Nuits Sonores, the biggest festival of French contemporary music, opens on Wednesday in Lyon.
The festival is one of the key cultural attractions of the usually quiet, southeastern city.
Just like the biennial Dance and Contemporary Art event, the festival breathes oxygen into the cultural heart of the city.
Ten years old: the age of maturity
Nuits Sonores combines electronic music and indie rock. The 10th festival opens on Wednesday night.
Over the years the programme has gradually broken away from a purely electro and techno opening to more organic sounds.
But few complain, given the level maintained since 2002 by the Nuits Sonores organisation.
While the the core programne of the festival is largely electronic, some of the guest artists are there to remember that rock and pop are not dead.
Good examples this year: New Order for the English new wave and Mudhoney, representing American grunge. Both worlds meet on Sunday to close the festival.
The party invades the city
The festival transforms the streets of Lyon, usually quiet and sober, into a dance floor for six days.
There are no muddy fields in the countryside involved, with the festival being held inside the city. However, it does make it make some of the organisation of concerts more complex.
This year, the festival is taking over the Hotel Dieu, a historical building dating back to the XII century. The former public hospital is being transformed into the headquarters for daytime activities..
Festival-goers will also dance at other Lyon landmarks, including the Celestines theatre.
The public will dance in other Lyon’s monuments like the Celestines theatre. German-chilean DJ Ricardo Villalobos will be one of the artists performing where comedian Sarah Bernhardt performed and Napoleon came to enjoy some shows.
As in previous years the night-time shows will be hosted in a large complex of industrial warehouses, just a few hundred metres from the centre of Lyon.
Last year the program did not disappoint the 80,000 festival-goers.
If Nuits Sonores puts Lyon on the world map of electro, it is thanks to an uncompromising line-up, year after year.
Pioneers – many of them French, like Jean-Michel Jarre or Laurent Garnier – or new and unknwon artists, have always met the expectations of an expert audience.
The standards will remain high at the 2012 event, which features Ricardo Villalobos, James Holden, James Murphy, but Caribou, Four Tet, Kode9 and Magda.
Jeremy Rifkin, ecological visionary
He is not a DJ, nor a musician, but is a special guest of Nuits Sonores 2012. The essayist and economist Jeremy Rifkin will speak on Saturday in conjunction with the energy company CNR, as part of the European Lab for Festivals gathering.
Adviser of the European Union on energy issues, theorist of the Third Industrial Revolution, true visionary of this century, Jeremy Rifkin will give an exclusive interview to euronews, which you wil be able to watch and read on our website next week.
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