Jack Lang: "The concert was the biggest stress of my life, it could have been a huge upheaval"

Jack Lang: “The concert was the biggest stress of my life, it could have been a huge upheaval”

The annual event celebrates on June 21, the fortieth anniversary of its existence. Jack Lang, former Minister of Culture, talks about the creation of this festival and its success beyond borders.

“People were told to go ahead, get out, make music in the streets yourself, but we were afraid that they would stay holed up in their homes. But it worked.”he recalls to AFP the person appointed by François Mitterrand as Minister of Culture in 1981. “The music festival was the biggest stress of my life, it could have been a huge upheaval.” The event created by Jack Lang celebrates its fortieth anniversary, an institution in France that has been exported to more than a hundred countries.

From the winter of this year, the idea originated in the minds of Lange and his close bodyguard, Christian Dupavillon, a scenographic architect, and Maurice Floret, director of music and dance. The latter is the one that shoots “The music will be everywhere and the party is anywhere.”. Jack Lang, 82, Wanted “turn the table”. Marking his time as André Malraux, one of his illustrious predecessors under de Gaulle.

“The party is a place of exchange, emotions and connection between artists and people, and it is a component of my mood.”recognizes a person who was prominent on the political scene at the time with his light-coloured jackets.

summer solstice music

“One of my first steps as Minister of Culture was to go to a Stevie Wonder party, to me that was normal, but it seemed like an extravagance.”. «At that time, the cultural policy of music was directed mainly towards classical music, and more marginally towards contemporary music, musical research with (composers) Boulez and Znakis. The rest, rock, jazz…was absent subscribers”.

The concept is simple: music should come out of conservatories and concert halls and be played by everyone on June 21, 1982, the day of the summer solstice. The project was quickly launched, and Lang doubled down in the media and printed his first white poster on a blue background: “Party (Make) music June 21 8:30-9 pm”. Only half an hour…the format has since exploded.

“The first year, in 1982, it wasn’t a huge success, but people played the game and starting in 1983 the game was really good”, deciphers Lange, today president of the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris. Paying with his person, sitting at the piano on the street below his cabinet in 1982 and 1983 for TV news, while still describing himself as “Very bad pianist”.

Appointment exported

Criticisms emerge when interviewing Lange: Is It Time for Inflation to Threaten (1982)? Is the celebration a way to forget the policy of austerity (1983)? “There will be some pissed-off vinegar for a while, for honest reasons and political reasons, but the grassroots movement swept it all up in the end.”Lang summarizes the day.

The budding event also has great ambassadors, such as Jack Heglin playing on a truck crossing Paris. Marie-France Brier, a radio and television woman, made a lang with her “400 Blows”electrical connections were installed around the Trocadéro in Paris so rock bands could play.

Over the years, the meeting has been exported, now to over a hundred countries. ‘I was recently asked to do a video for Australians, I can’t believe it’Lang breathes. He lists the trips he took on this occasion Berlin, Rome, Peru He remembers amusedly this return trip from Russia “With Alain Delon, at the beginning of Gorbachev” (1990) where he was a large part of the delegation, including Ho “drunk”.

What is he most proud of? One of the fishermen told me: “I arrived at Boulogne-sur-Mer as a deputy parachute Thank you, thanks to you I became a pianist: Mosul Jean-Claude Casadisos He was playing the piano outside and the guy was fascinated.”.


see also Non Stop People Jack Lang: How he overcame the death of his daughter Valerie (excluding video)

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