A statue of Brian Johnson for the new AC/DC Esplanade in Namur
On 29 June 1980, the famous rock band AC/DC arrived at the Palais des Expositions in Namur to play their first concert with their new singer Brian Johnson, replacing the late Bon Scott. This concert is also the first show of the Back in Black world tour, named after the best-selling rock album in the world to date! It was also on this memorable night that AC/DC played no less than 7 songs from this record live for the first time. In January 2020, a trio of fans decided to meet the mayor of the city of Namur, Maxime Prévot, to tell him about this mythical concert, which is mentioned in all the band's biographies, and to ask him to possibly name a public roadway after the singer or the band for the 40th anniversary of this historic event. Unfortunately, the Covid crisis has delayed this magnificent project somewhat. But finally, on 29 June 2021, exactly 41 years later, the Namur city council voted unanimously to name the hemicycle-shaped square in front of the Palais des Expositions de Namur (now Namur Expo) Esplanade AC/DC. https://www.rtbf.be/article/lesplanade-acdc-voit-enfin-le-jour-a-namur-10789845 Today, Georges, Mike and Michel, the three AC/DC fans who initiated the project, have decided to create a non-profit association "Les Amis de l'Esplanade AC/DC". In agreement with the city, this association will promote this place beyond the borders, hoping to see AC/DC fans from all over the world. The association is also currently working on the opening of the esplanade for the Autumn-Winter of 2022. Contacts have already been made with the band's management. Supported since the beginning of the project by the national radio RTBF Classic 21 (radio specialising in rock, very popular in Belgium but also in the north of France) and more particularly its editorial director Etienne Dombret, the association would like to launch its first challenge to all fans of AC/DC and Brian Johnson! Launch a crowdfunding to finance the size of a statue of the band's singer and erect it on the famous esplanade in preparation for its inauguration! This will start at the beginning of June and will symbolically end on 29 June 2022! *This image is a simulation and may differ from the final project The team of the association "Les amis de l'Esplanade AC/DC" Georges Boussingault Born on 11th January 1968. His mother is from Brussels and his father from Dinant. He has two children and lives in Waterloo. A graduate of the Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprètes (ISTI) and HEC Saint-Louis, he was for 15 years director of the translation company Locordia S.A. and is currently manager of the language technology consultancy My Translation Manager S.P.R.L. . A car and motorbike enthusiast, he regularly participates in rally-raids. A great fan of music and rock in particular, Georges attends many concerts every year. He has been an absolute fan of AC/DC since his first concert at the Jazz Bilzen Festival on 17 August 1979. He has had the chance to meet the musicians of the band on many occasions and has seen them live probably more than 80 times since 1979. Georges is the initiator of the project and one of the founders of the association Mike Davister Born on 14 May 1968 in Namur. Mike has three children and has always lived in the Namur region, currently in Gesves. He works as a logistic manager at the S.R.J de Clairval in Suarlée. Mike discovered AC/DC's music in 1980 thanks to his older brother and saw them for the first time on stage in 1986 at Forest-National in Brussels. Since then, he has never stopped following the band in Belgium and Europe! Mike is also passionate about motorbikes and old cars, which he does not hesitate to restore himself. He is also a great collector of everything related to the Renault 12. Mike is the initiator of the project and one of the founders of the association. Michel REMY Born on 28 March 1967, Michel is of Brussels origin and lives in the Gembloux region with his wife and two children. He is a commercial representative in the catering sector for a large part of Wallonia. He discovered the music of AC/DC in 1980 and attended his first concert in Brussels in 1981. Since then, it has become his passion and he follows them, whenever he can, on their various tours around the world (Europe, Japan, USA, Canada, ...). In 1988, he went on stage with the band as an extra on the opening song of the Brussels concert. Michel also had the opportunity to participate in the shooting of several video clips, to attend rehearsals before the start of their tour and even to spend a day in the studio during the recording of the album Stiff Upper Lip in 1999 in Vancouver, Canada. With more than 150 concerts under his belt, he was able to build a relationship with the band and its entourage, and in particular with its singer Brian Johnson. In 2016, he had the chance and the privilege to spend several days with him on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit where Brian Johnson was participating in some car races, his other passion. Michel is at the initiative of the project and one of the founders of the association. Michel Degueldre Born on 8 February 1955, Michel is of Liège origin but has lived in Namur for a long time. He has been active for 10 years in the field of concerts and festivals. It all started with voluntary work in the field of culture, and then he became involved in the organisation of events in the field of contemporary music. To date, Michel has programmed +/- 400 artists and organised +/- 200 concerts and festivals in the region of Namur and surroundings (including a Phil Rudd concert and a festival with Chris Slade as a headliner), ranging from small club venues to large cultural centres. In addition to his activities in the field of current music, he is also a director in two associations active in the field of theatre and classical music. AC/DC has always been one of his favourite bands and it is for this reason that he chose to invest himself in activities linked to the promotion and representation of the band in Belgium, including being active in the association that promotes the AC/DC esplanade in Namur. Michel is one of the founders of this association. The collector's items of the Esplanade AC/DC The Patch (1 inch = 2,4cm) The car plate Holder (for most European plates) Double-sided large format poster 70x100cm (1 inch = 2,4cm) On the front, reproduction of the concertposter of the Namur 29/06/1980, Brian Johnson's first concert. On the back, the poster of the Esplanade AC/DC with Angus Young as Namur'Echasseur The V.I.P. pack Esplanade AC/DC You are right, in addition to reducing the delivery costs you will receive all the goodies available + a 2nd free double-sided poster. Your pack includes : The laser cutting of your name (see FAQ) + The patch + The car plate holder + 2 double-sided posters! The laser cutting of your name in one of the Corten steel plates surrounding the base of the statue. An eternal memory of your participation in the creation of this work of art. *Simulation of different name sizes to estimate the number of fans who can expect to leave a mark in the steel! (result: at least 500 people)
After raising sufficient funds for the project, the first step will be to create a 3D file. A person of the same build as the singer will have to go through a bodyscan equipped with a few hundred cameras. On the basis of the first file obtained, we will have to make several adaptations of the face modelling based on the existing photos of Brian Johnson dating from the 1980s. For this work we will call upon the Swiss company Minimoi.ch and its Belgian branch specialising in this type of work. https://minimoi.ch/galerie/ For reasons of budget (difficult to estimate the amount that will be collected), fragility and protection against vandalism we will opt for a standing bust rather than a whole body. As metal theft is becoming more and more widespread, we will opt for real Belgian Blue Stone (a type of grey marble) rather than a bronze work. In this case too, we have already been in contact with the company Design Stone from Libramont. This company has many yeulds for the cat statues in Philippe Geluck's exhibition, which Parisians will be able to see in 2021 on the Champs Elysées. (https://www.facebook.com/designstone/videos/377775823466512) A block of top-quality Belgian Blue Stone will be chosen and the robot will mill the statue, controlled by the 3D program creatars of experience in the field of stone and statue cutting. They also have a state-of-the-art robot that can cut pieces up to 3.50 m high. This company was chosen to make the moed by the company minimoi. Once the milling is complete, several weeks of manual work (chiselling and light polishing) will begin to give finesse to the bust and also to create the different contrasts and shades of grey. Here is an example of the finish obtained on the Belgian Blue Stone...a simply fabulous job! Once cut, the base of this bust of Brian Johnson will be covered with 4 Corten steel plates. The first one, on the front side, to remind the 1980 event. The two side and back plates will be laser-cut with the names of the first 500 generous donors of 45€. The work of art will then be offered to the City of Namur in the name of the AC/DC fan community. The City will then undertake the work to install the statue on the AC/DC Esplanade for the D-day. The love for the band is so strong that we have no doubt that we will achieve our goal and even surpass it. As the association has filed its statutes with the Namur company court, you can make your donations with peace of mind. You will always have the certainty that every euro donated to the association through this crowdfunding will be invested in the creation, placement and development of the surroundings of the statue. At the end of the crowdfunding, if the sum exceeds our expectations, the surplus will be invested in urban furniture to embellish the Esplanade (benches, flower boxes, bins, etc.). . Thank you already for your support! Michel D., Georges, Mike & Michel R.