The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Summer's almost here, when the theoretical possibility of fine weather has bands on the back of lorries in every field, square and football pitch. In the rain. It's the festival season!

Your Paris-based blogger isn't sure if the brand-new Irish recession is going to limit your festival and travel spending power. It might even force you all in Eire to make heart-breaking sacrifices: only five drinking binges per week, no new Celtic jersey, clearing the second mortgage with the fourth credit card. Be strong.

Anyway, if you're thinking of travelling to a festival in Europe as part of your summer holidays, your blogger (like last year) will give you some ideas for outdoor music events in France. They tend to be cheap and sunny, so let's hope that continues for 2008. As soon as substantive line-ups are announced, we'll post about them.

First big event to play its hand is the Main Square Festival. It takes place in Arras, a town in the north of France near Calais, on the weekend of 4-6 July.

Arras 2008 Main Square Festival with Radiohead and othersThe location may not be as sun-kissed and exotic as regions further south, but the festival has attracted some big names. Okay, so the Radiohead show may not really be happening thanks to 'brown energy', but they'll definitely be there, headlining the Sunday night line-up that also features Sigur Ros, The Wombats and French band The Do. And more! If you didn't bother buying tickets for their Malahide show, now you can also not bother buying tickets for their French festival show. Who says globalisation is bad?

The Saturday bill is topped by Mika, born for summer festivals (and Christmas parties), with The Kooks, The Hoosiers, Digitalism and local Libertines-worshippers BB Brunes. And more!

The really impressive night of the show is the dance-flavoured Friday night. In reverse order, it stars the Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Justice, 2 Many DJs and Boys Noize. (Wait for it.) And more!

Tickets are still on sale via this page on the site of French ticket-agent FNAC, who are currently offering a three-day pass for just €95 instead of €135. The Radiohead-night costs €55 and the other two cost just €45. Camping costs an extra €7.50 and can also be booked in advance through FNAC.

So how do we get to Arras? Well, Calais is a well-known port, and the nearest big town is Lille, which is on the Eurostar line as well as the regular networks. You could fly to Paris or Brussels/Charleroi. The French rail system, SNCF, is planning to run a special train service from Lille to Arras for the festival. (As French regional trains are mostly controlled by French regional government, it's quite common to have special subsidised festival train services as support for the arts and culture).

Full details and updates are available in French on the festival's MySpace page - but you can get all your "useful informations" [sic] on the festival's English site.

That Friday night looks like great value. Here's 'DVNO' by Justice:

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Nuggets from our archive

2007 - REM live in the Olympia, by Michael O'Hara. Possibly the definitive review of any of REM's performances during their 2007 Olympia residency. Even the official REM website linked to it.