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With the great help of Sophie Jarry and her photographing skills, I will debrief the amazing two nights spent in the heart of the Bastille district for Pitchfork Music Festival Avant Garde shenanigans and the appropriately dubbed “all-you-can-eat music buffet” that went down. For the amazing cost of 2 pints of Parisian priced beers, you could access 7 different intimate venues scattered around the 11th district of Paris. In the heart of Bastille and its popular bars, concert venues, dive holes and theatres. The low price of 16 euros for a night could get you to attend some of the hottest acts on the touring market right at this moment. Artists like Skott, Jones, Alex Cameron, Jordan Rakei, Nilüfer Yanya, Lucy Dacus (who also played a second time at the main event), Loyle Carner, and I miss plenty others too. That’s the best buffet choice you can get seriously. All within walking distance from each other… Or at least on paper.

The thing is, that you needed to make choices, and be smart and wise as to how much you could possibly fit in within the time constraints : 7pm to midnight. I chose to limit myself to two or three venues that were super close together in distance so I could cram in as many of my favourite acts together and actually enjoy my time at each venue/concert.

My plan was as follows :

[title maintitle=”ACTION PLAN” subtitle=”where, what and when…”] [tabgroup layout=”vertical”] [tab title=”Tuesday 25th October”]
Nilüfer Yanya – 20h00 (Badaboum)
Loyle Carner – 20h30 (Café de la Danse)
Mabel – 21h00 (Badaboum)
Jones – 22h00 (Café de la Presse)
[/tab] [tab title=”Wednesday 26th October”]
Skott – 20h00 (Badaboum)
Adia Victoria – 20h30 (Café de la Danse)
Jordan Rakei – 21h00 (Badaboum)
Requin Chagrin – 22h15 (Badaboum)
[/tab] [/tabgroup]

Let me tell you right here and right now why it was a resounding success to me. The whole thing was really relaxing to attend. Intimate venues, close-up artist connection, small crowds in some venues, larger ones in others. The fresh air in between and the diversity in the line-up made the whole experience a very memorable one. Again it is a genius formula that actually works. When you think about it. You’re not stuck with the same crowds from one gig to another, everyone has their “Action Plan” resulting in a very mixed crowd reflecting the wide range of acts, and genres represented throughout the two evenings. Whereas the main event, you’re kind of stuck with what’s on offer. Literally force-fed like French gooses ramping up for Christmas season. Force-fed on a variety of acts you have no connection to, force-fed on over priced burgers and merchandising. Something I really came to realise in this last edition. It has become a gimmick really but the line-up for the 6th year of Main Event of Pitchfork Music Festival at the Grande Halle De La Villette was very much under-par compared to the previous editions. Unlike the Avant Garde block party that took place two days earlier.

Changing venues after each concert meant that you changed atmosphere in the most natural way, An R&B act could play a largely empty space then you went onto a more Hip-hop style with a crowd on fire to a folk/singer with a few punters cheering on. I loved that aspect. And the fact you were actually in control of the night, the destiny, meant the whole experience felt less like a corporate marketing event and more like a genuine happening in different bars and venues dotted around a likeable area of Paris. And I’m glad I went to both events to actually come up with those arguments. Sophie Jarry, the photographer that has been snapping pictures for us has made her own decisions and planned her night according to what SHE wanted to see. We met and went our separate on a number of instances which was refreshing. So you’ll get pictures from bands I, myself, didn’t see at all, and some we enjoyed singing along to both.

And because I’m largely biased, here’s a scorecard review for the acts I saw during those two amazing nights along with pictures by Sophie (more to be updated as we process them) :

PS: You can also vote on these performances in the “reader rating” bar within the score-card : rate’n’click.

Jones ❖ Skott ❖ Adia Victoria ❖ Loyle Carner

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[title maintitle=”PHOTOS” subtitle=”All Photos by Sophie Jarry for Sodwee.com”]

Huge thanks to Sophie Jarry for the great photography she kindly accepted to share with us. Find her work here : on Facebook, on her website and on Twitter.

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Thanks to Pauline, Melissa, Sophie to make all of this happen.

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