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Interview: Family Piknik promoter Tom Pooks

Interview: Family Piknik promoter Tom Pooks

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For many years, Family Piknik has established itself as one of Europe’s top techno festivals.

This event in Southern France on August 5th and 6th offers a wide range of tech innovations, attracting both established legends and emerging talents. The sunny backdrop adds to the vibrant atmosphere.

This summer it is back once again with another mega line-up featuring Carl Cox (Hybrid Live), Adam Beyer, Ben Böhmer, ANNA, Margaret Dygas, Anthea, Gene On Earth, Raresh and more. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the English section of the Family Piknik website.

Tom Pooks takes us to incredible locations where everything unfolds.

Tom Pooks

How are you, what’s good and bad in your world?

Summer is consistently hectic! Yesterday, we attended a Road to Family Piknik event at the beach. Typically, we have pre-season events leading up to our main summer weekend. Although it’s sunny and hot, there’s no time for rest right now…

How hard is it to put on this festival each year?

Every year presents a significant challenge as we begin anew. Over the past 12 years, certain production aspects have indeed improved. Our primary objective is continual improvement and increased efficiency in various key areas such as ecology, user experience, stage production, and human resources. However, the most difficult aspect lies in our dependency on external factors, often resulting from administrative complexity or institutional decisions. These are challenges we consistently face and must navigate.

What are the best bits of working on it all year?

To achieve year-on-year growth, understanding the significance of time management is crucial. It’s essential to comfortably allocate around 10 months before the D-day for scheduling. Additionally, since we function as both a festival and a music label/booking agency, having a clear vision and long-term strategy is imperative.

What informs the line-up this year?

We take great pride in our lineup this year once again, given the increasing competition from international festivals worldwide. Artist fees have reached unprecedented heights, and we face fierce competition from Dubai, USA, and Asia. To secure our headliners, a strong concept, solid reputation, and friendly relationships with artists are essential. Carl Cox, Anna, Adam Beyer, Ben Böhmer, Popof, Space 92, and all the artists performing on our stage this year fully recognize our identity and achievements. We are not just another random festival; it is a point of pride for us.

What else have you got coming up?

As mentioned earlier, we have a promotional tour before the main summer weekend. We will be visiting several venues in the south of France to promote our music, brand, and artists. Our next stop is Toulouse on July 21st at Poney Club, featuring Adana Twins and Magit Cacoon. Following the main event in August, we will be heading to Paris on September 23-24 as official partners of Techno Parade’s 25th birthday celebration. We will participate in the parade and then host the official After Party at Le Periph (Villette) with special guests like Hi-Lo, Eli Brown, Patrice Bäumel, and more. Concluding our season on October 7th, our traditional closing event will take place in Béziers Arenas, where Solomun will be performing this year after Brejcha & Kalkbrenner.

Why should people come in where they haven’t been before?

Our concept stands out from typical electronic music events. It’s worth a shot! Daytime dancing in the open air, alongside people of all ages, offers a refreshing and fulfilling experience.

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How important is it to use local DJ talent and how do you tap into that?

We’ve consistently backed local talents and newcomers, which led us to establish our own artist roster. This year, we’re hosting a DJ contest, offering young talents the opportunity to open our stage!

What about diversity, how important is it to have a good mix of genders, races, sexualities on the lineup?

We strive for gender parity on our stage by inviting talented women to perform, but we do not wish to romanticize or politicize it. Our intention is solely driven by talent, without any ulterior motives. We value talent regardless of gender and aim to avoid being influenced by trends or lobbying pressures.

What is there to do outside the music?

Experience the ultimate relaxation and indulge in the delights of Southern France during the summer. It’s an ideal opportunity to revel in exquisite food and beverages. This season, we have planned a camping excursion where festival-goers can mingle while exploring the abundance of tourist attractions nestled alongside the enchanting Mediterranean Sea.

Family Piknik 2023 line-up poster

For more information or to buy tickets, head to the English section of the Family Piknik website.

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