© 2013 Diana

The Techno Parade

Author: Gerrit Wissink



Ah, the beloved techno parade. The biggest free outdoor musical event in the city, the parade began as a protest against the government’s repression of electronic music when it became popular in the early ’90s. Only in 1998 did its prime supporter, the Technopol, an association supporting electronic music, persuade the government to recognize it as a musical culture. I had just gotten into electronic music and fully enjoyed this rowdy march that seemed like it belonged in Berlin or Rio. The juxtaposition of the floats against the Haussmannian buildings lining the parade route completes the surrealist experience. Get to this event and you’ll forever be a part of its fans who – sorry for this – rave about it. The action then moves to clubs when night falls. This year’s theme, “Indepen’ Dance,” was chosen to celebrate the political changes sweeping the world!

As you may get from the name, the entire affair is simply insane. Imagine the biggest gathering you have ever been to, put that on the streets of Paris, add super-loud electronic music, and let the chaos ensue. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets and flowed the parade from Nation to Place d’Italie. For me and my friends, we followed four different trucks for three hours and only had moved three blocks…walking and dancing takes time, apparently. In hindsight, we were especially lucky to have the best weather since we’ve been in Paris this day.

I personally love the event. Crowds normally aren’t my thing, but in this case the more the merrier. There truly is something liberating about dancing in the street. The craziest stuff I witnessed: A guy roller-dancing (dancing on rollerblades) between the crowd. Kids dancing on a parked car that was obviously not theirs. Joseph’s wild dance moves that burnt him out after 10 minutes. A dude drinking through a zebra patterned latex full body suit…


Hello world – call me Gerrit Wissink.

For a little context: I’m a junior at Cornell University in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Government and minoring in International Relations. Originally from Cortland, New York, I’ll be spending this fall studying in Paris, France with a Cornell-Duke-Emory-&-Tulane sponsored program called EDUCO. In the spring, I’ll be in Dakar, Senegal with a Wells College program. During both terms, I will be directly enrolled into the local universities, taking classes (and being graded) just like a French or Senegalese student. I will also be living with host families in the hopes of enriching the cultural experience of both semesters. I’ll be keeping this Cornell-sponsored blog with the intention that it can help me understand and share my academic/cultural/life experiences with my friends, family, and anyone interested in life abroad.






Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>