Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Taratata on France 2
There's been another blow to music in France with TV station France 2 annoucing that the long-running music show Taratata is coming to an end.
The show's been running for 20 years, originally on France 4 then France 2, and it's been a showcase for some of the finest French acts, as well as international acts wanting to make an impression on the French public.
As an admirer of French music, but who is outside France, I found Taratata's website invaluable, for both introducing me to artists I may not have heard before, and for showing me artists that I was familiar with in a different context.
The show had the highest production values, and an appearance on the show would no doubt make a huge difference to the career of any band in France.
But TV programmes are not beyond the reach of the uncertainties of the economy , but when costs have to be cut, a programme like this seems the wrong victim.
I know that the costs of such a production will be high. Quality TV is never cheap, but the long-term benefits of a programme like Taratata must surely outweigh shuch short-term cost cutting thinking.
How many bands have benefitted from sales after an appearance on the show? Plenty I'm sure. A show like this benefits everyone.
Times are tough for everyone, the music industry more than many, and the removal of a high-profile shows pushes music further into the margins of an already crowded cultural scene.
Record labels are already less willing to take risks on acts, and a once-flourishing scene continues a gradual and seemingly terminal decline.
Music is a cornerstone of culture, and keeping culture in the public eye must surely be central to France 2's philosophy.
I'd certainly hope someone with the power to reverse the decision sees things like that as well.
Radio station 6 Music in the UK was reprived after an campaign by both audience and artists. Fingers crossed something similar might happen here.
Meanwhile, music show Chabada is to end its run on France 3, and CD Aujourd'hui is also finishing.
A petition to keep Taratata on France 2 has been launched, and it can be found at this page