Nostromo Festival Logo




March 27th, 2024

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Nostromo Festival

🇫🇷 La version française de cet entretien est disponible ici.

Since its creation in 2017, Nostromo has established itself as an essential meeting spot for a scene that stands apart in the electronic music landscape. Defined by an unwavering affection for the sound of the 90s and 2000s, it is also stands out for its openness to many different styles and an obsessive quest for the most obscure vinyl records. So it’s hardly surprising that DJs such as Francesco Del Garda, Nicolas Lutz and Jane Fitz regularly feature at Nostromo events, where their performances are always awaited with almost religious fervor.

In July 2023, the third edition of the Nostromo Festival should have been held at the Château de Motteux, a private estate in the Seine-et-Marne region where the event had taken up residence two years earlier. After two first editions in 2021 and a third in 2022, this fourth installment was to be the most accomplished of all, with a new format bringing together no less than 80 artists from all over the world and promising to propel Nostromo among the most cutting-edge electronic music festivals in Europe.

This was without counting on the intervention of the mayor of Marolles-sur-Seine, a small commune in Seine-et-Marne where the festival site is located. Fearing noise disturbances similar to those witnessed at the September 2021 edition, the mayor took the radical step of banning the festival by municipal decree, a week before the event. Taken by surprise, the organizing team was forced to cancel at the last minute, resulting in various repercussions.

Subsequently, complications escalated when the festival’s insurance declined to pay out the planned compensation, on the grounds of circumstances not covered by the insurance contract. Faced with growing frustration from festival-goers awaiting ticket refunds, the Nostromo team had no choice but to communicate regularly on the progress of ongoing procedures, while simultaneously awaiting decisions beyond their control.

In the interview below, Nostromo co-founders Louis and Nathan look back on the events of 2023 and provide an update on current developments. Additionally, we delve into Nostromo’s journey, exploring its evolution and prospects amidst an uncertain context.

How did Nostromo get started? What inspired you to launch this project, and what was the background to it?

Nathan: We’ve known each other since we were 17, and we’ve always been passionate about music. Louis started working in music events before me, via other collectives and festivals. As for me, I had a more traditional job, but after a while I got fed up and wanted to do something else. We both found ourselves looking for something new at the same time. It was also a moment when we were spending a lot of time together partying, so the idea of launching our own project came quite naturally.

From there, we moved to Lyon and started to mature the project in our heads. It quickly took off with a first edition in July 2017, at the Pavillon des Etangs in Bois de Boulogne. The event did very well despite stiff competition in Paris that weekend, the first night was sold out and the second worked well too. It allowed us to get off the ground and start making a name for ourselves on the French electronic scene. As we started out in a festival format with a lot of international artists, we were able to gain visibility fairly quickly.

But for us, the idea has always been to find a site on which we could grow the festival. It’s been difficult, we’ve never stopped looking, but it wasn’t until 2021 that we were finally able to find the ideal venue. Until then, we’d been organizing smaller events almost every month in France and abroad, and a bigger event in the summer that we saw as a mini-festival.

How did you end up finding the Château de Motteux?

Nathan: Covid came at a time when we were starting to do a lot of parties. This break gave us a chance to step back and look for a site for the festival. We ended up discovering the Château de Motteux in Marolles-sur-Seine, and fell in love with it immediately. We made sure to meet the owners, with whom we got along very well. We were also able to meet the mayor of Marolles-sur-Seine, and from there the first editions followed. In the beginning, we got on very well with the authorities, and everyone was keen to work with us, as they liked the idea of developing a cultural project in the commune. We immediately obtained their agreement for two editions, in July and September 2021. We were finally going to be able to realize what we’d been dreaming of for 5 years, to organize a festival with a real program, a campsite, several stages… These first two dates went very well, with excellent feedback from the public and the artists.

The 2022 edition was a little more complicated for us, although the response from the French and international public was incredible. There were around 18% foreigners among the attendees, which for a French festival is quite a lot. The downside at the time of preparation came from the numerous calls for noise nuisance that had occurred during the September 2021 edition, which led to a meeting with the mayor of Marolles-sur-Seine, who was quite unhappy. At that point, we decided to meet with the mayors of all the communes around the site to secure the 2022 edition – but in the end, only the mayor of Montereau received us, assuring us that he had no problem with us continuing to organize the festival, as long as it was done in accordance with the rules. After September 2021, we were also lucky enough to meet the Montereau-Fault-Yonne police commissioner. She was very supportive, recognizing the solid organization of our festival, and that it was normal for an event of this type to generate some noise pollution. Of course, we committed ourselves to making revisions to better control the sound, and we decided to go for a much smaller format in 2022 to prove to the authorities that we were capable of organizing a festival without generating any nuisance. The mayor was skeptical, but we had the support of the police and the site owner, who met with him to put forward our arguments. Our dossier was submitted to the prefecture with the support of the police commissioner, and after a few calls with the deputy subprefect we were able to obtain authorization to hold the festival again in 2022.

What initiatives have you taken to rectify the situation following the September 2021 complaints?

Nathan: As I was saying, we greatly reduced the capacity and optimized the sound system to minimize the risk of noise pollution. Our efforts paid off, as the 2022 edition went smoothly from a legal and noise nuisance point of view. My first reflex after the festival was to go and see the police commissioner to obtain the register of calls for night-time disturbance; over the whole weekend, only two calls had been recorded, which is really minimal. As the festival was sold out and we were able to contain the noise nuisance, we decided to start again on the same basis for the 2023 edition.

How did you go about preparing the 2023 edition?

Nathan: We sent our complete dossier to the mayor’s office and the prefecture in September 2022, with the support of the site owner. The mayor of Marolles-sur-Seine didn’t want to talk too much to us at that stage, but we knew our application would go through if it wasn’t rejected after a month. After validation by the prefecture, we were looking at 8 or 9 months of preparation, which left plenty of time to open a discussion in case of a problem. As no one came forward, we called the mayor and then the prefecture around January 2023 to get their feedback – the mayor never replied, but the prefecture confirmed that there were no concerns. We also communicated a lot with the department for this edition, especially as we had to have the lake at our disposal, which required a whole procedure to have the water tested and authorize swimming. Everyone was aware of our project at this stage, nothing was done in secret and we communicated regularly with all stakeholders.

We also made a few adjustments to increase the size of the festival without generating any additional nuisance. We added a third stage, which was to be open only during the day, and a fourth ambient/downtempo/acoustic stage with a multi-diffusion system that we had specially designed to limit sound propagation. The sound system was still provided by D&B, but this time through a new, well-known company called B Live; they look after We Love Green and many other big events, so they’re clearly reliable professionals. We instructed them to keep noise pollution to a minimum, and they took certain measures, such as orienting the daytime stage towards the ground to reduce the distance crossed by sound. In short, everything was calculated to keep noise nuisance to a minimum; in our dossier we produced sound analyses, indications of natural sound attenuation points, etc… Everything was done to give the authorities confidence in our ability not to generate noise nuisance. Preparations went wonderfully, many tickets were sold and we felt we had finally achieved our goal of putting on a real festival. We were able to take on an office and assistants, we were structuring ourselves professionally, but despite all our efforts we ended up with a municipal ban without any prior notification.

How did you react when you were notified of the ban?

Nathan: According to our lawyers, the decree itself is void and all the clauses listed therein can be contradicted as they have no basis in fact. What’s more, it’s a municipal prohibition order which, by law, cannot be issued without prior discussion. We never received the slightest feedback from the mayor’s office between the date we submitted our dossier and the one-month validation deadline, and they never informed us that anything was wrong. Nor was there any suspensive order, which would normally have given rise to discussion. With this order, the mayor could, for example, have asked us to stop the music at midnight, which would have imposed restrictions without cancelling the festival. There was simply no communication from the mayor’s office prior to the decree banning the event; legally speaking, this is an abuse of power that cannot be justified. Our first instinct was therefore to initiate emergency summary proceedings to suspend execution of the order, but the case went to the administrative court the day before the riots throughout France provoked by Nahel’s death. All the courts were overwhelmed and our case was delayed, which put us in a difficult position, as we were left without a response at a time when we had to wrap up preparations for the festival, with several people already on site working on the set-up… The mayor’s lawyer even threatened us with police intervention to evacuate the site, out of sheer intimidation. The financial pressure was becoming too much to bear, and the risk to the festival-goers we had to accommodate was making the situation unbearable.

The verdict of the administrative court finally came down, and our request for suspension of the ban was provisionally rejected. Our only option was therefore to cancel, knowing that we had already notified our insurance company when we received the municipal decree, and that they had confirmed that we would be covered. Following the cancellation and the submission of our file to the insurance company with all the supporting documents, they told us that we would not be compensated after all, as the municipal decree corresponded to a ban and not a cancellation, which was not covered by the clauses of our insurance contract… A legal battle ensued, and we asked for an expert appraisal to confirm that we were indeed covered by our contract. We had to wait 8 months since our claim to get a response from the insurance company, who kept promising us that an answer would arrive soon. We finally received a reply at the beginning of March, and unfortunately it was negative, as the insurance committee refused to consider that we were covered by our contract. This means that we are still unable to refund festival-goers, and are now awaiting a final ruling from the administrative court to unblock the situation.

Normally, the insurance company would have advanced us part of the compensation even though the case was still being processed, to enable us to pay the initial costs. But as they refuse to pay us anything in advance, festival-goers are still waiting for their funds, and we have no choice but to inform them of the situation as it arises. This obviously generates quite a lot of pressure from festival-goers and our partners, especially as there are only two of us left to respond to messages and monitor the progress of this complex procedure. It’s hard to deal with mentally, and it’s a horrible disappointment for us, because 6 years of work have been virtually wiped out, with no visibility on the possibility of a resumption. We had invested a lot in this project and in the Château de Motteux site. We had architects build stages, and we carried out a lot of work to develop the site. Everything came to a sudden halt, and today the mayor refuses to see us when we try to propose an amicable solution to get out of this situation.

What do you think were the mayor’s real reasons for cancelling the festival? And why wait until the last minute to do so?

Nathan: He’s a fairly young mayor, it’s his first term and he got a lot of flack after the noise pollution from the September 2021 edition. I think that tarnished his image, especially when we were able to organize the 2022 edition with the support of the prefecture. He probably wanted to set an example, and show that he was the master of his commune. In reality, I think he wanted to score a political point with his peers.

Louis: As far as the last-minute cancellation is concerned, I think it was a deliberate act by the mayor of Marolles-sur-Seine and the mayors of the neighboring communes to hinder the future of the festival. As they knew that the festival was going to take place despite the nuisances of 2021, I think they made the deliberate choice to cancel it at the last minute to block any possibility of discussion and put us in a difficult position. When you get a municipal ban a week before the event, either you go ahead and do it anyway, or you respect the decision. We could have chosen the first option, but we preferred to behave ourselves.

Nathan: We always followed what the authorities told us to do, even going beyond what was required of us. The mayor, the prefecture and the national police were always kept informed of everything we did, and simply told us that all we had to do was submit our dossiers and that there would be no problem if everything was in order. We even have an e-mail in which the mayor confirms that we don’t need his authorization or that of the prefecture to hold the festival. But despite this, the mayor can issue a municipal decree unilaterally. Even the deputy mayor had actually expressed his support to us right up to the end…

Your appeal for excess of power is still being examined by the administrative court of Melun, following an initial provisional decision on June 30, 2023 confirming the cancellation of the festival. What would be the effect of a decision in your favor after this second procedure, and when do you expect the verdict?

Nathan: If the judges rule that the municipal decree is null and void, the mayor’s decision will be recognized as arbitrary, which will confirm that we’re covered by the terms of our insurance policy and activate the payment of compensation. Our lawyers believe that the mayor’s case against us is flawed in several respects, so it should normally be okay. We are in the process of completing our own case, gathering as much documentation as possible to prove that the decree is not only illegal, but also unreasonable because it was issued too abruptly and with too many negative consequences. The economic impact of this decision has been enormous, not only on us, but also on festival-goers, our partners and the commune, since we put a lot of local businesses to work, especially hotels.

Our case is currently being finalized and will be filed shortly, as we hope to go to court this year. We don’t have a precise date for a judgement at this stage, but we hope to win our case before the end of the year. If the decision is in our favor, we will immediately be able to contact the insurance company again to release the funds, as they themselves indicated in their refusal letter. We could eventually decide to sue the insurance company now, but this would be a costly and cumbersome procedure with no guarantee of success, so this option is still under consideration. Fortunately, we’re lucky enough to be working with a lawyer close to our scene, who has agreed to give us a discount because he’s aware of what’s at stake and what he’s defending… But all this still clearly comes at a high cost, and we have to be able to afford it.

On this subject, you are planning to hold an event at the Rex Club on April 26, partly to cover the legal costs associated with the current proceedings.

Louis: This event at Rex Club had been planned for a long time, so we’re going to keep it going and invite Craig Richards, who was the person who most inspired us to create our festival when we went to Houghton in 2018. Initially, we were mainly thinking of organizing afterparties on barges in Lyon with Nostromo, similar to what Concrete was doing at the time, but after Houghton we realized that we wanted to do a festival first and foremost, and that there was a real opportunity in France with the emulation around electronic music.

Nathan: The French scene was really blossoming when we started out, and we were lucky enough to do our first events with artists who are key figures today, but who weren’t that well known at the time. We were able to invite many artists who were playing in France for the very first time, and it’s clear from today’s parties and line-ups that we’ve had a certain influence on the next generations.

You’ve clearly contributed to the creation of a distinctive electronic music scene in France and Europe.

Louis: From the outset, we made the deliberate choice to feature pioneers of the scene like Francesco Del Garda alongside people like Lumbago, Dawidu, Solal Reyes and FĂ©lix Dulac, who had also been part of this movement for years but didn’t have as much visibility. I often compare our artistic direction to that of Positive Education, which is in a different musical niche but with a similar approach. Among French festivals, Positive Education is clearly a benchmark for me, because they also have this desire for openness and diversity in their programming. With Nostromo, we can program ambient, hip hop or r&b as well as techno and house, and we’re open to anything as long as it’s qualitative.

Nathan: The 2023 edition was going to be the apotheosis of what we’re describing here. People could have gone to see a harp concert, and then followed it up with a trance set. Louis and I are a bit obsessive about these things, we can work 5 months between the time we finish the line-up and the time we release the timetable to create the perfect journey. We try to put ourselves in the festival-goer’s shoes to satisfy every profile, from the one obsessed with house music to the one who prefers trance but also wants to discover new things, or the one who wants to listen to something chill after partying for 24 hours…

Louis: There was also this desire to be more careful not to wring people out. Our previous 35-hour format was successful, but personally I didn’t like it because I found it was a bit much. I’ve always said to myself that we had to grow with our audience, because it’s cool to party, but we also wanted to include the chill side. We wanted to be able to satisfy a 35-40 year-old guy who’s just had a kid and goes to a festival to listen to ambient music, see a jazz concert and eat something healthy. It was this vision that we were trying to put in place for 2023, which hadn’t been possible before because our team wasn’t yet sufficiently seasoned. As with any festival, it takes time to choose the right food trucks, take care of the scenography, improve the experience and so on.

Who makes up the team behind Nostromo?

Louis: At the very beginning, it was just the two of us and a few friends of ours… Then, little by little, the team grew more and more with people like Mohammed Vicente, who is active in Lyon and has launched his own electronic music festival. The festival is called Concordance, and he’s doing it again in June, mainly programming artists from Lyon’s local scene.

Nathan: The team was very small at the beginning, but grew as our needs evolved. For example, we started working a lot with the Capsule collective when we wanted to integrate visual arts into our events. They’ve become our go-to partners for visuals, so for us it’s like they’re part of the team. There are several production teams that have been created along the way. When we started at Château de Motteux, we had to set up a team to coordinate the event, and another for the architecture, layout, decoration and activities… Most of these teams were set up via our circle of professional friends who are passionate about music and parties. All in all, it took us 3 years to build up a real cohesive team, and by 2023 there were four production teams working on different aspects of the festival.

How many people does that represent?

Nathan: There are ten people in charge of general organization and management, including Charles, Angie, Hugo, Alex, Louis and myself. Each of them then works with their own teams. For example, there’s also Daria, who works with five other people on the esoteric/activities/well-being side of things. The idea was to create wellness spaces and activities around art, and we’d also put out a call for projects, so we had a lot of artistic performances and works of art planned for 2023. There should have been an illuminated wooden structure measuring 7 meters by 7 meters, something monumental. We had also planned dance and poetry recitations.

We employ around thirty people in total to prepare the festival. During the festival itself, that number rises to 200, because there’s also the artists’ reception team, the stage managers, the bar staff, the volunteers… That’s a lot of people to keep informed to be able to create this energy from day to day. So when you’ve been keeping your nose to the grindstone for 8 months and everything’s going seamlessly, it’s hard when things suddenly fall apart. There was still room for improvement, but we were pretty much where we wanted to be after the slap in the face we’d received at Houghton.

Are you working full time on the festival during these 8 months?

Nathan: We work 5 days a week on it between September and February-March, but we manage to work on other projects on the side. Louis is working on the Decadance festival, and I’m involved in production and event planning, mainly during Fashion Week but not only, via other production companies. We manage to keep up with all that in parallel during early preparation, but from February onwards we stop taking on other projects to concentrate fully on Nostromo. From then on, we’re often in the office from 9am to 9pm, weekends included.

It’s a constant rhythm, because you’re working with people who don’t stop working on the weekends, and who consider you available at any time too. It’s our passion, so on weekends we go out, and there are always people coming to talk to us about our work, so it’s a continuous loop. But it’s never stopped being a pleasure, because we’ve dedicated our lives to this project for several years now. That’s why it’s all the more difficult when you’re hoping to finally reap the rewards of all this hard work; we’d sold enough tickets to get by and even become profitable, which would have enabled us to continue investing in the development of the site and the festival.

We were expecting 40% foreign festival-goers this year. I’d talked about it with ticketing platforms like Dice and Shotgun, and they don’t have any other festival in France with these kinds of figures, including the biggest ones. When we launched Nostromo, we thought we were spending our time traveling to Berlin, Amsterdam or London to party, but nobody was coming to us except for Concrete, which was the only French venue with real international appeal. At the time, there were plenty of 500- or 1,000-person micro-festivals like Monticule that managed to attract foreign audiences, but nothing like the bigger, more federative and innovative events to be found in Germany, the Netherlands or the UK.

Louis: That being said, our main objective will never be to do events for 200,000 people. We prefer to stick to a smaller festival where we can create a connection between the artist and the audience, and we’re more successful at that when there’s physical proximity between the two.

What’s striking at Nostromo events is the sense that the artists are part of the audience, and the audience is part of the artists…

Nathan: We used to look at the names of all the people who bought tickets for our festival, and one third of the time it was someone involved in the scene – DJ, producer, promoter, all passionate about music and invested in their local scene. It was very revealing for us, because it made us realize that we were reaching people as passionate as ourselves, and the emotional reward is enormous. People like us who want to come to something we do, that’s incredible! In 2023, there were 40 artists out of the 100 programmed who planned to stay for the whole festival to party, like Jane Fitz or Laurine and Cecilio. When Jane Fitz asks you what time a certain artist is on because she absolutely has to see them, it’s an incredible feeling, and it makes the work and atmosphere behind it all the more beautiful. There were times when it didn’t feel like work at all, because it was always fun, and we were constantly involved in something very strong artistically and emotionally.

There seems to be a strong bond between Nostromo and the community around you.

Nathan: Yes, especially with the other professionals on the scene who are very supportive when we tell them about our situation. We still go out a lot, and we know a lot of people who understand the difficulties we’re going through and give us their support. I’m not sure we’re still fully supported by the public though, but that’s understandable. The situation is complex, and unless we explain it well, it’s normal for some people to be unhappy.

Louis: If you don’t know all the ins and outs, it’s normal to be upset about having spent 300 euros on the festival, plane tickets and hotel without knowing when you’ll be able to get it back. Everyone will have their own interpretation and reading of the situation, which is why we try to be as transparent as possible and reply to all the messages we receive to make people understand that we’re doing everything we can to refund them as quickly as possible, but that it’s a complex procedure that takes time.

In one of your email updates, you revealed that you had committed nearly €400,000 at the time of the cancellation, i.e. half the festival’s total budget…

Nathan: We had committed €400,000 of the €800,000 total budget, a good part of which came from ticket sales. This included everything we had to pay for in advance, such as site development, installations and part of the production, since we employed several service providers who had to be paid. A month before the festival, we also had to pay booking fees, book flights and hotels… People don’t necessarily realize the huge sums involved in those things. Other expenses included communication costs and deposits for toilets, showers, power generators… All in all, these costs can be counted in the hundreds of thousands of euros.

The three support events that were organized following the cancellation didn’t raise much money: one was loss-making, and the other two raised only 600 and 1,500 euros, which isn’t much for a festival like Nostromo… These elements were shared in our communication for the sake of transparency, and helped a lot of people to better understand our situation. Many wanted to help us by donating their tickets, which really moved us.

While faced with complete silence from the insurance company for several months, we took the time to reply to all messages, explaining the situation in depth. We have no problem sharing figures, and we do everything we can to make people understand that we are not withholding their funds or creating a situation that could be avoided.

Looking back, do you think this situation could have been avoided?

Nathan: Honestly, unless we’d been on another site, in another city with another mayor, I really don’t see how we could have avoided it…

Today, you’re planning to ask your community to formalize its support. In what way and for what purpose?

Nathan: We’d like to share a form with festival-goers to ask them if we have their support, the aim being to use this support to contact other media and get the word out about our situation. We were also thinking of launching a petition with other professionals in the field and festival-goers to use in the context of the current administrative procedure. We don’t know what effect this will have, but we’d like to be able to open a dialogue with other associations like Technopol, for example, or other organizations that could have an influence in one way or another. When it’s a shared, high-profile affair, people often don’t have the same outlook or approach to its management. We don’t know how far we’ll be able to take this story, but as a first step we’d like to gather a token of support.

What sources of revenue do you have to keep your association afloat?

Nathan: In the beginning, it was mainly personal funds and external financing, but today we’ve reached the end of our resources. We have no source of income, so we can’t work anymore. Previously, we had the festival and certain events abroad that brought in a little money. It’s important to remember that we never really paid ourselves with Nostromo; we waited to make the project sustainable before starting to earn money. Today, there’s no more money coming in, but we’re still an association, so we don’t have any expenses as there are no more activities.

There’s also the fact that we don’t feel legitimate in continuing to produce events pending the outcome of these proceedings. We don’t have the financial means to do so, but above all we can’t see ourselves asking people to pay for tickets to new events when we haven’t yet reimbursed them. There was the September 2023 event at 6b and another party in Slovenia, but both were already planned for a long time and almost finalized before the festival was cancelled. People may think we’re working on another edition of the festival or other events, but that’s not the case at all. Louis is working on Decadance, and I’m freelancing on the side. Managing this crisis is Nostromo’s number 1 priority. It’s all we’re doing, and all we can do until we get our way.

Could the party at Rex on April 26 help you get the momentum going again?

Louis: Our main objective remains the festival, we’re happy to do promo parties on the side, but our target is really to re-establish the festival. We hope that it will be at the Château de Motteux, if the administrative court rules in our favor.

Nathan: We chose to concentrate on the festival from 2021 onwards, because we liked the idea of creating this feeling of exclusivity, this one-year wait to be able to relive Nostromo, while organizing a few parties abroad to promote it. At one point we decided to take a break from the parties, as we should have been able to get by financially on the festival alone. Today, we have no plans to continue with other events after the party at Rex Club, which had also been planned for a long time.

Louis: We got the date with the help of our former intern, who is now a production assistant at Le Rex. It’s been on our minds for a long time to do an event there… It’s heartbreaking for us to admit it, but we thought it would be nice to hold what may be the last Nostromo event there. All the more so with Craig Richards, the person who inspired us to embark on this adventure. Symbolically, we’d come full circle.

Will it be an all-night long from Craig Richards?

Louis: No, there will also be a back-to-back set between FĂ©lix Dulac and Marabou, followed by a 4-hour set by Craig Richards.

Nathan: For us, it’s also a chance to see all the people from Paris, all our friends and people from the scene who will be there. We really hope it won’t be Nostromo’s farewell…

Louis, you’re also working on the Decadance project. Can you tell us about it, and explain how it differs from Nostromo?

Louis: It’s a project launched by my mate Sacha during Covid. It all started with parties in a commune called Mandelieu near Nice, on a plot of land with a river. The project is much smaller than Nostromo, with an initial capacity of only 300-400 people. During the difficult times with Nostromo, I told myself that I also needed to be able to have fun elsewhere and return to the land of my birth, especially as there was nothing in the Nice area. It was also an opportunity to use my skills as an artistic director in another context.

When I took over as artistic director of Decadance two years ago, we tried to set up a proper festival but we ran into the same problems as with Nostromo. The mayor was very pleased, but ended up telling us 2 months beforehand that a protected bat had settled on the site and that we’d have to cancel. Strangely enough, rally races had been held right next to the site just a few days before…

Decadance is also close to my heart, because I’ve always wanted to do a project in Nice. That’s where it all started with William aka Sweely when we were 15, we went to the same high school and he started making electronic music at the same time. I was still a novice in the field, but I was starting to get out there, and then I followed another buddy called Romain who had just set up his own party. The project evolved into a proper festival in Corsica, and this enabled me to work on my first big programs as artistic director.

Nathan: It was also my first steps helping in event production at the time, and the time we really started to collaborate with Louis. It was very anecdotal, but that’s when we really started to professionalize in the field.

Louis: I stopped my studies overnight because I knew I’d found what I wanted to do. At the time, Trax magazine even named us the most eagerly awaited festival in Europe, which was really crazy for a festival in Corsica. For me, Decadance is also a beautiful project because it’s the very essence of the underground. It’s very homely and done with little means, but it’s an experience in its own right.

Nathan: As a festival-goer, it’s one of the best festival experiences I’ve ever had. The advantage of these small festivals is that in three days you get to know everyone, and you spend a lot of quality time with people and artists. It’s a fairly unique format, with a great deal of freedom of expression left to the artists, and also a great deal of freedom of organization for all the people working on the event. It’s a great project and it’s going well, there are also events in Paris and elsewhere now, so it’s definitely taking the right direction.

Do you have any other projects you’d like to mention?

Louis: We’re in the process of setting up a booking agency specializing in live shows and mapping, with Antonin Dony from the Capsule collective, who created the set design for the Forest Stage, and ThĂ©o Brice from Symbiose. We’ll also be offering customized set design services for AV projects, especially for festivals, clubs and the like.

Nathan: For my part, I’m still doing freelance work in events and fashion, but the real project is to get the festival up and running again as quickly as possible…