Preview of Week-end Au Bord De L'eau - 7th edition - 28th-30th June 2013

The amount of festivals has continued to increase in recent history, from big commercial events to smaller intimate affairs. It's great to see such a wide choice all over the world. The Week-end Au Bord De L'eau is in its 7th year in 2013, having grown exponentially since its first attempt, offering a variety of fun things to do and hosting some great acts in its history, but still maintaining a personal feel in the spirit of independent festivals. The event is hosted in the beautiful town of Sierre in Switzerland, a few hours from Geneva, and is very much created from the village itself. Organised by The Fun & Floor crew, this festival truly caters for all ages and different types of people too. The festival site is pitched by the beautiful Lac de Géronde, a stunning Lake surrounded by mountains. Sierre is famous for great living as, due to the eco climate, there is an abundance of sun and therefore great food and wine. Certainly this festival is winning the hearts of many who have visited and is maintaining the subtle intimate touches only an independent festival can create. 

Week-end Au Bord De L'eau

I had the pleasure of going to Week-end Au Bord De L'eau a couple of years ago and it's obvious the festival is going from strength to strength. The line-up this year is great, with acts such as Theo Parrish, Brassroots, DJ Cam, Mark De Clive Lowe, as well as some awesome fun things to do like stand up paddle surfing on the Lake and some fantastic quirky touches like German act Puppetmastaz playing and the brilliant Pierrot des Ballons with his amazing balloon creations.

Friday kicks off with the funk! Swiss act DJ Lee and his vinyl collection of funk tracks will add some classic, sweet soul and attitude to ignite Week-end Au Bord De L'eau 7ème edition with some style! French Tal Stef, producer and founder of label and shop 'Soultronik' will be bringing a sweet selection and some of his own tracks that have received critical acclaim. World group Abyssinie Club will be here with the sound of Ethiopia, merging a fusion of traditional African/French sounds with new electronic music, while the popular Brassroots displays jazz and pop in a melody of horn instruments and arrangements. Old school US hip hop group The Coup will certainly bring some fantastic energy to Sierre, followed by The Puppetmastaz who are a German hip hop electro group in the form of a puppet show that should certainly be something fun and different for Friday night. All of this is warming up nicely for the prolific and genius talent of US producer/DJ Theo Parish to finish the evening.  No doubt Friday will be amazing!

Saturday starts with Vince Vella, who co-produced the Havana Culture series with Giles Peterson, with some Afro- Cuban rhythms, before the prolific French DJ Cam whose hip hop remixes should certainly get Saturday daytime moving! They are followed by Lovebirds who will add deep house and nu disco into the mix, and Tru Thoughts signing Azaxx  with Canadian singer Kinny playing Brazilian music, salsa, jazz and modern funk. Another Tru Thoughts signing, the excellent producer, DJ, pianist and composer Mark Clive Lowe will present his project CHURCH, bringing the improvisations of a jazz club and several distinguished guests. The excellent electronic master Richard Dorfmeister and Jamaican MC Ras Tweed will vibrate the lake on electro beats, dub and reggae and then, finally, South African Black Motion. This duo's subtle mix of house, soul and percussion is a modern expression of "Kwaito music"; the emblem of the musical post-apartheid township revolution. 

I like the way Sunday starts with EJMA Jam Session, a great opportunity to involve local talent, and then another set from DJ Cam and from Swiss DJ Joh Couleur 3, followed by local group Imperial Tabasco with a hot and explosive live set of funk and ska! Swiss tribute band The Doors Revival will bring a serene and musical touch to Sierre in the evening followed by, I'm sure, a much appreciated second set from The Brassroots. Then, finally, Jukebox Champions brings their musical influences funk, hip-hop, trip-hop, soul and turntablism for a dynamic mix of live instruments, samples and scratching

There are many aspects that make Week-end Au Bord De L'eau unique and special. The Vjing and visual aspects provided by David Vincent make this festival vibrant and intoxicating and also the Lac de Géronde with fun things to do on the water like the Tuk Tuk pedalos, stand up paddle and bike paddling. Let's not forget the great eco conscious and green ethic that brings an appreciation of the glorious natural surroundings of Sierre. Other must see things happening at the festival include the brilliant balloonists Gabidou and Pierrot des Ballons and a great children space providing activities and entertainment, a treasure hunt and animal rides. There's everyday street art throughout the weekend and, for the first time at Week-end Au Bord De L'eau, we have "Festival off: Apéro Jazz" featuring local act Who's Next performing live jazz throughout the weekend. Lastly and most significantly we have "Tournoi de pétanque", a petanque tournament organized at the festival centre with the key to win beautiful prizes!

There's no doubt Week-end Au Bord De L'eau - 7ème edition looks awesome! Viewing it from my own perspective, seeing the subtle changes and development in the last two years, it's clear Week-end Au Bord De L'eau is maintaining its quality standard, improving the features and keeping its intimate values. With a capacity of 5000, this is a cosy affair that focuses on family inclusion but with all the opportunity and space to cut loose! It is looking like a great festival that is firmly establishing Week-end Au Bord De L'eau as a secret gem in Europe. 

Tareck Ghoneim

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