The term professional partier comes up lots in our dialect. Amongst our group of friends we all love a party and believe we are quite good at it too! We’ve attended many club nights, special events, raves, house parties, concerts and multi day festivals. We have also thrown a good amount of parties ourselves: House parties, huge New Years Bashers, Houseboat Stags, Special Events, club nights, illegal underground raves, and we even had one heck of a wedding that ended with table dancing!
But even with all this previous experience, we had no idea what to except when it came to partying with the French.
Steve found out about this event in Corsept, France named Couvre Feu. It’s a 3-day camping festival that had a beat boxer we really wanted to see performing on the first night. This beat boxer goes by the name of Dubfx and is often caught performing with his girlfriend The Flower Fairy. Dubfx started as a street performer in England, selling CD’s after his performance. He creates music and beats with only his mouth and sings some catchy tunes that all walks of live can relate to. With the power of youtube and camera phones he is quickly becoming a worldwide sensation and is now getting hired to play at all sorts of events.
Couvre Feu sounded like the perfect event to attend first with our friends Steve and Karen. After renting a car in Nantes we headed down an unfamiliar highway in hopes we were going the right way. Our destination was not on the map we had, and directions from the French website were dismal while GPS unit we paid for was of course broken! But our spirits were still high and with smiles and a flyer in hand we made friends with a hippie van on the road. We waved the flyer at them and hoped the nod they gave us was instructions to follow them, luckily they took us right to the front gate!
Dubfx was the first performance of the evening so we rushed inside the circus tent to watch the show. It was a great performance and this is where we started to really get the vibe of the French. Only 15 mins into the start of the entire festival everyone is already grooving hard, smell of Kronenburg on their breaths, huge smiles, and CROWD SURFING! To a beat boxer! This is something we never see in Canada.
The festival was a huge success, and there’s a couple of things that impressed us so much that organizers back home should pick up on.
3 TYPES OF BATHROOMS TO CHOOSE FROM
None of them were prefab outhouse. Option 1: A squat style (but clean) hole in the ground type. 2. Male Urinal TeePee Like Tent Set up (see pic below) Option 3. Normal style wooden outhouse with lights, incense, and a bucket of sood for you to dump over the mess. The result: each trip to the bathroom was always pleasant. We never used the hole in the ground type… thinking that is for guys that are shy about the awesome Urinal TeePees. And with the guys not pissing in the regular wooden outhouse it left the lines short, no wet seats. I need help explaing this?
Back in Canada you cannot drink at outdoor festivals unless they have a permit to have a beer garden, and then you must drink only in the beer garden which means you can’t watch your favorite act and enjoy a cold beer at the same time. In France it’s open to drink anywhere you want on the grounds. It’s almost like they trust their citizens to be responsible.
What waste actually? The ground was next to spotless, it was an amazing sight. The main problem with festivals is dealing with the thousands of bottles and cups. Garbage’s get overfilled and there is no place to recycle your bottle. Couvre Feu solved this issue by making everyone pay an extra euro the first time they go buy a beer which gets you a funky hard plastic re-useable cup that can also be a keepsake item as it has the festivals logo and artwork on it. Each time you want another beer you just bring the cup back. No cup? You pay another extra euro for a new cup. Bam! No more bottle waste except for water…. And well it sure didn’t look like much water was being drank that night! Now the only waste left to deal with is the food with strategically places garbage cans placed where one would sit to eat their food.
Anyone leaving the festival grounds with no wristband (like us as we were not attending all 3 days) were stopped and asked who was driving. That person was then asked to do a Breathalyzer test by festival staff. If you pass they send you on your merry way, and if you don’t pass they give you some tips on ways to sober up and ask you to do another test when you feel ready or find someone else to drive. This is such a smart idea and ensures that people don’t drink too much and go driving.
So, that is Couvre Feu… If you like attending festivals and there is an act you want to see you should check this festival out. It’s a well-run operation and a great party. Where else can you find people going off crazy and crowd surfing to hardcore polka??