Surf, music & art festival, 10 - 14 July 2009

Next July, the Roxy Jam Biarritz will be celebrating its 4th birthday. In its magnificent setting at the Basque Coast, the event has become a major meeting-place in the world of women’s surfing, as well as being an authentic cultural and musical festival. Keeping faith with its principle of mixing surfing competition with art and music, the Roxy Jam Biarritz shares its summer quarters below the Villa Belza, from 10th to 14th July of this year, with an intense schedule of surfing, concerts, exhibitions and shows, all free of charge.

Surf

The world’s elite is coming to France to compete for the ASP Ladies’ Longboard World Championship. 32 professional women surfers, 16 of which have pre-qualified due to their 2008 classifications, specialists in noseriding from the four corners of the globe, will fight for the title of 2009 World Ladies’ Champion, in the Basque Country, in a new competition format with elimination from round 1 onwards. After the victory of the American, Schuyler McFerran, in 2006, that of her compatriot, Jennifer Smith, who reigned in 2007 and, finally, the surprise win by the Hawaiian, Joy Monahan, last year, the podium has been dominated by surfers from the United States…despite strong competition from Australia, Europe and Asia, which continues to progress and could even challenge the Yankee dominance from 2009 onwards.

Art

The Roxy Jam Biarritz is also an art exhibition and a place of artistic exchange that is open to the public; this year’s theme will be photography. Image artists, sharing a love of the ocean, surfing and its personalities, as well as its fragility and dangers, will offer summer visitors their unique view in exhibitions entitled:

“Underwater" by Jeff Hornbaker, an American photographer and loyal collaborator with Roxy, past-master in the art of capturing the magic of the ocean and its sirens. “Soul Surfers" by Takis Bibelas, (see illustration opposite) a surfer/photographer of Green extract, raised in Canada, who has contributed to several prestigious magazines (Vogue Hommes, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire Italie, GQ…) and who has fallen in love with the Basque Country…

“Le Cercle de l’Eau" by Lorène Carpentier, an exclusively photographic exhibition, centred on water, "a living element, perfection on Earth", the contemplation of which is food for the spirit. “Popurri" by the major names in surfing photography, such as Sylvain Cazenave, Eric Chauché or even the young collective Aquashot. “Portraits": a gallery of real individuals, interspersed with poetry by the now famous duo of Stéphanie Solinas (photographer) and Carole Bielicki (painter). “Polluant Pollué" by Florence Deyrou on a topic that is dear to the hearts of surfers and nature-lovers in general. All works on display are for sale, with 50% of the profits being ploughed back into the Quiksilver Foundation.

Alongside this exhibition, the public will be able to attend a number of fun and artistic workshops. These activities will invite the public to familiarise themselves with image and become players in the exhibition.

Music Since its creation, the Roxy Jam Biarritz has been faultless in its musical programming. The key to the event, the music is carefully and eclectically selected so that, each summer, there is an attractive set of young groups and female artists of international renown, with live shows organised all over Biarritz and throughout the event.

After Neneh Cherry and her group Cirkus, Cibelle and even The Organ in 2006, Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), Pravda, DJ Chloé et Jules-Edouard Moustic with his “I have a dream" radio for the musical show of the 2007 event and The Dø, Operator Please, Inrocks Steady Crew, Nadège Winter and My Brightest Diamond in 2008…… This year's Roxy Jam will feature the prodigious priestess of pop, Santi White, better known by her stage name: “Santigold". Santigold was the pop revelation of 2008 and is now one of the hottest artists around. The native New Yorker won unanimous acclaim for her debut album Santogold (Lizard King/Naïve), and is already working on the follow-up. For the warm up, spectators on the Port Vieux beach will get the chance to experience a live set by “Le Corps mince de Françoise", three excitable Finnish girls performing brilliant, synth-laden 80s retro pop with a big dose of chutzpah and a healthy sense of irony. The quirky trio have a style all of their own. One thing’s for sure, with the magic feel of the open air on the Port Vieux beach, rocking on the sands, we’re all set for a seriously groovy night. It all kicks off at 9pm on July 13th.

And also… The showing of the new surfing film, “Dear & Yonder", which magically retraces the history of ladies’ surfing and its charismatic figures: from the lamented Rell Sunn to the young and prodigious Sally Fitzgibbons, not forgetting Lisa Andersen, Linda Benson… The Roxy Jam Biarritz 2009 will end in a blaze of glory on 14th July, at the Grande Plage, with demonstrations of tandem, pirogue boats, a concert and the traditional and majestic firework display, held every year to commemorate Bastille Day.