Techno Parade 'Seduces' Paris

photo: cafe daguerre at denfert
If Techno had been happening yesterday, the Café Daguerre would have been a meeting point.

And Less Important News

Paris:- Saturday, 19. September 1998:- The French are destroying Techno before it can become established as a feared and loathed teenage menace, and the 'godfather' of the de-myth gang is ex-cultural czar, Jack Lang.

On tonight's evening France2 TV-news, he reported 'live' from the Place de la Nation, the destination of today's Techno Parade. He was wearing 'DJ'-style headphones and had a huge microphone.

To paraphrase, he said Techno was no more danger to the health of adults than the Louvre - for which he was instrumental in its transformation to 'Grande Louvre.'

The organizers estimated that 200,000 turned out, to either be in the parade, or to see it pass - in today's warm and bright weather.

Instead of the expected horror of unrestrained street 'dancing,' only isolated incidents were reported near the end ofphoto: terrace on grande armee the 'rave' at the Nation - with five slightly injured policemen and three hurt among the participants.

An idea of the weather on the day before the parade.

Techno in Paris has brought a new vocabulary to newspapers and television. Some FM stations were already using the new words, so they don't count. Even the ex-minister of culture used words such as 'before' and 'after' and 'rave' in the news broadcast.

The parade got going from Denfert-Rochereau around 15:00 with about 30 floats - called 'chars' in French, or tanks. Le Parisien didn't think the decorations were too original, compared to the Berlin floats. Each float had its own high-powered sono, followed by 'technophiles' dancing in wild costumes.

After arriving at Nation about 18:30, the floats stationed themselves around the place for the 'concert.' One artist went to work on an iceberg with a chainsaw. This reminded locals of Johnny Hallyday's 'Salut les Copains' party on the place in 1963; which had a crowd of 150,000.

The party at Nation broke up about 22:45, which was a bit late for some of the neighbors. After this, the 'after' began, spread among countless dance halls and rock joints in Paris and its surrounding suburbs and is probably still going on.

To get the 'techno-crazies' ready for the fête, today's Libération devoted its front page and three following pages to the event - with addresses of the locations of a dozen-plus 'afters' joints.

Other Techno Parade Non-News

Thinking this event would be vitally important, I visited the scene of the parade's departure at Denfert-Rochereau yesterday - mainly to look for lurid posters promoting the stupendous event.

The sun was bright and the air unseasonably warm - compared to last weekend - and there was absolutely nothing happening. There were no posters. Nothing, nada.

Crowd barricades were stashed around the area, but were not in place. A few visitors were lined up for a tour of the catacombs, and a few more were in the little park behind, looking at city maps.

Nobody looked like a 'techno raver.' Since I do not hang around Denfert-Rochereau a lot, it was hard to tell if thephoto: waiting for catacombs police presence was above normal. It seemed as if there were more than enough, for nothing happening at all.

Visitors waiting for the after-lunch opening of the catacombs.

I asked one policeman if he knew of any posters for the Techno Parade. He said no. He said he's never been there before in his life. He said he was going to Bourges in the morning. He said I should ask the other policemen, on the scooters.

Since I'd already cased the place from one end to the other, I didn't bother. It was beginning to look like a certain balloon race.

SNCF To Take Kinks Out of TGV Fares

Starting on 29. November, the SNCF's fare structure for TGV trains is going to be radically simplified. There will be one unique price for first-class tickets. For second-class, there will be two ticket prices: one for rush-hours and the other for 'normal' hours.

While the SNCF thinks its TGV tariffs will be globally reduced, they admit that first-class passengers may pay a bit more.

The SNCF has had a good success with selling tickets and reservations via Minitel, and this service will be added to the SNCF's Web site starting Thursday, 1. October.

Paris' Vidéothèque Expands

Last Tuesday, Paris' mayor Jean Tiberi announced the fusion of the Vidéothèque at the Forum des Halles with the nearby Espace Photographique and the Auditorium des Halles. The Vidéothèque itself will get a new name this coming Thursday.

This is supposed to reflect the fact that Paris is one big movie theatre as well as the 'Hollywood' of Europe, with the number of films being made in the city is constantly increasing.

Along with this activity, a new 'Bureau Parisien du Film' is to be opened, with the purpose of providing administrative aid to film makers intending to shoot in Paris. If this office can hack through the considerable red tape involved in getting permission for shooting 'on location,' then it will indeed be a welcome service for professionals.

In another measure, the mayor's office announced a three-year halt to new licenses for multiplex cinemas - coupled with as-yet undefined aid for independent movie houses.

What To Do With 70 Idle Hectares In Paris

After six years of silence, three plans for the development of the Ile Seguin have been accepted for consideration, and a decision is expected by year's end.

The Ile Seguin is the former site of the Renault factory; an island in the Seine sort of shared between Boulogne-Billancourt, Meudonphoto: tintin rocket & opentour bus and Issy-les-Moulineau. Because of its size and proximity to Paris, the Hôtel de Ville also has a say in the matter.

The Champs d'Aviation expo runs until next week.

Three models, representing the plans for development, are on display at the Musée de Sèvres until Sunday, 11. October. This is in the ceramics museum, just across the Seine from Boulogne-Billancourt.

There might be one little stumbling block. The state enterprise of Renault still owns the island and adjoining territory in Boulogne-Billancourt and lower Meudon. The estimated value: one cool billion dollars.

The Customary Serious News

This has, of course, been omitted as usual, in keeping with this magazine's policy of 'no bad news' that you don't need to know - about the usual robberies, murders, trials, horrible accidents, mutinies and any sort of political propaganda. Bon week!

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