The last edition of the Food For Your Senses festival took place in May 2019. Photo: Sam Flammang/FFYS
Culture minister Sam Tanson responded on Wednesday to a parliamentary question by deputy Djuna Bernard, in which the latter asked the extent of financial assistance for music festivals, citing the final edition of the Food For Your Senses festival in May.
As Delano reported in April, the FFYS festival ended due in part to the time commitment requirements on the part of volunteers, in part because of logistical difficulties.
It wasn’t the first festival to stop (or at least be postponed) in recent years. Rock-A-Field last took place in 2016. The Echternach Festival, founded in 1975 and for years a prestigious classical and jazz fest in the grand duchy, was dissolved just over a year ago. That followed a decision not to produce a 2018 edition of the Printemps Musical festival.
In her question, Bernard (déi Gréng) stated that music festivals were a “contribut[ion] to the democratisation of culture. This is especially for the many initiatives that are essentially driven by volunteer commitment.”
Nevertheless, she added, sustaining such initiatives was not always straightforward, and she was curious to know whether such organisers could get financial, logistical or administrative support.
In a letter dated 25 June, Tanson (also déi Gréng) responded that the organisers of music festivals “can benefit from a subsidy for artistic creation from the ministry of culture”, adding that such an application has to be submitted a minimum of two months before the event.
But, she added, the amount of aid would depend on certain factors linked to the festival in question listing, for example, “scope of the target audience, the production costs of the festival, the rate of Luxembourgish artists, the quality of the festival, the seniority of the festival requesting, as well as the extent and degree of interdisciplinarity of the project.”
Scope of festivals
Bernard also inquired about the overall number of music festivals taking place in the grand duchy. Tanson stated that, between 2014-2019, there were 46 festivals, 10 of which took place in Luxembourg City.
The breakdown provided by the culture minister are as follows: rock/pop and classical festivals were most frequent (11 per category during this timeframe), followed by “interdisciplinary” (9), hard rock/metal/ska (5), blues/jazz (4), electro (3), hip-hop/reggae/RnB (2), and finally contemporary music (1).