North America / USA / New York
The biggest festival in Europe reaches its twenty-sixth edition and its founder told us how this journey began. International Salsa Magazine met with Eric Duffau and was able to talk about the beginning of the festival and the history behind the event that houses more than 60,000 people each year.
Tempo Latino Festival is “The only one”. For 25 years has kept its artistic approach in the heart and around Afro-Cuban and Latin Music. Its region, “Occitanie”, in the department of Gers, opens up internationally by supporting the cultural adventure. A beautiful project built south pride and prize of risks to produce all these artists.
Eric Duffau is a music lover in all its splendour. He arrived in Paris in 1982, from his small village Vic-Fezensac to devote himself to the formal study of music. He studied classical music, medieval music, jazz, and at the same time, he met Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, Salsa and Latin Jazz. With his formal apprenticeships, he met the Temp, and with his learning in the streets of Paris, he met a range of Latin rhythms that were combined divinely to form what we nowadays know as Tempo Latino.
With this idea, he put together a 6-page project and in 1993 he returned to his village to seek the support of all those who wanted to collaborate. This is how in 1994 the first edition of the festival was held with 100 volunteers, becoming known among journalists, the public in France, Europe and the world.
The first edition was attended by 3,500 people with paid entrance, over the years the capacity of this arena up to 7,000 people paying every day, plus those who attend the other locations throughout Vic-Fizensac. Today, more than 60,000 travel to this small village to dance for 4 days in every corner.
To Vic-Fezensac, that has 3,700 habitants, is preparing itself during the whole year to welcome to a mixed race public and traveler, essential artists or to discover, proposing a festival under the heat of the end of July where everyone will have the freedom to go to the meeting of rhythms, people, flavors and other shared pleasures.
The Tempo Latino’s team is a well-oiled team that leads several projects of front and in which everyone knows what to do. All members of this team are passionate and possess very strong skills and a spirit of solidarity mark.
To pay attention to every detail the festival count with:
7 members of the board | 2 employees
500 volunteers | 22 commissions
2 months of editing before festival
From this year, Mr. Jean-François Labit, will replace Mr. Eric Duffau as president of the Festival.
Some of the great figures in the world of Latin music who have passed through Arènes Joseph Fourniol in 15 avenue Edmond Berges, 32190 Vic-Fezensac are:
Israel López “Cachao”
Ernesto «Tito» Puente
Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz
And hundreds more in 26 years…
Where is Vic-Fezensac?
Vic in Fesensac in Occitan, is a town and commune in France, located in the Midi-Pyrénées region, department of Gers, in the district of Auch and canton of Vic-Fezensac. Is one of the last towns in France which still showcases bullfighting. The main feria takes place over the Pentecost weekend. On this occasion, tens of thousands of people gather all night long over the weekend in the tiny streets of the city. It is the first big “feria” of the year in Southwestern France. Small bodegas crowded with people are open until the morning comes, “bands” (bands of popular Basque or Gascon music) goes on the streets.
At the end of July, the Tempo Latino salsa festival takes place. Night markets (“Marchés de Nuit”) are also held in summer.
If you are in USA and want to go to the biggest Salsa Festival, you can fly with some cheap options that International Salsa Magazine finds for you:
San Francisco – Paris
$500 round trip
New York – Nice
$1065 round trip in Business Class
Find them everywhere: