24 / 08 / 2017
Jeanne et Camille - Festival Baleapop
This summer the baleapop festival will celebrate the 8th event. We had an opportunity to put a handful of questions to Jeanne Boulard and Camille Vallebelle, who are respectively the festival’s manager and partnerships officer.
As the Basque country (and Saint-Jean-de-Luz in particular) is so closely associated with the notions of strong local roots and open-mindedness, the Moi Moi collective decided to base its Baleapop festival there in August 2010. Since then, every summer this modestly-sized festival has delighted indie pop fans in a unique setting with an endless horizon. As a partner to the event from the outset, Sessùn, which supports its festival each summer, will be doing so once again for the 8th event, to be held from August 23 to 27.
How did the Baleapop festival come about?
Camille: Baleapop came about after an evening drinking with friends, following our annual tour of the festivals held all over Europe. We said to ourselves that it really was a pity that we had to go so far to enjoy the "festival experience" we love so much, and wondered if one could be organised somewhere where we could all meet up for a week.
How did you succeed in making inroads among the many French festivals?
Jeanne: When we started out, the market wasn't quite as saturated as today and organising a small, DIY, family-oriented festival, cutting-edge yet accessible, with a touch of sustainable development thrown in, was a really innovative idea which enabled us to stand out.
The setting is of particular importance... Could you describe it to us?
Camille: We're lucky to have a region like the Basque country, which is ideal, and a town council like that of Saint-Jean-de-Luz which supports us on a daily basis, and enables us to use new sites each year. We vary between the park from our college years, the beaches of our childhoods and our beloved town centre.
What's changed since the first event eight years ago?
Jeanne: In theory, I would say not a lot as we’re still looking for our ideal festival! In reality though, almost everything! Today, we are a genuine team… well organised, well-structured and well managed.
What's new this year?
Camille: One of the new features I really like is the launch of La Grande Bouffe (The Big Meal). This will be held on the Sunday midday and includes artists, festivalgoers, staff and volunteers for a huge banquet set up in the middle of the park, with the Sheitan Brothers given free rein to entertain us where the music is concerned.
You'll need to book though, because there's a limited number of places!
What are your favourites among the lineup for this 2017 event?
Jeanne: I have to say, that I really like the lineup this year. Many of my favourites are there. Among these, I should mention, in no particular order, Kate NV, Rizan Said, Rufdug, Puzupuzu, Hoël Duret or Don’t DJ. And old favourites Odei will be celebrating the launch of their second album during the festival!
Do you have any interesting anecdotes from the festival?
Jeanne: The most recent one dates from last year. Our kitchen managers (who met up during Baleapop 5) had their baby during Baleapop 7. The problem was, it wasn't supposed to be so soon! We had to assemble a team really quickly… Among other things, we had our graphic designers manning the stoves. Which just goes to show that anything’s possible!
How did you meet Emma / Sessùn?
Camille: As a sales rep for ready-to-wear clothing (my real-life job before Baleapop), I dreamed of working with Sessùn. Unfortunately, the representation side for my sector was already handled by our dear Laurent Belhache. One thing leading to another, during exhibitions and wild nights out in Paris, I met Emma and all of her staff: Julie, Élodie, Ronan and Audrey. I had the time to tell her all about the festival, and Emma came onboard right away!
How would you describe your work together?
Camille: Loyal, very loyal! It's one of the first brands to have supported us and it has grown with us.
In what ways are the Sessùn and Baleapop worlds related?
Their audience: inquisitive, open, tolerant young people and the fact that we live on the coast!
Can you name a Sessùn clothing item/accessory which you particularly treasure?
Camille: If I could choose one clothing item I would choose my Sessùn shirts, which are always perfect.
Can you describe Sessùn in 3 words?
Camille: Flower - Stripes - Denim: the essentials in our wardrobe!