TOTALLY WORTH IT.
The french have this amazing concept called Fête de la Musique. See, once a year, all citizens are rewarded grandly for their compliance with 2am noise-reduction rules. On the shortest night of the year, June 21, France residents can go wild with music and merry-making till the cows (or, apparently, the CRS) come home.
Here in Nice, I was told to expect live bands in the streets, with a new musical genre delighting my ears every couple blocks. I wasn't disappointed.
As we wandered happily through the cobblestone old city, pulses of mambo, rock and even frenchies karaoke-singing 70's english songs aggressively invaded my personal space. Awesome.
At 11pm, the night was still clear and warm, with a refreshing breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean. We had read in the Nice Metro news that a big party au Port would be happening. House, with DJs named Vendetta and Garraud. I like house. Or, as they say here, de la Haouse.
Turning the corner at the end of the Promenade des Anglais, a violet, glowing structure rose into view amidst the thick mass of exuberant teens, adults, even parents with 4-year-old children. Hello huge smile as I recognized the rave-like music that entranced my adolescence. Atop the purple-lit scaffolding flashed giant screens, strobing to the music. I could feel the bass pumping.
Joachim Garraud is my new hero. As soon as he hit the turntables, I swear my arms started flailing of their own accord, body grooving to the most amazing house music I've ever heard.
Amazingly enough, his t-shirt also finally shed light upon a mysterious mosaic I'd uncovered with Igor and John at the lighthouse more than one year ago:
The thousands of people at the Port agreed with the magnificence of the music. It was what we call "une bonne ambiance".
- This wasn't: a night club with bar stars holding tiny martini glasses and barely head-nod dancing.
- This wasn't: a exstacy-driven rave with admittedly loving people but swathed in illegalness.
- This WAS: good high-tech-fashioned fun with happy people of all ages, celebrating beautiful music under the bright moon, for FREE.