Techno, heritage, concerts and politics mean fun-packed French weekend
No sooner back from their summer holidays than the French are partying again! Whether you want to rock with the reds, discover hidden history, grow flesh-eating plants or slap a firefighter on the back, this weekend has something for you.
The weekend 16-17 September sees a flurry of cultural activity all over France. Among the events are:
- Les journées du patrimoine – started in France in 1984 and now a Europe-wide event, the heritage days see 1,469 buildings in the Paris region and thousands more in the rest of the country invite the public into the dark recesses usually closed to the public; visitors can take a peak at the Paris police headquarters, visit a Marseille soap factory or help light a giant lightbulb by cycling.
- La fête de l’Humanité – US folksinger Joan Baez tops the bill at the Communist
Party’s annual festival, which mixes music, food and politics as it has done since 1930; also appearing singers Souad Massi, Avril Lavigne and ex-tennis star Yannick Noah, plus TV star Yvan le Bolloc’h.
- Techno Parade – is due to make a lot of noise on Paris’s streets on Saturday; this 13th year’s theme is “Indépen’ danse”, techno king Bob Sinclar is “godfather”, 300,000 are expected to attend.
- Paris firefighters’ 200th anniversary – the Paris fire brigade celebrates its establishment by Napoleon Bonaparte on 18 September 1811; technically part of the army, the sapeurs-pompiers were set up after hundreds of lives were lost in a fire at the wedding of the emperor of Austria, convincing the emperor that military discipline was needed to fight the flames.
- La Fête du jardinier amateur – the Paris suburb of Thiais invites amateur gardeners to find out about the care and maintenance of carnivorous plants in a festival which first blossomed in 1977 and has since become a key date in the diaries of those who enjoy getting soil under their fingernails.
And coming soon:
Les nuits blanches – another French invention that has gone Europewide; insomniac art-lovers roam the streets on the night of 1-2 October.