By Rosine Alleva and José Oliveira, Rock At Night EU Editors
All records beaten in Colmar for this 2019 edition of the largest Alsatian Fair, which combines the professions related to Viticulture and a Music Festival and has always seduced the neighboring countries (Switzerland and Germany).
This 2019 vintage had a record influx, with 316,140 visitors on the 10 days of events. Four and a half times the population of Colmar !!!
Christophe CRUPI, Managing Director of the FAV, considered it as a “magical year” when presenting the report to the press. This record affluence places Colmar on the podium of the Fairs in France. More exactly, behind Marseille and Paris. Its concept, both a concert hall, a commercial showcase and a wine festival, gives it a special status. The climate widely favored this rush to the festive event. 10 days without rain, with temperatures ranging between 25 and 30 °C (77 & 86 °F) All the ingredients for the Crémant d’Alsace to flow!
2019 also saw the development of a new big party Hall, replacing the old one, which was considered as the most attractive place of the fair. Especially after the concerts, where young and old, vibrate and dance to the sound of haunting rhythms, while consuming the “pearls of Alsatian Wines ” the famous Crémant with its festive bubbles !!! And, at the end of these ten days , Jean-Luc Freudenreich, wine-producer and mythical figure of this FAV, was able to show a smile of relief. The bet wasn’t won in advance!
Let’s not bury our heads in the sand ! This is not the habit of the house. Every year, when Rock At Night is invited in April or May, for the presentation of the programming, Rosine and José start to dream to finally discover the arrival of a Dinosaur! FLEETWOOD MAC or BON JOVI or ERIC CLAPTON.….Unfortunately, with the currently fees these artists request, with tickets for the Theatre reaching 150 to 200 €, the dream is quickly dispelled.
Although every year the miracle happens…because Claude LEBOURGEOIS, the Festival Artistic Director always manages to rebalance it all and to offer some good surprises. It’s always based on a highly eclectic programming, to satisfy the diversity of the public musical tastes.
But this 2019 edition has exceeded all hopes. And the success achieved by Claude, in terms of Line Up, will remain in the annals. 7 sold out concerts and 3 nearly sold out! An amazing feat that set the bar so high that this could be quite hard to achieve in the future editions. The music Festival attracted 100,000 people. Never seen ! Hence, our congratulations!
The 2020 edition of the FAV will take place from Friday, July 24 to Sunday, August 2.
These 10 days of concerts in the “shell” as we call it here , were covered by 6 Foreign Artists, internationally renowned and presented on 4 nights. The rest consisted of French Artists with great popularity to the French public, thanks in particular to their presence in the rankings of National Hits. Including “M”, SOPRANO and PATRICK BRUEL.
One of the best French concert was the singer-songwriter M (Matthieu Chedid) on the Festival second night.
Alone on stage with his guitar, M was playing awesome funk rock riffs in front of an astonished crowd. A one man show, a multi -instrumentist, giving life to amazing machines on stage, and a bass guitar coming back and forward from nowhere. A colorful show with great outfits, M was distilling his generosity and his good mood by playing in the crowd and inviting journalists and organizers on stage at the end of the show. Not a second we got bored. Each piece was a new discovery.
It’s also a family thing. There is a wonderful complicity between him and NACH his sister. M invited her to tour with him for the opening acts and shared a song with her in the middle of the crowd. This artist is just fabulous and unforgettable ❤️
EROS RAMAZOTTI , the Italian romanticism was a “women “evening! And Eros, the seducer of these ladies, conscious of his age, required that shooting had to be, 40 meters from the stage, facing the scene. Total ban for any professional photographer to work from the pit. Talking about wrinkles, Sting opted for the same attitude. A typical “dominant male“ behavior !!! But these are the natural steps of life ! When you see John Mayall, who’s 86 years old, still on the road and you can still photograph him on all angles, you can only have a sacred admiration for that man!
Taking advantage of this huge world tour, called ‘Vita Ce n’e world tour ” he presents each evening some titles of his last album released last November. After a long list of European cities, he will leave to seduce the heart of the Americans. You could feel a certain impatience with his new titles, sometimes completely unknown from most of the public. As usual, the explosion of joy and the sharing with his fans on the first notes of the old hits like “Musica e” or “Una historia importante” with an incredible pic on “grazie of existere”! Two hours show, served by musicians and backing vocals perfectly synchronized in front of an audience irreparably charmed by the seductive Italian !!
The BLACK EYED PEAS arrived on stage with half an hour delay. Problem due to transport, which had to bring them from Toulouse, where they had played the day before. A local DJ tried to close this gap, warming the audience for a show that was announced as “magical”, after a gap of seven years. Since Fergie left the band last year, Will i Am, Apl Ap and Taboo reverted to their Hip Hop influences and electronic music. Those two fashionable components, their long term experience on stage immediately created a sharing of excitement with their fans.
Despite the charismatic absence of FERGIE the trio has not forgotten to please the fans. Supported by their latest album “Masters Of The Sun Vol 1”, Will i Am, Apl Ap and Taboo offered very animated versions on stage of “Rock That Body”, ” Just Can not Get Enough “and of course the second-biggest song of the century “I Gotta Feeling”. The song reached number one on the US charts and 20 charts worldwide. The new trio aesthetic definitely shows their great enthusiasm back to their hip hop origins !
BANG BANG ROMEO (opening act to STING). The great revelation of the Festival! They are from Sheffield and the group that is raising in the UK. They are opening acts for famous names like FOO FIGHTERS, KASABIAN, PINK and tonight STING, for the second time. Anastasia Walker, Ross Cameron and Richard Gartland were happy to be in France and very relaxed at the press conference, in front of the journalists.
“We are touring Festivals all over Europe this summer, with PINK. We also love performing in small venues. This is the second time we open for STING and it gives us an immense joy. This is the kind of artist we have a lot of respect for. I was raised in a family where I was lucky to have a father who listened to good music. STING and POLICE were one of those artists he often listened to at home, “says Anastasia, smiling and displaying a breathtaking shape. “It’s impressive to see how much music can touch us in a movie. We are mostly influenced by Radiohead, the Beatles, Shirley Bassey. But in terms of sound, we are marked by Tarentino’s movies or film composers like John Barry. We listen to them a lot in our van, on long journeys on the road.
Very natural on stage, BANG BANG ROMEO is a band you’ll talk about after seeing them live ! Their set is perfectly structured and fluid and the audience was immediately in transe . Everyone was dancing. Anastasia is very communicative and loves to chat with the public, which was appreciated. The highlight was “Shame On You” from their last EP. It expresses all the passion and pleasure that seems to invade Anastasia, when she feels comfortable facing a conquered audience. Her powerful voice and her stage presence are amazing….she has the main ingredients to become a great star!!!
WE LOVE BANG BANG ROMEO !!
STING Touring his own popular solo work in a World Tour called « MY SONGS”, with a handful of THE POLICE hits singles, the iconic singer performer is still on the mood.
STING loved the fervor of his Colmar fans during his first visit to Colmar in 2017. Currently engaged in a long European tour, our “Englishmen” had voluntarily agreed to return this year.
The Open air theater (10,000 seats) was happy to welcome a talented Artist, who has sold over 100 Million albums! Happy to see him because there was the fear of the evening cancellation….Some concerts in Switzerland and Germany had to be cancelled due to a throat infection. His very relaxed appearance on stage immediately reassured the audience and nicely announced the rest of the evening. Great fan of talking show, the exchange with his fans was natural through some confidences about his long career in the showbusiness and some love stories, source of inspiration for some of his famous themes. The public was looking at him religiously , as if suspended on his lips. “If anyone would have told me in July 77, when we performed here with Police in front of 1000 fans, that 42 years later I would be performing in front of these 10 000 beautiful souls, I wouldn’t have believed it!” His set, scheduled to last an hour and a half, was based on nine compositions of the band POLICE and ten of his solo career. “ROXANNE” paved the way for an absolutely conquered audience. Being in this beautiful place to hear Sting live was fantastic and the show was amazing.
In a cathedral-like wine fair, the theme “MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE” was very well received. Two “encore” with four songs get the biggest cheer of the night with a perfect music communion with the audience. The last two titles, “NEXT TO YOU” and “FRAGILE”, sound like a message. “Whatever happens I’ll stay next to you!”
A fabulous concert but here in COLMAR, people enjoyed Sting and his band like never before!
COCK ROBIN – MURRAY HEAD – SUPERTRAMP’S ROGER HODGSON on The “Magical year” for the Colmar Music & Wine Festival 2019 part 2 !!
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