Arras Reaches Top Rank

Three years after it started and one year after some French promoters said it would go bust, Live Nation Belgium chief Herman Schueremans believes his Main Square Arras can now be included among France’s major festivals.

France doesn’t have the same festival heritage as some of its European neighbours. In terms of size, a major event is one that can attract 30,000-plus, such as the Eurockeenes de Belfort and Rock En Seine.

This year’s Main Square switched site to a Napoleonic fortress, which has a lot of greenfield space despite being so close to the city centre. It pulled an average of 33,000 per day July 2-4, sharing many acts with Schueremans’ Rock Werchter festival in Belgium.
“It’s a beautiful site and as it’s an old fortress it’s easy to secure,” Schueremans told Pollstar. The French army continued to use the area until three years ago and its historic value means it still has UNESCO protection.

The acts helping Arras into the big league included Jamiroquai, Black Eyed Peas, Pearl Jam, Ben Harper, Pink and Rammstein.