At the end of the afternoon, Sunday August 28, three of the leaders of Rock en Seine, organized by the National Domain of Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine), were satisfied. After two years without a festival, due to the health restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the public, from Thursday August 25 to Sunday August 28, in most of the last meeting, consecutively, in big summer rock festivals. .
That’s it “150,000 people came” on the site, said Matthieu Ducos, director of the festival. The maximum capacity of “40,000 people, reached on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday”, leaving on Friday alone 30,000 people in attendance. A success due in part “exclusive few” – including Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, Kraftwerk, James Blake, and others –, explains Emmanuel Hoog, managing director of Combat, the group that combines the interests of media and culture of businessman Matthieu Pigasse (shareholder as an individual on world), which owns, in common with AEG Presents France – one of the divisions of the American giant AEG – the festival.
A Golden Pit that can accommodate 3,000 people
Arnaud Meersseman, Managing Director of AEG Presents France, led the discussion “The annoying question”, a controversy that sparked social networks. That of the Goldent Pit, space reserved in front of the main stage for a small part of the public who paid a supplement to the entrance price: instead of 69 euros for the normal price, 89 euros with access to it or 99 euros to benefit of additional conveniences in the “garden”, behind the same large stage. A few deck chairs, tables, tents – including a small one that serves as a workspace for the press – and not so many toilets.
The extension and installation of the VIP area caused several messages on social networks and protests from the public this year.
The construction of a reserve space with additional costs was inaugurated in 2018 in Rock en Seine, which did not cause trouble. But it is its location, in front of the big stage, and the expansion of its face that this year caused some messages on social networks and protests from the public, which returned to the ears of the organizers. The previous VIP access, now Golden Pit – where the press does not have access – was installed on one side of the main stage, limited by metal barriers, for several hundred people.
There it can accommodate up to 3,000 people, occupying a height of about 25 meters and a half in front of the main stage, with a depth that forces fans who want to be in the front rows to turn the about 15 meters. Some of the fans have noticed, like us, that apart from the big night concert, where it is full, the Golden Pit is the rest of the time not so full. Mr. Meersseman, after remembering that the same placeholders, often titled “golden square”, have existed for many years in many halls, arenas and stadiums, indicated that the team “will think” about the size and the location in the structure for the next edition. at the festival.
The intensity of Nick Cave and the psychedelia of Tame Impala
To get back to basics, the music, over eighty bands are on the bill. If the first day, Thursday August 25, presents most of the rock groups with guitars (excellent performances by Yard Act or Idles), pop, soul, funk, electro are on the program. Among the moments that for us are the most surprising on Friday: the strangeness of the New Zealanders Aldous Harding, the psyche and krautrock flights of The Liminanas – with a visual tribute to the German group that Can -, the pop fantasy of four Londoners (from everywhere) of Los Bitchos, the show of Kraftwerk, the intensity of the night concert of the Australian Nick Cave.
On Saturday, American keyboardist Robert Glasper shared his soul and hip-hop approach, fed by his jazz practice and his science of improvisation; alone on the piano or the guitar, the singer November Ultra, excellent voice, gives touching moments; Lewis Ofman, with three keyboards, including two Moogs, offers a traveling electro. This Saturday ended in great sound and light with the Australian group Tame Impala, at its best when its psyche and pop past were brought into play. fragile, by Englishwoman Holly Humberstone, the afro-beat and funky groove of the Neapolitans of Nu Genea Live Band, with percussion, saxophone, the singer’s vocal power, as well as the soul and pop style of Londoner Olivia Dean .