Across the Pond: Les Nuits Sonores

Bertie Magit / May 31, 2012

The summer festival season has not only begun in the UK but in all of Europe. Last week was the 10th year for Nuits Sonores in Lyon, France. Much like the Camden Crawl in London, it was not confined to a single venue. Nuits Sonores was spread over the entire city of Lyon, putting on events day and night from May 16-20 combining that scavenger hunt feeling into the festival.

roller derby

A very special element of Nuits Sonores was that all of the day events were free and extremely unique. While some were the expected DJ dance party others ranged from experimental art galleries to roller derbies where women in fishnets battled it out while a DJ wearing a Pikachu hat spun energetic electronic beats on a bridge in the background.

James Murphy

The program at night also had a wide variety to it hosting a mishmash of musical genres as well as a combination of well-known acts like New Order with some more locally known bands and DJs. Some of the other bands that played at Nuits Sonores include Simian Mobile Disco, Yacht, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), Busy P, Flying Lotus, Caribou Vs Four Tet and many, many others.

Les Nuits Sonores

The second night of Nuits Sonores was not concentrated in a single location like the other nights at Anciennes Usines Brossette, a huge warehouse with three designated stage areas. The bands that played on the second night were scattered across thirteen venues and clubs around the city. Each location had its own theme and city/town representative. For example, the “Modern” location hosted musicians from London and Leeds whereas “Born Bad Night” invited musicians from Paris and “Marionetta” showcased musicians from Ibiza, adding an extremely international element to this festival.

Les Nuits Sonores

Longer festivals like Nuits Sonores have the ability to include such a wide variety of music and art that they can cater to many kinds of music lovers incorporating tons of bands from all over the world. Festivals like Sasquatch and Coachella are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but ones that takeover an entire city like Nuits Sonores are in a world of their own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *