Marc Hauser says Ariel Pink's (pictured) gig at the Congés Annulés will probably be the most unpredictable
Photo: Eliot Lee Hazel
The music programmer at the Rotondes talks about this summer’s Congés Annulés festival and the live music scene in Luxembourg.
In the heady days of 2007 when Luxembourg and the greater region were the European capital of culture, a young man was put in charge of programming music in a boxed venue in the corner of the Rotondes site. Marc Hauser brought a slew of emerging talent to Luxembourg that year and continued to do so when the venue moved to the Carré Rotondes site in Hollerich and then back to Bonnevoie once the Rotondes had been cleaned and readied as a permanent cultural venue. He also saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the summer, when other cultural venues shut down for the holidays, and created the Congés Annulés festival--now in its tenth edition.
The ever-modest Hauser probably doesn’t see himself as a pioneer, but alongside the likes of Fred Baus at d:qliq and Luka Heindrichs from De Gudde Wëllen and Food For Your Senses, as well as the Schaltot collective that founded the Out Of The Crowd Festival, there is no doubt he has helped open up the local music scene.
“Choice has increased massively over the last ten years, smaller clubs started to programme emerging international bands,” he says. “This has given rise to more open-minded audiences, curious to discover new music, and has also resulted in more people attending gigs.”
Congés Annulés is renowned for its eclectic programme, which Hauser says is essential to cover different tastes and satisfy a wider audience. “Unless you’re a real music nerd, it’s almost impossible to attend the roughly 20 concerts in a row at Congés Annulés in August. There must be at least one band you should like.”
This year’s programme includes neoclassical composer Poppy Ackroyd, Atlanta indie-soul band Algiers, New York cult trio Blonde Redhead, London electronic artist Throwing Snow, and Australian power-pop quintet Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever. But when pressed to choose his own favourite on this year’s bill, Hauser plumps for what he says “should be the most unpredictable gig--Ariel Pink.”