July 25, 2021

At the Villette Sonique festival, 4,000 spectators rediscovered the pleasure of live music

The world’s first festival after. The 2021 edition of Villette Sonique was awarded the premiere of the summer season, and above all, of the post-Covid era, with a program unveiled in early May the day after the government’s announcements of progressive deconfinement. Free, the event took place on the weekend of May 29 and 30, on two ephemeral stages (Périphérique and Jardin des îles) set up on the vast lawns of Parc de la Villette. These open-air places have enabled the organization to quickly adapt to health constraints: outdoor concerts, reduced gauge, respect for barrier gestures with an audience seated in defined areas (no more than six people in each circle). And of course, wearing a mask is compulsory.

Read also: In Paris, 5,000 people vibrate to the rhythms of Indochina to establish a health protocol … and for pleasure

As registrations were made online only, all concerts were sold out barely an hour after the ticket office went online. In total, 4,000 privileged people took advantage over two days of a poster renowned for its pioneering sensitivity, highlighting the emerging rock scene, electro, R’n’B and hip-hop.

With the arrival of sunny days, the park in the North-East of Paris remains very busy on weekends, and this Sunday, May 30 is no exception. Among the strollers, many curious uninvited guests flock to the other side of the gates in the hope of listening to some of the sixteen scheduled artists. From 2 p.m., the sassy pop of Bonnie Banane and Lucie Antunes, or the multidisciplinary collective Quinzequinze resonate from the Peripheral stage, the most remote of the park.

Seated audience

Around 5 p.m., in front of the Jardin des Iles, a queue begins to emerge half an hour before the start of hostilities. Inside, the wooded area offers a choice background thanks to the spectacular Géode. The atmosphere is very relaxed on the lawn, towels are spread out, a refreshment bar located in the background allows you to cool off. Some groups could almost seem like they were having a picnic, if circles weren’t drawn around them. Volunteers are there to remind a few distracted spectators of the rules of distancing, but no tension is palpable. Nothing could spoil this sunny Sunday.

What could be more appropriate on this clement day than to honor the sunshine pop, sixties movement reincarnated here by Maxwell Farrington & The SuperHomard. Their first album released just a month ago and acclaimed everywhere is the cantor of a certain pop elegance orchestrated under the aegis of Lee Hazlewood and The Divine Comedy. Present without a string section, in quintet mode (keyboard, folk guitar, bass, drums), the group unfolds its shimmering pop melodies (Light & Seasons, Free Again), the superb baritone voice of Australian Maxwell Farrington taking charge of capturing the audience. This mustache crooner with a dreamy gaze allows himself a few solo dance steps, under the complicity of multi-instrumentalist Christophe Vaillant, alias “Le SuperHomard”, allure mods and false air of Paul Weller. One could not hope for a more chic soundtrack in this idyllic setting.

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