For its 20th anniversary, Rock en Seine offers itself Billie Eilish


“This will be Billie Eilish’s only French date at a summer festival”, savors Matthieu Ducos, director of Rock en Seine. PA Photos/ABACA.

The 21-year-old Californian, seven-time Grammy winner, will headline the Domaine national de Saint-Cloud on August 23.

Nice birthday present: for its 20th anniversary, the Rock en Seine festival offers itself Billie Eilish, planetary star just a little older (21 years old) than this meeting in August at the gates of Paris. “It will be his only French date in a summer festival”, savors with AFP Matthieu Ducos, director of Rock en Seine. The seven-time Grammy-winning Californian will headline on August 23, while the rest of the festival will take place on August 25, 26 and 27 at the Domaine national de Saint-Cloud.

The arrival on stage of Billie Eilish will be preceded on August 23 by a 100% feminine poster with Girl In Red, Tove Lo and Hannah Grae. Tickets for August 23 go on sale this Wednesday at noon; those of August 25, 26 and 27 this Thursday at noon.

The interpreter of the tube bad guy is “a new generation artist who impresses because at 21 she already has a rich career”emphasizes Matthieu Ducos. “She already sings for the soundtrack of a James Bond while for other musicians it is the consecration in a career”continues the manager who expects a “rather crazy” show with her.

With this “very young artist who has a very large audience”, Rock en Seine hopes to attract an “audience who may never have come”, while the average age of this meeting is “around 30 years”. The 2022 edition of Rock en Seine was a record attendance with “more than 150,000 festival-goers from all over Europe” according to its organizers.

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30 years of the Chemical Brothers

For 2023, Rock en Seine will also program large cars more in line with its DNA, Placebo and the Strokes, guitar groups. “The Strokes is a first for us, our paths had never managed to cross”, welcomes Matthieu Ducos. Placebo has already come. Other groups from the independent rock scene are also invited, such as Wet Leg, Foals, Dry Cleaning, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Murder Capital.

Speaking of birthdays, the electro group Chemical Brothers, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will also be there. “They weren’t there at our first edition but at the second, in 2004”, recalls Matthieu Ducos.

The refined folk of Tamino, as well as the quirky French song of Bertrand Belin, are, among other things, also on the bill. All the names revealed are visible on the sites dedicated to the festival, before other artists undoubtedly announced in March.

Last year, Rock en Seine had faced a resentment from its festival-goers on social networks because of a “golden pit”, a vast VIP area located on one side at the foot of the stage, far from being full for a good part of the day, preventing other fans to approach. From the stage, stars like Nick Cave had mocked the lack of atmosphere in this square.

“Stressful” case in 2024

“This golden pit will be a little less present and a little less big, like in 2018 and 2019, when nobody was talking about it”, promises Matthieu Ducos. For 2024, Rock en Seine is faced with a bigger headache: its proximity of dates to the Paralympic Games makes it “a case under study”, as the Ministry of Culture had specified in a communication in December 2022.

In October 2022, the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin cast a chill by evoking the need to cancel or postpone cultural events (or athletes) in the summer of 2024 due to the massive mobilization of law enforcement during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We are still in dialogue with the prefectural authorities, but to date, we have no guarantee, it’s a bit stressful”says Matthieu Ducos. “We would like positive responses to arrive quickly to set options from March 2023 (for the 2024 programming), if we miss this check mark, it can be detrimental”underlines the person in charge.



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