Despite the covid, Festive Voices will carry those of the artists

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Exactly one year ago Party voice inherited a sad title: that of the first French-speaking festival officially banned by the state, one week before its launch. This year, the largest event for French-speaking music in Switzerland is a much better pioneer since it opens the festival season a few weeks before spring.

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They had dreamed of it face-to-face, this 23rd edition, a reduced version of the previous one. But Guillaume Noye and Priscille Alber, co-directors of the Geneva festival, again encountered health uncertainty and the freeze on international tours. There is no question of postponing the meeting, set for March 15 to 21, nor to put away the poster. “If these artists were not able to perform in 2020, we were not just going to abandon them and choose others, but rather help them develop projects”, explains Guillaume Noye.

Providing visibility to emerging artists and creating links with the public, these are the historic missions of Voix de fête, all the more crucial when classical stages are inaccessible. So in February, the festival team “locked themselves up for four days, in idea incubator mode” to imagine covid-compatible solutions. On arrival, nine virtual and inventive projects, divided between the thirty artists of this edition – mostly French-speaking Switzerland, including Baron.e, Gaspard Sommer, KT Gorik or Les Fils du factor.

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At the sound of the chime

A market goodies first, “artists’ trinkets», Which will put on sale (and in the competition) unique objects or musical moments, from vinyl autographed by Pony del Sol to the waistcoat worn on stage by the singer Ostande. In addition to this prize pool fed by the fans, “all the artists will receive a fee for their participation in the various projects”, insists Priscille Alber.

Like that of “Forgotten Titles”, which will see the musicians picking up original pieces from their bags, presented every day on the site. Festival-goers, for their part, will be invited to submit a song text signed by their pen, perhaps set to music by Aliose or Yoanna. Voix de fête will also be exported to the airwaves, with radio (Saturday) and television (Sunday) shows highlighting new talent.

And to carry their voices beyond the screens, the festival will take over the cathedral, or more precisely… its bells. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m., the carillonneur organist Vincent Thévenaz will take over the songs of artists on the bill. Tingles of joy that will resonate far and wide.

Festive Voice Festival. From March 15 to 21.