While Live Nation was formally announcing its arrival in the French outdoor market with the purchase of a majority share of Main Square Festival in Arras, business was booming for Les Eurockeennes de Belfort and Solidays, which both sold out.
Nearly 33,000 per day enjoyed a warm July 4-6 weekend, the scenery of the Malsaucy peninsula and a Eurockeennes lineup that included Ben Harper, Massive Attack, The Offspring and Moby, while 50,000 per day visited the Solidays site in Paris.
Last year both festivals were hit by a combination of poor weather and an abundance of stadium shows, which cut the three-day Solidays crowd to about 110,000.
The upshot was that Solidarite, the non-governmental French-based aid organization that Solidays helps fund, got only about half of the euro 1.2 million it usually receives.
Although Eurockeenes and Solidays fall on the same weekend as Arras, neither felt – as Main Square had already run for three years – that Live Nation’s involvement would make any material difference to them.
Other acts to play Eurockeenes included Arno, Biffy Clyro, Babyshambles, dEUS, Cavalera Conspiracy, N*E*R*D, The Do, The Wombats, Danko Jones and Vampire Weekend.
The acts to play Solidays, where a three-day ticket costs only euro 45, included Laurent Garnier, The Gossip, Asian Dub Foundation, Yelle, Toots & The Maytals, Alpha Blondy and Richie Havens.