Top tips from Parisian music festival Solidays

Article published on June 30, 2010
Article published on June 30, 2010

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

A few glimpses dedicated to the 168 000 public that attended Solidays – the second biggest music festival in France after les Vieilles Charrues – and without whom the festival would be just another line up of stars

2010's trend : hat and sunglasses

Portrait of the typical Parisien festival goer: a glass of beer (why start with that ?), the hat, the sunglasses, preferably Ray ban, and the check shirt of course.

Togged out like that you blend in with any group and can indifferently discuss Bother Ali’s hip-hop or Toots and the Maytail reggae, down kebabs in style and hide your red eyes at four in the morning under the influence of DJ Missil.

Sarkozy – Solidays: 0 – 1

You can’t get more anti-Sarkozy than Asterix and the vast majority of Solidays public. But the Asterix No Sarkozy Day T-shirt is far from inciting a wave of passion such as Italy displays against Berlusconi.

No matter. If even Asterix, the national identity emblem, takes it out on the French president, Solidays takes place in heavy weather in spite of the blazing sun.


Amongst the indispensable festival attendees campers stand out as the last word in revelry.

Be they ZEN (relaxed or lazy) or ZAP (extravagant or crazy) they end up inevitably filthy, flagged out but fulfilled.However, the fountain of energy doesn’t stand the wear and tear for long and only the bravest find enough courage to drag themselves to the final concert of M.

Best job in the world

 The job of handing out free chocolate or sugar doughnuts galore at the entrance is one of the high lights of the festival. Whilst admiring the courage, the patience, the disguises, one can sympathise, just a little, with the 800 unpaid volunteers from Solidarité Sida ('Aids solidarity'), and wonder if these charming youngsters do it all just for the love of doughnuts.

Warriors rest

There are hundreds of ways of taking a nap on the grass in the middle of thousands of people.

The best trick is the hat over the face: no one can hear you snore, you can be completely drunk and every one will think you’re having a quick snooze before the pogo on Java.

If you want to be honest, just ignore every one, sprawl out, flat on your back, but don’t be surprised if you wake up sunburnt.Bubble Blowers

During a concert, if you’re past dancing, the music is ear shattering and you’ve lost your friends, you can always fall back on soap bubbles. Great for making new friends and maybe even a few admirers (no one is fussy at this hour).

Try the tactic of the smoke bubble (only for smokers). Take a puff and then blow a bubble and watch the smoke bubble float up during an Archive concert.

Great stuff.

Images: main ©_yupa_/ Flickr; in-text: ©Emmanuel Haddad