Having spent the last two years attending Download, which I truly love as a festival, this year we decided to try some different festivals. We had already booked the Viva Las Vegas festival, then we saw the now doomed Alt-Fest which was supposed to run two weekends ago but got cancelled at short notice and is now plagued by rumours of financial fraud, it’s a shame it could have been an amazing alternative festival which to be frank this country is missing a good alternative festival but alas it looks like it will never be. I also spotted Rock En Seine which will cross off my ‘Go to a festival abroad’ off my adventure list, when I saw Portishead and Queens of the Stone Age were playing and I knew how I wanted to spend my birthday weekend.
So again I really have to learn about advance planning, we booked the festival tickets and decided to camp because I actually quite like camping but it turns out you can stay at hotels if you prefer mainly because the festival is located in Domain National de St Cloud on the edge of Paris, last stop on the metro line 10 and the festival ends each night before the metro closes for people to get home. Turns we could have crashed at my cousins flat, who lives five minutes away from the park and was also going but that’s what happens when you takes a Facebook sabbatical. We also left booking our Eurostar tickets a little late and ended up with less than cheap tickets but for an extra fiver each way we upgraded to premium which meant two course meal served at out seats, the meals were not worth it, ordering a gluten free meal apparently means you only eat meat and stewed fruit and no you can’t swap! But the huge seats and comfort alone were worth it.
We decided to head out on Thursday and spend a night in a hotel before heading down to the festival in Friday morning, just because we didn’t want to spend a day travelling, setting up camp and missing some of the festival. I have to say I was a little apprehensive going to a french festival and still not being able to speak very much french, any abysmal attempts at French at our stay in the city were just meant with English responses! But the festival is fine because of the high number of English visitors, most of the staff are multilingual. We stayed in the Midnight Hotel just a ten minutes walk from Gare du Nord (assuming you’re heading in the right direction unlike us) or five minutes from Gare Du L’Est station.
The hotel was to put it politely compact but very clean with friendly staff, perfect for an overnight stay.
On Friday we head off on the metro, the park is a ten minute walk from then metro station, the campsite however is a 40 minute trek uphill and quite a steep hill at that. I’m sure there’s an upside of a campsite being at the top of park but I’ll get back to you on the one! We also got passed by lots of smug runners along the way!
We missed Kitty, Daisy and Lewis but heard the last off their set on the walk down from the campsite, they weren’t on the original line up so think they must have been a replacement for Cage the Elephant!
We headed straight to the food court because trekking up hill with camping gear is calorie burning work.
Sounded quite good as we sat in the food court, I’ll be investigating there music further.
are an indie rock band worth checking out but I probably won’t be rushing out to buy their album.
Now I only saw Blondie a few months ago in a tiny crammed venue in Shepard’s Bush, today I was crammed in the middle of a field and it’s raining but who cares it’s Blondie. She was wearing some crazy dress and obviously enjoying herself a lot. They played loads of classics and a few new ones, definitely the highlight of Friday.
It seems that this year my camera is refusing to take decent pictures of Blondie, maybe it just can’t handle her awesomeness but here is a double rainbow that appeared during set after we got rained on for a bit.
However The Goth managed to get a decent picture on his camera!
|Photo by Tim Campbell|
I’ve heard of The Hives but never really listened to their stuff but as a live band they really are quite good, I really couldn’t name you any of there songs but I really enjoyed their set and will probably go and buy some of their albums now.
We were a bit tired and it kept raining so we skipped the rest of the night as I was flagging by this point, Die Antwoord sounded like a riot as we headed up the camp. I’m not a massive Artic Monkeys fan so wasn’t too bothered about missing their set.
The theme for the festival for this year was a space theme, there was a pimp your tent contest in the campsite which basically meant the local Franprix had excellent sales in tin foil this year.
|Imperial Guards by Cedric Delsaux|