Interview with Vincent Clément, president of Les Musicaves

From 26 to 30 June, Givry will be hosting the 27th edition of this festival of world music, wine and local culture, chaired since last year by Vincent Clément, a Givrotin at heart and owner-manager of the Athenaeum in Beaune. With just a few days to go before the first festivities get underway, we take a look back at the history of the festival and what’s on the horizon.

How did Les Musicaves come about?

From the outset it was a project led by Philippe Perrousset. At the end of the 1990s, this teacher at the Conservatoire du Grand Chalon had the idea of creating a festival combining music from elsewhere and Givry wines. Year on year, Les Musicaves gained in popularity, and soon reached its current configuration: over 5 days, from Wednesday evening to Sunday morning, a dozen live concerts and a givry bar, attracting a total of several thousand people.

A real success…

Yes, obviously, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, there was a place for it: nothing really existed around world music in the region. Secondly, Les Musicaves stands out for its highly specialised programming. No global stars, of course, but renowned musicians in a wide variety of genres. Finally, the courtyard of the Domaine Thénard, where most of the concerts have historically been held, lends itself particularly well to this event. Right in the heart of Givry, the layout offers « two rooms/two atmospheres »: on one side, the stage, where you can enjoy the music to the full; on the other, the bar, where you can enjoy a wide range of wines from the appellation and chat to the sounds of live music.

How do the winegrowers get involved in Musicaves?

Their support is essential. They provide part of the funding for this annual event, helping to ensure that it takes place in the best possible conditions and offering their wines at preferential rates, to make them accessible to as many people as possible (€4 for a glass of Givry, €25 for a bottle of Givry 1er Cru). Without them, the festival wouldn’t exist. The same goes for the town’s shopkeepers and restaurants, who help us to keep everyone fed.

And what about you?

In 2023, after more than 25 years of loyal service, Philippe Perrousset and his team had reached the end of the energy they could put into Les Musicaves. Without a new organisation, the festival would disappear. This saddened me. There are many people who have been carried away by these festivities every year, myself included. As a child of Givry, I went to these concerts on several occasions. Each time, I made some wonderful discoveries. I thought it would be useful to keep that curiosity alive. So I threw myself wholeheartedly into it. And all the more so as wine and culture are the pillars of the Athenaeum de Beaune…

What do you want to do taking over Les Musicaves?

We’ve got lots of ideas! But, for the time being, the main thing is to keep this event going. To do that, I’ve surrounded myself with a whole team of musicians from the region. They’re all in their thirties, trained at the Conservatoire du Grand Chalon, and they too have been influenced by the festival and want to see it continue: Olivier Pierre, DJ and coordinator; Louis Clément, set designer, digital artist and stage manager; and Simon Girard, trombonist and head of programming with Léo Ouillon, tenor saxophonist. All are keen to cultivate the spirit of openness to music from elsewhere and the local roots so dear to Musicaves, at prices that are as reasonable as ever: €22 maximum for an evening of three concerts. The adventure continues!