Dj, label manager and promoter for more than twenty years and more recently a music composer since 2007.
He’s the co-founder of Trigger Recording, the label of famous leading composers such as Håkan Lidbo and Miguel Graça. Trigger has been the first independent Canadian electronic music record company under license with Warner Music Canada Co. Francois is the co-founder of AIM, Montreal’s music festival held at Carillon Park. 14,15,16 of July.
Electronic Groove: Thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about your journey as an artist and festival co-founder for AIM.
Francois Lebaron: As an artist, I have a duo project called Hoopalaï and our second release just came out on Kindisch (little sister of Get Physical). So basically I’m sending promos and listening to promos during the first part of my day (early morning) and when I have some free time I work on ideas in the studio. As the AIM Festival co-founder and artistic director, my day goes from managing the graphic designer, video content producer as well as our social network agency to be sure everything is well done and on time. Obviously, at 1 week before the event, I’m in contact a lot with my associates Pascale Papin and Michel Tardif about lots of details related to the artists’ performances, transport, logistic, stages, and promotions.
Electronic Groove: How did you come about the festival name AIM (Art-Innovation-Movement)?
Francois Lebaron: The site (Carillon Park) is a historic site where the French Colonist named Dollard Des Ormeaux and his 18 men were killed by the Iroquois during the Long Sault Battle. We needed to create a link from the historical aspect of the site and the festival values we wanted to propose. So after some research, I found a native organization ”American Indian Movement’’ and I took off all letters from the words while keeping every first letter, which as result gave me: AIM. I was like…Damn, to AIM higher! This is it! I replaced the original meanings by Art – Innovation – Movement.
Electronic Groove: The lineup is incredible and so diverse! Can you give us your top 5 artists to catch at the festival?
Francois Lebaron: Yes according to me, here’s my top 7… NASTIA, JOHN TALABOT, LEE FOSS, ANABEL ENGLUND, NIC FANCIULLI, GUY J, AME live, HENRIK SCHWARZ live.
Electronic Groove: What is most exciting about throwing such a large scale festival?
Francois Lebaron: The smile on everyone’s faces on the dance-floor!
Electronic Groove: Carillon Park is at the foot of the Long-Sault rapids on the Ottawa River. It’s entrenched with some incredible Canadian history, could you tell us why you selected this location for AIM?
Francois Lebaron: We choose it because of its historical aspect and its magnitude but also because of the Monoliths placed on site, which is very emblematic and techno.
Electronic Groove: AIM is unlike any other electronic music festival out there, can you tell us what sets it apart from other festivals?
Francois Lebaron: Definitely the line-up which features a unique blend of styles. The 32 hours of non-stop music along side the camping experience makes it also very unique.
“We propose an ultimate and intimate set design in a festival environment”
Electronic Groove: What inspired the concepts that encompass the AIM vision?
Francois Lebaron: AIM offers a non-pretentious vision of the festival industry. We propose an ultimate and intimate set design in a festival environment. Our marketing strategies will speak directly to our public with a direct-to-fan approach using new technologies, interactive concepts, ideas, and first class graphic design. Our mandate is to provide cutting-edge, established and emerging artists destined for the global market and to create artistic convergence. No fast-food music, no foam, no cake, no steam.
Electronic Groove: Festivals can be very physically taxing in terms of their duration. What are some tips you can provide festival goers to help them go the distance without running out of steam during the AIM experience?
Francois Lebaron: Drink a lot of water, sleep a little, eat a little and most important: come with people you like and if you come alone, be friendly and open minded to the music. Do some research about the artists you don’t know.
Electronic Groove: Thank you so much!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AIMElectronicMusicFestival/