This year, for the first time, Dr. Martens is partnering with Eurockéennes Festival in Belfort, France from 5-8 July. It’s guaranteed to be a great time as the festival will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. We caught up with festival founder Jean-Paul Roland to talk Eurock memories, music and what’s coming up for the 30th edition.
If you fancy rocking out at Eurockéennes festival, we’re giving you the chance to win a 4-day VIP pass to the festival for you and a friend. To enter click HERE.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have been the Managing Director of the Eurockéennes Festival since 2001. I first started off as part of the festival’s communications team, and then I became an artistic advisor, a job with many different aspects that had a lot to do with music, overall décor, and even street performances.
A lot of people consider the Eurockéennes festival to be one of the most “English” festivals overseas. Do you see any truth in this comparison? Can you describe the festival for us?
This comparison originated from one of the first editions of the festival, back when we had a very UK-centric line-up – for example when we had both Blur and Oasis headline our festival in 1995. The rainy and muddy editions from back in the 90’s also reinforced this comparison and contributed to this legend. That being said, the protected natural area where the festival is located, the Malsaucy, is unique in and of itself. It’s an isthmus of land surrounded by water, which accommodates our four stages which face a “real” sandy beach. The Vosges mountains in the background also mark a stark contrast from the lands of Richard III.
This year marks the 30th edition of the Eurockéennes Festival. Can you tell us more about this edition and what will make it special?
In order to celebrate 3 decades of energy and commitment as well the unparalleled festival experience we offer, our team worked off of the feedback we have received throughout the years to create an unforgettable edition that our different stakeholders will be sure not to forget. There will be Ferris wheel which will allow our festivalgoers to have a unique view of our epic surroundings, and we are making a land-art fresco in Belfort in order to pay homage to a city that, for 29 years has welcomed over 2.5 million festivalgoers and nearly 1,590 bands. We will also be offering backstage tours in the days leading up to the festival for our neighbours and for anyone who is curious enough to check it out. In terms of acts and performances, Beth Ditto will be headlining the Beach Stage this year, an artist we discovered way back in 2006. Finally, there will be a unique pyrotechnic show and a demonstration by the Patrouille de France – an aerobatic demonstration by the French Air Force – to salute and celebrate the skies of Malsaucy.
What is your favourite memory from the Eurocks? What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all of the collective energy that has gone into making this festival, and the way that is has remained a symbol of modernity throughout the years. One moment I am particularly proud of is when we managed to convince the Managing Director at the time to have Daft Punk headline the 1996 edition of the festival on that Saturday, a few months before the release of their first major EP – not to mention the killer show they put on when they returned in 2006, it was truly an unforgettable event.
Among all the scheduled artists and shows, which ones are you most looking forward to? Which ones would you not dare miss out on?
I’m placing all my bets on Marlon Williams, a crooner from New-Zealand who is following in the footsteps of Roy Orbison, and Leon Bridges, with kind of a vintage soul vibe similar to Sam Cooke.
I’m also very much looking forward to the over the top “XXL” shows of two festival veterans: Game and Rick Ross, as well as the techno show Richie Hawtin will be putting on.
Here at Dr. Martens we’re really proud to be able to partner with your festival. Can you tell us what Dr. Martens represents to you?
The pleasure is all ours! In my opinion Dr. Martens remains the only retro-modern brand with enough street cred to allow you to hit the city streets, while at the same time being the ideal festival shoe for any type of terrain. The brand inevitably sends me back to the English Rude Boys of the late ’70s, and brings to mind the cult record sleeves of Undertones, Specials or The Clash.
What 3 songs can’t you get enough of?
If you had to select 3 songs for the ultimate Dr. Martens playlist, what would they be?
Click HERE for your chance to win a 4-day VIP pass to the festival for you and a friend.
© Territoire de Musiques – Zélie Noreda – Brice Robert