Montpellier 2028 qualified for the second round! !

We are extremely proud that the bid by Montpellier-Sète to become European Capital of Culture has been selected for the second round, as one of four finalists alongside Bourges, Clermont-Ferrand et Rouen. This is magnificent recognition for the work accomplished by the association’s team and all the local authorities involved in this project (Region, Department, City of Montpellier, Metropolis of Montpellier, Ville de Sète and Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée and their partners, representing 142 municipalities in the Hérault). It reflects the dynamic initiated throughout our territory, which has led to an unprecedented number of actors working together, with impact on national and European levels.

The artistic direction presented around the pillars CONNECT, ACT and CELEBRATE and the transversal theme on the issues of water and change were markers for our project, duly validated by the jury.

Montpellier 2028 has made the question of ‘connection’ the epicentre of its artistic strategy, through three components: connection between space and territory; between time and the future; and between each of us. The artistic and cultural projects put forward in the bid and the prospects for urban transformation related to the title of European capital are our strengths, enhanced by the unity and coherence of a delegation which represents the bid’s objectives of working towards a peaceful, equal, young, urban and rural, artistic, international and innovative territory.

From this evening, a new phase begins. All the forces of Montpellier and its partners will be able to accelerate the dynamic initiated and empower our cultural, political, economic and social actors and more widely the inhabitants of the territory to work ever more closely together. We aim to show Europe that the best of Cities is the one that federates the most widely, the one that has all the assets to promote this continent and that knows that it must, through this bid, invent the culture of tomorrow and new connections between all audiences. A new, even more extensive bid will be submitted in November.

This second round is the first act towards a successful challenge.

Michaël Delafosse: “Montpellier continues to attract attention, full of talent, strong in its convictions, determined to defend culture and Europe. When all the players are united around the same dynamic, Montpellier succeeds. This announcement testifies to the strength of a collective and the power of the imagination to invent a city and a territory that are creative and respectful of their environment. It shows the perspectives offered to a community created around the European values of freedom, tolerance and free movement of goods and people. We will continue to defend culture with our partners on the road to victory.”

Grand oral of M28 delegation

On Wednesday, March 1, Montpellier 2028 deputation presented its bid to a European jury. The bid invites us to cultivate a human gesture, that of the imagination, which we want to share.

“Sharing our imaginations” is the meaning of our approach.

Montpellier 2028 and its partners have made the question of the link the epicentre of their artistic reflection, by questioning its three components: the connection to space and territory, the connection to time and the future, and finally the connection to the other. Thank you to all those who contributed to the adventure!

On Friday 3 March, the jury will reveal the names of the pre-selected cities.

Montpellier 2028 European Capital of Culture delegation

Adèle Charvet
Lyrical artist, President of the M28 association

Michaël Delafosse
Mayor of Montpellier,
President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole

François Commeinhes
Mayor of Sète President of Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée

Claire Fita
Vice President of the M28 association,
Vice-President of the Occitanie Region in charge of culture

Nicolas Dubourg
Directeur artistique M28
Directeur du Théâtre en université, La Vignette

Sophie Léron
M28 Strategic Director

Salia Sanou
Choreographer with the Mouvements Perpétuels company,
Director of La Termitière (Burkina Faso)

Toma de Matteis
Deputy Director of France Télévisions, Head of Drama

Chrystelle Montigny
University Professor,
Director of Water Science and Technology, Polytech Montpellier

Elise Armentier
Co-director of the rural cultural centre Bouillon Cube / La Grange

Winning projects 2023

The 35 winners met at the Hotel d’Aurès on 23 February to share their projects and their wonderful energy! From strength to strength in 2023!

This new Call for Projects aims to enrich creation and dissemination as well as to support artistic, cultural and heritage actions that are in line with the bid’s ambition. The proposals should reflect the issues at stake, its concepts (CONNECT, ACT, CELEBRATE) and its artistic directions (Water that connects us, Serial Futures, Trans?). This system is part of the co-construction process of the application undertaken throughout the territory, integrating all the artistic, cultural, educational, social and heritage sectors. Whatever their nature, the selected projects will take place throughout the bid area in 2023. The projects were selected by a jury composed of members of the Association and the Montpellier 2028 board.

The artistic project of M28 is based on a desire to build a project that favours horizontal relations between the different political, citizen and professional actors of our territory. For us, art and culture are powerful vectors of connection, meaning and desire to face the major issues of our time, climate change and democratic challenges. We have made the theme of connections and links the heart of our artistic strategy by imagining its three components: links between space and territory, between time and the future, and between each of us.

The bid area is growing in 2023!

For this new year, M28 has gained valuable new support for its bid, amplifying the territorial project which has been developed around the bid.

Firstly, within the Montpellier 2028 – European Capital of Culture Association itself, with the arrival of two new members: the Terre de Camargue and Lodévois et Larzac Communautés de Communes. In total, the bid territory now includes 173 communes. This dynamic should continue to expand in 2023.

In addition, other cities or cultural institutions in the Occitanie region continue to show their support for Montpellier 2028, such as the city of Carcassonne in the Aude department and the Pont du Gard site in the Gard department.

The bid has also been enriched by support from other institutional bodies, such as the CESER Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée (Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council), which unanimously adopted a support contribution for the Montpellier 2028 European Capital of Culture bid, entitled “Towards a Metropole of excellence in an exceptional Territory!”under the aegis of Jean-Louis Chauzy, President of CESER Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, and Gisèle Desmonts, President of the CESER Health-Culture-Sport-Social Cohesion Committee.

The Sète Agglo Méditerranée Development Council (CODEV Sète), in a letter from its President Bruno Arbouet, also confirmed the support of its 120 members for the application, considering that it will promote unity around the cultural policy of the Thau Basin, strengthen cultural synergies between Montpellier Metropole and Sète Agglomeration and, more widely, the influence of the territories that are carrying out this major project.

A special MHSC-OM football match for the European Capital of Culture

On Monday 2 January, the official date for the submission of applications from all French cities applying for the title of European Capital of Culture (ECC), Montpellier Hérault Sport Club team met Olympique de Marseille for a special match.

The last city to have obtained the ECC label met with the next contender at La Mosson stadium, a symbolic venue for the projects supported by Montpellier 2028.

In support of the M28 bid, the players of the Montpellier team wore an original jersey, flocked with the Montpellier 2028 logo.

Meeting of the founding patrons

On Monday 5 December 2022, Michaël DELAFOSSE, Mayor of the City of Montpellier and President of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, and Max PONSEILLÉ, CEO of the OC Santé Group, Treasurer of the Montpellier 28 Association and President of the College of Patrons, met with the founding patrons of the Montpellier 2028 bid and together signed the first patronage agreements.

The four founding patrons present were
– Nathalie BULCKAERT-GRÉGOIRE, Member of the Board of La Caisse d’Épargne Languedoc-Roussillon, representing La Caisse d’Épargne Languedoc-Roussillon;
– Bertin NAHUM, CEO of Quantum Surgical, who signed on his own behalf;
– Cyrill MEYNADIER, Director – OPALIA Immobilier et Urbanisme and Mr Luc POURRINET, Pedagogical Director of ArtFX represented the ARTFX Campus – Opalia partnership;
– Nicolas CEYSSON, Regional Director of COGEDIM and Pierre CABROL, Director of the PITCH agency in Montpellier, represented Altaréa (Altaréa being the parent company of Pitch and Cogedim, the two local directors of these developers signed).

These four sponsors represent four economic sectors of the territory: Med Vallée (Bertin Nahum), Cultural and Creative Industries (ArtFX), real estate development (Altaréa) and banking (Caisse d’Epargne). They each pledged 50,000 euros for 2022, i.e. a total of 200,000 euros of sponsorship.

These sponsors are thus committed to the adventure of the Montpellier 2028 bid and their precious support testifies to the importance of our approach for the region, which brings together 142 municipalities and mobilises all its vital forces (local authorities, associations, companies, etc.).

Launch of the Call for Projects 2023

As part of Montpellier’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2028, and building on the proposals and enthusiasm generated by the first Call for Projects, the “Montpellier 2028” Association is launching a second Call for Projects with a view to enriching the creation and dissemination of art and heritage in the region.

Connect / Act / Celebrate and Water that connects us / Serial Futures / Trans, the projects should reflect the artistic directions and concepts of the bid to prefigure what 2028 could look like.

→ Download the press release of the Call for Projects 2023
→ Access the Call for Projects 2023

Presentation evening for the bid in Paris

On Monday 17 October 2022, the presentation evening for Montpellier’s bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2028 was held at Fluctuart – a centre for urban arts.

In the presence of numerous personalities from the cultural world, Nicolas Dubourg, its Artistic Director, unveiled the three concepts: Connect / Act / Celebrate and the three artistic directions behind the bid: Water that connects us, Serial Futures, Trans?

To illustrate their richness and diversity, Christian Rizzo – choreographer and director of ICI-ICN Montpellier, Olivier Saccomano – author and co-director of the “Théâtre des 13 Vents”, Jacqueline Osty – landscape architect and Fanta Dramé – author, shared their experience and their vision through a series of interviews.

To show their full commitment, many elected representatives of the territory came to this beautiful Parisian evening… on water.

General Assembly and Board of Directors of the association

On Friday 14 October, the second General Assembly and Board of Directors meeting of the “Montpellier 2028” Association was held in Sète in the presence of all the founding members and representatives of the Montpellier 2028 Association.

During this meeting, the partner local authorities – Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, the city of Montpellier, the city of Sète, Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée, the Occitanie region, the Hérault department, the Communauté de Communes du Grand Pic Saint-Loup, the Communauté de Communes Vallée de l’Hérault, the Agglo Hérault Méditerranée and the Communauté de Communes Pays de Lunel – once again demonstrated their full support and commitment to the Montpellier 2028 bid.

The elected Board of Directors represents the vital forces of the region: local authorities, associate members from the economic, educational and cultural sectors, and representatives of the colleges that will actively participate in the association’s activities.
A great mobilisation for Montpellier 2028

Presentation of the bid to the European authorities in Brussels

On 26 and 27 September 2022, thanks to support from Occitanie Europe, a delegation made up of Michael Delafosse and Agnès Robin for the city of Montpellier, Claire Fita representing the Occitanie region, François Commeinhes for the city of Sète and Zita Chevil-Sandin for the department of Hérault, the Montpellier 2028 team travelled to Brussels to present Montpellier’s bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028 to the European authorities.

On this occasion, they had the opportunity to exchange views with Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Jean Paul Buffat, Head of Cabinet, European Committee of the Regions, as well as Pauline Rouch, Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Éric Andrieu, Member of the European Parliament and Cyril Piquemal, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the EU.


A life in the city

An episode to discover of the fascinating series on all those who accompany this beautiful collective adventure