Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville: Day 5 - May 21, 2007
With the 24th FIMAV winding down, a number of significant markers sprang into focus. Most notably, the overall festival attendance has been consistent over the past three years at about 5,000 people. That may seem like a small number, but for a festival this eclectic, located in a rural Quebec town of approximately 40,000 half-way between Montreal and Quebec City, it's a remarkable featespecially when one looks at how far some people have traveled to this festivaland some have been doing it every year for nearly as long as the event has been in existence. That a festival in such an out-of-the-way location can present North American and, in some cases, world, premieres speaks to the vision of Artistic Director Michel Levasseur.
Add to those milestones the twenty-year anniversary of the Victo record label, which not only releases some of the finer performances from the festival's history, but studio recordings as well. With a discography of over one hundred records it's a document of the ever-evolving definition of Musique Actuelle.
A significant challenge facing many festivals is how to attract a younger demographic. FIMAV is clearly doing something right because it's seeing an increasing number of attendees under 35 coming to the festival every year. And it's not just to see obvious youth draws like the Melvins. There was a significant cross-section of age groups at all the shows, with bands like Acid Mothers Gong attracting everyone from twenty-somethings to gray- and no-hairs.
2008 will be the FIMAV's 25th anniversary. Levasseur isn't prepared to disclose anything already in the works, but there's little doubt that there will be some special performances in store for anyone who makes the trek to the Silver Edition of Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville.