In Rennes, the Fête de la Musique attracts crowds after the storm

In Rennes, the Fête de la Musique attracts crowds after the storm

Musicians, restaurateurs and festival-goers are not the only ones to have made an appointment with the Fête de la Musique this Tuesday, June 21 in Rennes: thunderstorms were part of the Breton capital. Is fate bent on music lovers? The event celebrates its fortieth birthday this year, after two years of cancellation due to the covid-19 pandemic, and promised a comeback with 16 stages throughout the city. Fortunately, the situation improved in the early evening.

Place Saint-Germain in Rennes offers its first music festival on Tuesday June 21, before the arrival of the storms. | WEST FRANCE

Read also: Music Festival in Rennes. 16 stages, 24 bars and over 100 bands

6:30 p.m. Place Saint-Germain inaugurates its first Music Festival, after years of work. Three of the bars on the esplanade have thus organized themselves to offer an electronic, dance and groove music scene. If at 6:30 p.m., a good dozen people are already in a hurry, the children make up the bulk of the crowd, all busy playing tag or with the water jets in the square. The HEXA-D and MTBSS duo is behind the turntables, installed in a cabin with a summer atmosphere.

Fête de la musique 2022, in the city center of Rennes, despite the rain, spectators came to enjoy the concerts. | MATHIEU PATTIER / WEST FRANCE

“I want to enjoy, even if I get wet”

Among the precocious amateurs, Julien sips a beer in rhythm. “I want to enjoy, even if I get wet”, assures the 32-year-old Rennais. His friends are late but he doesn’t want to waste a minute, frustrated by these years without a music festival. A few steps away, Parya and Andy dance energetically. Cautious, the 26-year-old wears a large green raincoat. “I only did one music festival without rain”, he laughs, swearing not to have celebrated it only in Brittany.

“Breton children will learn to dance in the rain”

the children’s boom on the Vertugadin terraces: let’s dance in the rain! | WEST FRANCE

At the Vertugadin terraces in Baud Chardonnet, the children’s party started at 6 p.m. despite the rain. “Breton children need to learn to dance in the rain” laughs Christophe Bouetel, director of Rennes pole association. Bring the mud! »

The rain increases at the same time as the onlookers arrive. Some prefer to sit on the terrace, sheltered from the first drops. “We hope the weather will hold up”, grimaces Adrien, behind the outdoor counter of the bar Le Saint-Germain. For this premiere, the team saw things on a grand scale: the entire staff is present, the menu is simplified, ready to be served as quickly as possible.

However, barnums and parasols may not be enough in the face of the showers and lightning which are already streaking the Rennes sky.

Despite the rain, the spectators came to enjoy the concerts, here at Place Hoche. | MATHIEU PATTIER / WEST FRANCE

2 concerts canceled in Parliament Square

7:45 p.m.. The rain is falling hard. Not enough to discourage Valérie, from Kilkenny’s, posted behind her stand of sausage patties. In 18 years of Fête de la Musique, we’ve done it at least six times in the rain, we like that!​, jokes the owner.

On the Parliament Square side, the atmosphere is more gloomy: two groups could not play because of the rain, the stage not being protected by a tarpaulin. Too bad for the Ceili Killers and the flash mob of the Celtic circle of Rennes. Are you afraid of the rain in Brittany? ​Passersby see the end of the concerts and challenge a member of the technical team. The answer fuses, ironic: Do you want a Claude François evening?

The organizers do not despair of having the scheduled groups play until 11 p.m. “As soon as the rain stops, we need a quarter of an hour to prepare the stage and get the scheduled band to play”explains Étienne Jacquet, stage manager. In Thabor, the stage at the Théâtre de Verdure has come to a halt.

This year, the festivities take place under the sign of diversity. The jazz trumpets of the canteen café intertwine with the energetic electro rhythms of the Charles de Gaulle esplanade, passing through the sulfurous and heady melodies of Latin music at the Portes Mordelaises. What offer a very rich musical and cultural panel to the crowd and make forget the grayness of Brittany. It is not uncommon to come across a group of friends or a family dancing in a comforting enthusiasm to the notes that twirl in the air. This almost solar atmosphere almost makes you forget the bad weather.

The Elle B and Leki concert was a great success at the Thabor kiosk despite the rain. | MATHIEU PATTIER / WEST FRANCE

8 p.m. The music continues on the protected stages, like that of the kiosk in Thabor where the spectators sheltered under the trees applauded the excellent duo of rappers Elle B and Leki. “The cables, the stage, everything is secure”, explains the sound engineer. At 8 p.m. the neighboring stage of the Théâtre de Verdure in Parc du Thabor forfeited. “If there is too much water, we can no longer protect the musicians, even with a barnum”, explains Perig Menez, sound engineer.

However, some viewers are not discouraged. Like Pierre-Marie, Thibault and their girlfriend Nese, aged 21, 25 and 26. “It’s been two years since we had a music festival, nothing will stop us! Tonight we would like to see Polar line at Thabor, the rapper Lowdy William on the Mitterrand mall and the Astropolis electro springboard on the Charles de Gaulle esplanade. »

For Pierre-Marie, Thibault and their girlfriend Nese: “It’s been two years since we had a music festival, nothing will stop us! » | WEST FRANCE

Place Hoche, a batucada defies the rain and arouses the enthusiasm of the spectators, who follow the percussionists towards the Place du Parlement. They carry the public​, laments David Nicolas, conductor of the Rennes harmony orchestra. Before recovering and pointing to the sky, which announces the calm necessary for the concert to take place. The Melting Notes Orchestra, which was to perform just before, was not so lucky. The square fills up again as the orchestra sings the hits of the Jackson Five.

Jean-Pierre, 70, came for these two orchestras. I took a liking to wind bands with my son who played there, he smiles. If the rain allows it, he will continue his stroll with his wife. It was important to be there tonight, the opportunities to get together in a friendly atmosphere are too rare.

9 p.m. The sky has cleared and hope is reborn, the evening is just beginning. Place Saint-Anne fills up, to the cries of the DJ harangues the revelers: Are you Breton or not?​. The concerts have resumed in Parliament Square and the singer of the group Blue Cees bewitches the public with her powerful voice. The downpour that fell on the city an hour earlier seems well and truly forgotten. Only a few oilskins and wet hair still bear witness to this.

10 p.m. Three stages, three atmospheres, but just as many crowds: the François-Mitterand mall is invaded by a young audience, as fond of electro as they are of rap and rock. The Osmoz collective produces its house and techno music on the stage of the City while the programs of the bars Les Grands Gamins and la Piste compete in decibels.

In Rennes, the Fête de la Musique attracts crowds after the storm

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