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Interview

Sunset Monaco: music festival meets Grand Prix

sunset casa sunset festival de musique
The Sunset is said to be the place to be at the iconic Grand Prix, where art and music have top billing ┬ę Sunset Monaco

Sunset is back in the Principality for three days of partying, Friday through Sunday, during the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix. New outdoor spaces, artists, works and vibesÔÇŽ Thomas Peeters and C├ędric Houdrouge, the event’s creators, told us about this year’s edition.

The Sunset will be at the M├ęridien Beach Plaza’s famous beach from May 24 to 26, from noon to midnight (or even later for the more hardened party-goers). It’s been an annual get-together for Monegasques and the international jet-set since 2013, with as comprehensive a music festival as possible, featuring musical styles and vibes to suit all tastes.

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“We each have our own styles, influences, tastes, through festivals, travel and the people we meet. Every year, we try to have a selection of famous DJs, as well as lesser-known artists who will bring something original to the Sunset, and locals, who are a large part of our line-up. Also, we will have a whole choreographic aspect with extraordinary performances involving dancers and light shows,” says C├ędric.

From electro to deep house, disco and other international musical influences, the Sunset’s musical programme promises to be bold, with big names and emerging artists.

This year, the main DJs are Luciano, Andhim, Carlita and Pabels ┬ę Sunset Monaco┬á

Casa Sunset, the big new feature

It’s back to their roots for the two entrepreneurs, with the creation of Casa Sunset, a festive Mexican restaurant, not far from the main stage. Open until 3 am with a second music stage, the restaurant will be accessible from the Sunset but will also be open to the public, who will have the option of buying a ticket for the festival, subject to availability.

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“Unlike Sunset, the new venue is open to the public, a way of getting back to our original concept and our wish to organise a “no entry fee festival”. And on the flavour front, we will be working with the Mexican chef Paola Segura and Yoni Gurman, who run a Mexican restaurant in Nice. They will be putting together a special Grand Prix menu, with Mexican fusion cuisine,” ┬ásays Thomas.

Casa Sunset is taking over the Muse Monte-Carlo restaurant for the weekend ┬ę Sunset Monaco
┬ę Sunset Monaco
┬ę Sunset Monaco
┬ę Sunset Monaco

A chill-out area on the beach

Thomas and C├ędric have got the whole relaxation side worked out. The beach area has been revamped to make way for La Petite Plage, a unique and cosy corner to sit and enjoy the Sunset music in the background.

“La Petite Plage is a lounge with a Moroccan atmosphere. Guests will be able to move around between La Petite Plage, Casa Sunset and the Sunset. If I put myself in a customer’s shoes, I’d say that the music, the artistic side, and the fact that I can easily meet up with my friends outdoors, set this apart,” says Thomas.

Works by Orlinski to top it all off

The team behind Richard Orlinski, the best-selling French contemporary artist in the world, wanted to work with the Sunset for this 11th edition, as a way of taking art out of the galleries. Four works, including an original creation in a Monegasque ‘beach party’ style, will be displayed on the M├ęridien Beach Plaza’s beach over the three days.

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“Richard’s manager, Shana, is from Monaco. She suggested the partnership. The works are massive, 2 to 3 metres high. As it happens, Richard is at the Cannes Film Festival so he wil take the opportunity to come to the Grand Prix. He will also be bringing several friends along, like Tony Parker who will also be holding a ‘meet and greet’ session with the Sunsetters on Friday,” says Thomas.

Richard Orlinski ┬ę Sunset Monaco

From a private party to a festival

Starting out with a private party with friends in Nice, childhood chums Thomas Peeters and C├ędric Houdrouge got carried away by their shared love of music. 30 guests quickly grew to 300, before ‘going pro’ with their big Grand Prix event and launching the Sunset in Monaco.

“We’re proud of the Sunset. What’s great is our story. It all started in a garden in the Nice hills, with a speaker and 15 friends. Today it’s a three-day music festival with our favourite artists, something we never thought possible in the Principality. We still have plenty of projects and I hope that the adventure will continue for years to come,” says C├ędric.

Thomas adds, “We do this because we love the excitement and adrenaline that surrounds the event. There’s a good, healthy feel to it. We want to maintain the essentials and the basic principles – itÔÇÖs a party for Monegasque friends. They will always take priority, and I think we have a fair pricing policy for a Grand-Prix weekend. As for the artists, we really go all out.”

Thomas Peeters and C├ędric Houdrouge, the founders of the Sunset festival ┬ę Sunset Monaco┬á
┬ę Sunset Monaco

Practical information:

  • Where: M├ęridien Beach Plaza, 22 avenue Princesse Grace, Monaco.
  • When: May 24 to 26, from noon to midnight
  • The Sunset is accessible by tender/ Shuttles are available on reservation
  • Entrance ticket required / It is best to book your table ahead of time