This afternoon, a few hours before the end of Albi jazz festival, the director of the national scene, Nathalie Besançon, gave us her impressions and drew up a preliminary assessment.
Saturday evening, there were still a lot of people…
There were people like all the days of the festival. The highlight was Friday. During this festival, there were big favorites of the public. It is an edition that has marked the spirits. There was also good attendance at the marquee. I appreciated the diversity of the audiences. There were young people, families, people not accustomed to frequenting venues… The vinyl fair went well until late in the evening. The impromptu concerts in the city were also very popular.
Do you have a first attendance figure?
The first estimate, we are beyond 8,500 visitors for this edition, which began on January 13 and which is not yet over. The figure will be refined.
So it’s a great success…
It’s a great popular success. We were able to see the diversity and aesthetics of jazz. I was marked by the conviviality and I am happy to see the smiles on the faces of the spectators. The cold and the snow reminded us that we are in winter. But that did not deter the spectators on the contrary, they wanted to come and warm up. People were happy to meet. It’s a very beautiful moment in a season. It transforms everyday life. It is irreplaceable. This festival has its place in the calendar.
It was your first festival in Albi. What is your feeling ?
I was really looking forward to this first edition. I am happy to have crossed it, it fills me with joy. I have seen the love of the Albigensians for music and I see very good prospects for development there. It gave me a lot of inspirations and desires. We will continue by imagining a development. Jazz lovers are able to drive a lot of miles to see big names. We are going to invite them to join the Albigensians to develop this festival even more. One can imagine associating with other partners in the context of tours. The festival is well established, it can only continue and grow.
This edition had been programmed by the former director. Will we find this same eclecticism next year?
Yes, apart from Airelle Besson quartet, it was not my programming. Undoubtedly, we will find this color. What I like in jazz is the freedom, the inventiveness of this music. The festival will restore landmarks in the history of this music and an overview of today’s creations.