes, there are figures that speak of that, the fact remains that we have a radio called FIP and which is the only non-stop music radio without news, with an editorial promise that seduces and which is perceived as a radio whose algorithms are pairs of ears and human choices. Today young people are governed by quotes by algorithms, but we must continue to show that there are other ways of doing this job. We have to trust ourselves and tell ourselves that human expertise can never be swept away by algorithms. But algorithms are funny, I like them. It’s very curious to know sometimes on a title that you like, where it will take you. After that it has to be an additional tool.
There is also the question of the stage and the concerts which are now being watched in streaming. What is the future of live according to you?
The future of live is essential and is part of the singularity of the public service offer. What differentiates us from streaming platforms and private radio stations is that we have a force of proposal on live which is unparalleled and that we must continue to develop. This festival is the illustration. The fact that the Maison de la Radio has been called Maison de la Radio et de la Musique since January 2021 also means that radio without music is no longer quite radio. We, the public service, must defend the values of cultural exception and it is the health crisis that has also forced us to emphasize this mission even more. We are there to defend values which are those of the Francophonie, French productions, musical diversity, and that is played on the playlist but also on the live. By 2025 we will have an unparalleled number of venues and this is also why I created the festival, to take a step ahead of this new configuration.