What you may ask is Lille 3000?
When Lille became the European Capital of Culture for 2004, the people and the council of Lille took it very seriously but they didn’t want it to be for one year only. A programme of culture was embarked upon and called Lille 3000.
Since 2004 the city has been the site of a huge and varied programme of cultural events and activities which transform it into a place of drama, art, theatre, cinema, music and exhibitions held each year but with emphasis every three years – 2012 being a year of enhanced programming. Hundreds and hundreds of events take place in the streets and in venues such as the old railway station at St Saveur which has been converted into a cultural centre with a cinema, pub, restaurant and spaces for exhibitions, concerts and markets; or Tri Postal – once a post office sorting facility it is now a place of performance, fashion, installations, festivals, clubbing and dining.
Lille 3000 2012 promises to be as stunning as previous year’s efforts have been with a programme costing just under €2m.
The events take place at various locations throughout Lille and much of it is available to the public for free.
The theme for 2012 is “Une Année Fantastique” – A Fantastic Year. The organisers of the event have put together a programme which they say will have people rubbing “their eyes upon turning a corner, opening the secret doors of the Tri Postal or the Gare Saint Sauveur, museums and maisons Folie. Visitors will be asked to develop a “heightened” sixth sense to discover parallel worlds, sometimes poetic, sometimes high-tech, where a walk in the Eurodistrict turns into a fantastical tale…”
Fantastic develops its theme in the centre of Lille and Lille Metropole, in public spaces as well as in various Lille 3000 venues such as Tri Postal and Gare Saint Sauveur. The venture requires collaboration with various cultural partners including the Palais des Beaux Arts, Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, Lille Opera, Lille National Orchestra, Théâtre du Nord, Prato, Grand Bleu, Musée Art Moderne, Fresnoy Musée de la Piscine, Tourcoing Musée des Beaux Arts, Rose des Vents Condition Publique, Maisons Folies and many more.
Events are scheduled to kick off with a grand parade on Saturday October 6 designed and orchestrated by Chicago artist Nick Cave, a well-known contemporary artist and rising star in the art world. Many more artists will descend on Lille, eccentric and crazy with the freedom to transform Lille into a place of fantastic skies, strange worlds, aliens, and surreal art. Expect to see flying saucers, huge sculptures and a wonderland when you walk onteh ceiling and drink your tea upside down created by artist Jean-François Fourtou and a thousand surprises.
Lille 3000 2012 promises to be exciting and imaginative. Details of some of the programmes and exhibitions can be found here in the Fantastic 2012 programme released ahead of full details.
To make the most of your time in Lille buy a City Pass which gives you entrance to many cultural destinations in Lille including the Lille Fine Arts Museum, City-Tour, Hospice Comtesse, guided visit of Old Lille, La Piscine Art and Industry Museum, Le Fresnoy – the birthplace of General de Gaulle and many other sites. It offers you free and unlimited access to lille 3000 venues, on public transport, as well as many shopping, free-time and restaurant deals! You can get full details from the Tourist office or online (see below).