Les Déferlantes in Perpignan: cancellations of Indochina and Louise Attaque … five questions on the controversy of the 2023 festival

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The “Les Déferlantes” festival, which welcomes artists from all over the world each year in the Pyrénées-Orientales, was faced with cancellations from several groups following the choice to organize the 2023 festival in Perpignan, a city managed by the RN. The organizers were therefore forced, this Tuesday, July 10, to change location again.

The festival “Les Déferlantes Sud de France”, which is to take place from July 6 to 9, 2023 and brings together dozens of French and foreign artists in the Pyrénées-Orientales each year, has been at the heart of a controversy since Sunday January 8.

While the previous editions were held in Argelès-sur-mer (2007-2019) and Céret (2022), the transfer to Perpignan, in 2023, was not to the liking of Indochina and Louise Attaque who let it be known that they would cancel their visit if the festival was maintained in the city. The fault with the organization which would not have warned them and with the potential political recovery by the National Assembly which denounces, by the voice of Jordan Bardella, “a discriminatory and shameful attitude”.

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Will the trip to Perpignan take place?

No. The organizers announced, this Tuesday, July 10, that the festival would ultimately not be held in Perpignan next summer. They explained it in a press release published this Tuesday, January 10 on social networks. “We are forced to give up this location and we are now looking for a new place so that the festival can be held in the Pyrénées-Orientales on the dates planned”.

La Frontera production, which manages the festival, had first clarified its position in a first press release. The organizers justified the departure of the festival to Perpignan by blaming the municipality of Céret. The city would have responded to them late, and would have refused to take charge of points such as “the external security of festival-goers, “the improvement of the castle park” or “a major selective sorting”. de Céret would also not have paid the first subsidy planned to organize the festival, and did not bear certain costs for the 2022 edition such as the gendarmerie bill, which was normally his responsibility.

Will Indochine play?

The French group Indochine had said in a press release that if the festival was maintained in Perpignan, it would cancel its visit on Saturday July 8, without a deadline having been proposed.

Regarding the sites where Indochine sells tickets, it was no longer possible to obtain places. The indo.fr site still listed the festival, but held in Céret, and the link for tickets did not work, unlike the links for the group’s other concerts. The date had also completely disappeared from their account on the linktr.ee platform.

And Louise Attack?

Gaëtan Roussel’s group had followed suit in Indochine and had also indicated that its visit would be canceled on Sunday July 9 if the place was not changed. “We also ask the management of Les Déferlantes to do everything possible to find another place,” said the group on Instagram.

How did the organizers react?

The festival published its own press release on January 8 on its Facebook page, following Indochina’s declaration but before that of Louise Attaque. “The festival team notes with sadness and astonishment that the pragmatic choices that have recently been made to change location in order to improve the reception of the public and guarantee their safety have sparked various controversies and violent reactions”, can we read there.

“We take note of the position of the Indochine group to condition, for political questions, their coming to Les Déferlantes”, affirms the press release, which recalls that “Les Déferlantes is a non-politicized festival”.

Which artists are programmed?

Here is the schedule of the main headliners as originally planned:

  • Thursday July 6: Alt-J, Damso, Josman, Scorpions, Tiakola
  • Friday July 7: Izia, Lomepal, Shakaponk, Sting
  • Saturday July 8: Indochine, Adé, Deluxe, Soprano
  • Sunday July 9: Bigflo & Oli, David Guetta, Louise Attack, Gazo, Apple, Rosalia