Friday, 12 September 2014

Festival: Fête de l'Humanité

This weekend sees the Fête de l'Humanité festival take place at the Georges Valbon park in La Courneuve
outside Paris.

While it's a musical festival with some of the biggest names on the bill, it remains an event true to its roots in the left-wing struggle and solidarity.

The festival has been running since 1930, originally as a fundraiser for the L'Humanité Communist party newspaper. To this day it remains one of the principal income sources of the newspaper.

Over the decades some impressive acts have played, from Pink Floyd to The Who and The Stooges, and French acts like Manu Chao, Johnny Hallyday, Jacques Higelin along with Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens and Juliette Greco.

Some of the acts you might see as sympathetic to the party and its cause, others less so. It's always been an event with an open-minded outlook.

This year sees Scorpions, Massive Attack and IAM at the top of the bill, with Alpha Blondy, Les Ogres de Barback and many others playing over the three day event.

The main stage has an area for an audience of 100,000, although many more will attend the event over the weekend.

If the L'Humanité newspaper has a reputation for being dry, serious and wordy, the festival is anything but. It's a lively event, full of interaction and exchanges of ideas with participants from around the world.

 Debates, discussions and ideas are as much part of the event as the bands on the bill.

While the music is a central part of the festival, its central purpose has never been forgotten. It proudly states on its poster: "Pour réinventer la liberté, l'égalité et la fraternité."

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