Family Picnic this Sunday at Lunel Arenas: who is DJ Tom Pooks, the creator of this unique electro festival

Family Picnic this Sunday at Lunel Arenas: who is DJ Tom Pooks, the creator of this unique electro festival

The mega electro rendezvous created in 2012 by Christophe Gimenez, alias DJ Tom Pooks, arrives for the first time in the arenas of Lunel. With opening this week July 31st and weekend sets on Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th.

He hasn’t been on the show for a long time, but his flow of words and his attitude leave no doubt: Christophe Gimenez has the potatoes to fade the biggest parties in France. The man is really a regular rhythm. Even the rhythms. They techno planet and biteroise stratosphere.

Same vibe, same emotion

Born in Béziers in 1975, the one who thirty-seven years later would create the Family Piknik festival – which arrives at the arenas of Lunel this Sunday July 31 and Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7 – did not think that his first love electro, mixed with 60 and 90 minute tapes, he would end up behind the decks.

Right after he got his first big slap. “It was in Spain during a rave that took place in Rachdingu”confides the artist who is amazed by the mythical disco located not far from the French border, near Figueres, decorated by a student of Salvador Dali who often came there with his acquaintances known as Surrealists.

Surrealist is a term that Christophe Gimenez could have used when he discovered the world of techno. “What took me and marked me the mosthe said, his look almost still moved and amazed, from that came the spirit of community. Regardless of age, background, social-professional background… We were all there with one purpose: to have fun with the same vibe and the same emotions!”

At the age of 17, Christophe Gimenez has no doubts: the music he heard is what he wants to do! Under the name Tom Pooks, he mixes and exercises his talents as a DJ, he who just saw Carl Cox perform in the city of Nîmes, “this big black gentleman whose name he doesn’t even know”.

The accident that changed everything

For several years, DJ Tom Pooks worked to find his essence, his signature, until he made his first residency at the avant-garde club Le Club House. The years go by one after the other, the journeys of his notoriety as well. Germany, United States of America, England, Spain, Switzerland… “I’ve mixed from the depths of Argentina to the very edge of Russia and released more than seventy-eight vinyls”recalls the artist in his forties, with a note of nostalgia in his voice.

Everything is legitimate when you know that this life of dreams and ravings has ended overnight. “I was coming back from a tour of Canada in 2009. I was in Cap d’Agde and I was mowed down by a truck on my motorcycle”says Christophe Gimenez, who owes his life to a traveling doctor who gave him a pressure point at the very spot where the machine’s brake punctured the femoral artery.

Fourteen months of bed rest, operations, depression follow. And the end of his career. “In the electronic world, everything goes very fast. You go from vinyl records to MP3 format in the blink of an eye. There are those who adapt and those who remain on the sidelinesadmits. With my long recovery, I couldn’t keep up. It’s like the “DJ” box has been removed from my brain…”

Despite this blackout, Christophe Gimenez wants to “get back into the game”. He owes his inspiration, his comeback, to his friend Mike Spirit, the artistic director of the famous Ukrainian music festival KaZantip.

Unique original format

With his support, Biterrois set out to create his own: it would be the Family Picnic, whose first edition in 2012 took over the Parc de la Peyrière in Saint-Jean-de-Védas. The rest, we know. Hundreds of famous DJs from all over the world, thousands of families, a party, a mix of generations and origins in such a special atmosphere that makes this electro festival an original and unique event. “To this day, it is still the only one that takes place in this format and during the day”.

With 23,000 “picnicers” in their prime, the formula works well. And if the city of Montpellier, after hosting for years in Grammont, decided to give up the musical event after several disagreements with the organizers, the elected officials of Lunel saw the opportunity and benefit of such an event in the city of Pescalune and its flaming arena.

This Sunday, July 31, from 11am, hundreds more will come as a family to listen to the best DJs of the moment, from around the world or locally. Among them… a certain DJ Tom Pooks.

A happy coincidence and dozens of DJs in San Juan

He is disappointed that Christophe Gimenez finds his friend Benjamin Soubeiran (DJ Benji Ben) in a cafe in Lunel. He has just learned that the Piknik family will no longer be produced in Montpellier. We are in February 2022. All performers have been booked since October.

The road seems to be a dead end. Not counting on the intervention of his DJ friend who tells him about the arenas in San Juan. “I would never have suspected such a structure and such a scale here”, recalls DJ Tom Pooks. At the same time, Benjamin Soubeiran’s relative, better known as Stéphane Dalle, 1st Deputy Mayor, entered the establishment. “Benji told him who I was and what I was doing. He immediately said ‘Banco!'”

We know the rest… This Sunday, July 31, families and fans of electrical engineering will find, as headliners, Nora de Pure, Hernan Cattane, Nick Warren, Colyn, Denis Horvat. On Saturday, August 6 and 7, other big names in techno with the arrival of Charlotte de Witte, Guy Gerber, Maceo Plex, Richie Hawtin or Whomadewho…

Information and prices on the website www.familypiknikfestival.com

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