This year's edition of Les Siestes Électroniques will take place in Toulouse from June 25th through 28th, with one key change from last year: the festival's organisers aren't announcing any acts.
Les Siestes Électroniques is a free open-air festival held across the city's Jardin Compans-Caffarelli. Past editions have featured performances from the likes of Magic Mountain High, Redshape, Jessy Lanza, DJ Deep, Nils Frahm and Andy Stott. But ahead of its 14th edition, organisers published a statement on their website saying they won't reveal this year's lineup, meaning attendees won't know who's playing until they arrive on June 25th.
We spoke to festival founder Samuel Aubert to find out more.
You're not announcing this year's lineup. Why's that?
It's a kind of way to challenge ourselves. It's very rooted in the way we have been developing the festival for years now. Not revealing the lineup is a way for us to say that we're now all grown-ups. And we are a festival dedicated to adventurous music that demands some trust from the audience. This is also a way to free ourself from the business and the hype.
How do you think festivalgoers will react?
We've built a strong relationship with our audience over the years. People come to our festival without knowing exactly what they will listen to. They also know they won't appreciate 100 percent of the lineup. Even the people involved in our crew are telling me : "WTF was this weird band about?" I have to challenge our audience, to push people in directions they won't get by themselves. In a certain way, I don't want to please people too much. But our audience is now used to that. So I hope we'll benefit from that strange relationship we've built over the years. We'll see.
Your statement is raising a point about reasons behind event attendance and the essence of festivals. How do you see your work as a curator?
Here is what I'm looking for in music: to be as thrilled as a teenager. Do you remember when you were 15 years old and you discovered a massive piece of modern music? I will always remember when I first listened to Autechre for instance. I was one of those indie-pop kids and it blew my mind. I suddenly became obsessed with IDM! I wanna feel that again and again, all my life. And I want to share that very moment. That's how I see my work as a curator and this is what Les Siestes Électroniques is about.