Festival Diaries: Solidays Paris 2016. / by Alexandra Fox

Feeling like Pablo at Solidays 2016, with H-.

Feeling like Pablo at Solidays 2016, with H-.

So at the beginning of the month, H- and I bought Solidays one-day tickets: a big summer festival in Paris that raises money and awareness for HIV/ AIDs. I was on my festival hype, and I knew I would be in town for the weekend for Paris Men’s Fashion week, so I figured: why not?

Turns out, why not would be because Fashion Week is literally exhausting. After twelve straight hours on my feet, running around Paris and talking my way into shows, I headed to Hippodrome de Longchamp for, literally, a full night of standing, dancing, and partying.

Still, I can’t complain at all. Solidays was amazing.

I’ll admit - getting to the Hippodrome was extremely trying and I almost broke down once or twice. I was heading over pretty late after a day of fashion week events, and planned to find H- and co. once inside. I underestimated how long it would take me to get to the other side of Paris via public transport, and once I arrived, proceeded to walk 4 miles at least to the other side of the park, where the entrance was. 

But once I finally made it and found H-, all was forgotten. And forgiven. (Well, nearly —  I still had the “little” issue of my camera lens being broken, which would prevent me from taking any good pictures that night, and cost me $300 the next morning).

Flume's set was absolutely incredible, he was on stage for a solid hour, and brought out several guests including Tove Lo, who gave a live performance of their song 'Say It'. We were completely in the music the whole time, and it might be one of my favorite festival performances I've experienced. (Porter Robinson at Coachella 2015 is also a #1 contender).

We took a little break on the grass and visited the silent disco, listened to some M83, then made it back to the main stage for DJ Snake.

I already have pretty mixed feelings about DJ Snake - I've seen him live at festivals before and it's always been pretty uninspired. Somehow, though, he managed both to greatly outperform my expectations, while simultaneously pushing me to new heights of dislike for a musical artist.

The music was actually really good. One of the highlights was Bipolar Sunshine coming out to perform a really emotional take of 'Middle'. It was amazing. But before that, DJ Snake sent everyone over the edge trying to do - something- stopping the music several times to ask people to sit, or stand, or just talk onstage about whoknowswhat.

It was unbelievably asinine but pretty typical of him. Overall I can't be mad, because the music was really good, once he finally got to it. 

H- left after that with her ride home; but N- and I stayed pretty much to the end of the festival, listening to French DJs and musing over whether they actually brought the mounds and mounds of manure into the racetrack for the express purpose of this event. (For the life of me, I still don't understand just why this was necessary).

I'd say Solidays was smaller than I had imagined, given it's marketed as Paris' biggest festival of the year. But the performances were amazing. After being up for nearly 40 hours, I ended my day with N- at Place du Trocadero, watching the sun rise behind the Eiffel Tower.

- A