An interview with Family Piknik

Family Piknik is a one-day House & Techno open air festival in Montpellier, probably the most renowned part of France for electronic music, which aims to combine great music with the atmosphere of a smaller, more intimate festival. The message is simple: come with your family and friends to party all day long. Family Piknik frees itself from clichés in order to make space for a cultural gathering in which all generations communicate through the music. This year, it is being held in a new venue in the exact location where Borealis, the first legal Techno festival in France, took place back in the nineties.


I caught up with the organiser of Family Piknik to ask him a few more questions.

How did the idea for this festival come about?

It was actually during my time in hospital following a motor accident. This disrupted my DJ career and I began thinking about new ways to promote music after more than a year off the circuit. I came up with the idea of launching a brand new festival in the south of France, where I grew up, both as a man and an artist. There was no concept quite like ours back in 2012: a one-day, open air festival that was both family-friendly and offered decent, underground DJs.


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How do you go about putting this concept into action?
We encourage Techno fans to bring their children so they all have a great day out. When you are close to 30 years old, you don’t go out as much as you used to, so our festival is a good way for parents to get their fix of underground music, while enjoying a picnic with their family and listening to the best DJs. Kids are able to entertain themselves in the Kids Area we build for them.


What makes Family Piknik the best open air festival in France this summer?
Like I said before, there is nothing else quite like it. In France, our concept is unique, even if it’s inspired by Love Family Park in Germany and Piknic Electronik in Montreal. We bring the best DJs together in an open air space so they can play all day long to a crowd of smiling festival-goers ranging from 7 to 77 years of age.


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Could you tell me a little bit more about the location?
After three years in the center of Montpellier, we are returning to Grammont, a park with numerous trees and a rich history, as it has been the epicentre for Techno in France since the 90’s; Montpellier has always supported Techno. It is also a much more convenient location for us, as it’s bigger and we’ll have a lot more space.


Who can we see on the line-up?
We’ve hosted many headliners since 2012, such as Solomun, Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex and many more. This year, we’ll have Marco Carola, Luciano, Black Coffee, Miss Kittin and Hot Since 82. We also do a big free opening concert on the Friday evening, with Booka Shade (live) headlining.


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What advice can you give festival-goers attending Family Piknik for the first time this year?
Bring your family and friends, bring a picnic, and arrive early so you can enjoy the whole day with us!


What does the future hold for Family Piknik? Do you see it becoming a 2 or 3 day festival at some stage?
Well this year, we have the free opening concert, so in a way we are already spreading the festival across two days. We hope to expand our concept beyond France in the future, because the Family Piknik brand is well-known now, and we get requests from promoters based in other countries. We’ll see how we can grow, however, we are not a festival that focuses on money and getting big. For instance, we have decided not to sell more than 15,000 tickets and we limit the festival to two stages, so as to keep a friendly atmosphere.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for the interview and I hope to see you dancing with us this summer!


For more interviews with festival organisers, follow my series “Tell me about your festival” on Medium.


Composed by: Milly Day
Photos: Patrick Ortega

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