Saturday, September 19, 2009

Technoparade Paris 2009

When was the last time you attended a parade where they handed out foam ear plugs?

I didn't know there was a parade today until I heard it from my apartment.

When I left for lunch, I discovered Blvd St Michel covered with masses of people rather than cars. I was told it was a TechnoParade. In 2007, it was attended by 500,000 people! They only do this once a year so I guess I got a little lucky.

According to the official website, the parade started at Denfert-Rochereau at noon and will end 4 miles north at the Bastille by 8p. That's only 4 miles but takes 8 hours.

View in a larger map

My apartment is just below the second marker from the bottom.

A technoparade is a caravan of flatbed trucks equipped with powerful sound systems and DJs playing techno music. They move very slowly, oftentimes stopping, and stay spaced a 100 yards or so apart so as not to overlap the music. They are also loaded with partygoers.

Unlike traditional parades, the "spectators" are also participants, following closely behind each truck, dancing, drinking, and otherwise acting really silly.

Instead of trying to describe this event in words, I think it is better to just give you selected pics and videos. Most of these were taken with my iPhone (before it died... maybe the sound waves damaged the hardware!) while standing on a cement road barrier on the side of the road. Click to enlarge. And turn up the speakers for the videos :)

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