Lille: The city imposes a mute on the Music Festival
Silence, let’s play. On Tuesday, France will vibrate again to the sound of the Fête de la Musique after two years of restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic. In Lille, in the North, we will also vibrate, but less strongly. The city has banned the broadcasting of “amplified music” outside. A decision that leaves a lot of people speechless, except for the municipal opposition, which is crying foul. A petition has even been launched to demand “a real Music Festival”.
To perform in the streets of Lille this year during the Fête de la Musique, you will have to be “unplugged”. Sing without a microphone, play without an amplifier and mix without a mixer. If these conditions can be met as challenges by some, they will nevertheless send a good bunch of groups back to their garages. For lack of an electric guitar, exit rock, metal, and lots of other stuff that doesn’t make sense on the acoustic guitar. For lack of a soundtrack, exit the rappers. Exit the DJs, exit the little voices… Exit all that is called Amplified Current Music (MAA) which brings together the “musical expressions that have emerged from the 20th century, using electrical amplification and electronics as elements of writing, creation, and dissemination”, we explain at the conservatory of Toulon Provence Méditerranée.
“Culture takes another hit on the head”
So why? Is it a deliberate choice by the town hall to exclude such a large part of the musical repertoire from the public highway? Contacted by 20 minutes, the city has yet to respond. However, to our colleagues from the Voice of the North, she explained her desire to “give back its letters of nobility to amateur practices, which are the very essence of the Fête de la Musique”. On behalf of the municipal opposition, Violette Spillebout protests that “this explanation does not hold water”. “After the Covid period, culture takes another hit on the head”, denounces Stéphane Boudry, instigator of an online petition against the decision of the town hall.
The other argument is to avoid a certain cacophony in the festive districts where the musicians would be more numerous than elsewhere. Why not. However, it is not obvious that in terms of decibels, a group of amplified metalheads has anything to envy a marching band or a formation style drums from the Bronx. Despite everything, groups who want to can always plug in their equipment in bars or restaurants ready to welcome them. Provided you do not play on the terrace.