This summer, Family Piknik’s 2022 season will be divided in 4 events, starting on Sunday 31st of July in the futuristic Lunel’s Arenas, highlighting some of the best Deep-Progressive artists. Hernan Cattaneo b2b Nick Warren (3 hours sunset performance), Afterlife’s new stars Colyn b2b Denis Horvat and Nora en Pure will headline this Opening event along with Theus Mago b2b Pontias. The Family Piknik team will offer two week-end events in a row, from 6th to 14th August. First one will take place in the same venue as the Opening party, in the Lunel’s Arenas, 15 minutes east from Montpellier. The Saturday will bring artists like Maceo Plex, Guy Gerber, Whomadewho (live), Sébastien Léger, Eli & Fur, Frankey & Sandrino, while the sunday will highlight some Techno madness with Charlotte de Witte, Riche Hawtin, Rebuke, Eli Brown & Stella Bossi.
Here we chat to Tom Pooks, the Family Piknik director ahead of the show.
How are you, what’s good?
Past months have been very stressful but now I feel excited about what we’ve announced for the whole season. It will be intense, with 4 main events and 2 new venues for Family Piknik this summer. We focus now on all the production details and it’s always fascinating.
How has Family Piknik survived the pandemic?
We had to survive, even if we were stopped for more than 14 months. We got some help from some French institutions, luckily.
What was the hardest part of all that?
Being bound to stay home, cut from events, people and music for so long.
What is new for this year?
2 new venues, in Lunel and Frontignan. We had to leave Montpellier as the city hall decided not to help us anymore in any way, after 10 years of partnership. So we had to look for other venues, really closed to Montpellier, and we found Lunel (15 minutes east) and Frontignan (15 minutes west) to welcome us. It will be a big challenge though, as we’ll run 3 events 3 weekends in a row, from July 31st till August 14th.
What make sit unique, what is the production vibe?
Open-air, by day, gathering all ages, mixing party people with families, allowing parents to experience a new way of dancing and having fun with electronic music.
Tell us about the location and what makes it special?
Lunel arenas are futuristic and it’s an outstanding venue, looking like a spaceship, while Frontignan will be a more natural – vegetal spot, located 5 minutes walk away from the beautiful beaches of Mediterranean sea.
Do you have lots of different stages, do they all have their own look and feel?
2022 is still a kind of transition year, so we will run only 2 stages. One main stage and a smaller secret stage, which have very different mood / feeling. Main one is the typical big stage for headliners while secret stage is all about the immersion and connexion with people.
What are the core values of Family Piknik?
Family, friendship, quality music, sun and flamingos…
What is the musical vibe, how did you decide who to play?
We try to represent all vibes from deep house to acid techno through Progressive and House. We have our own roster of Family artists and we are very aware of who’s breakthrough because I’m a DJ, label owner and my team partner is right into the scene. So we balance between the right headliners, international newcomers and support acts. We put attention on the set times and the transitions of who’s playing when so that we are sincere in what me make.
How important is it to you to use local upcoming djs as well as big names?
We have many local talents playing our events, it means a lot for them because it opens doors for them. We’re very involved with the aspect of things, we’ve always supported newcomers, local and international, it’s a key parameter for us as promoters.
How helpful are the councils and governments etc with this festival, do they support dance music culture?
Well, it ended quiet bad with Montpellier city hall as they brutally decided to cut the help they provided to us during 10 years. So it depends on politics and decisions of some powerful persons directly. Globally, electronic music still stuffer from a lack of consideration for the government, but we as a festival got some help during the pandemic. So everything’s not black or white, you still have to prove you know how to work and electronic music can be a family affair. Many politics still think our audience is limited to a very small panel of the population but we prove them each year that they’re wrong. We are now very attractive for people aged 6 to 77 years old, so we’ve managed to prove electronic musics / DJs are much more universal than what they thought.