This event was very special and emotional for the majority of the people attending it. Equality is not something concerning only LGBT-community but more a matter of humanity we all should work for – I want to raise my children to equally respect everyone and naturally want them to be able to live their lives equally respected. Mika talks about sexuality in many of his songs and has never tried to hide it. However, he didn’t earlier want to talk about it in interviews and it’s such a personal issue, everyone should be free to decide if they want to publicly talk about it or not. I still hoped he would openly talk about it when he feels ready, simply because it’s good to see people openly and honestly be what they are and because I imagined it could make his life easier and that way happier. I was proud of him when he first talked about the issue in an interview (can’t be an easy situation) and also when I heard him to be the main performer for the equality concert in Paris at Place de la Bastille. I wanted to see the event and I was already supposed to be in Paris on Monday (had booked Papillons festival for Sunday) so I decided to stay two more days.
I can’t estimate the size of the audience (as I’m not local I can’t say how many people can fit to the area or estimate how many people actually showed up) but the evening looked like a success, the amount of people coming to the area looked very impressive and the atmosphere got more and more excited as the flags started to fill the square. The security was visible and prepared for troubles/disorder, but I didn’t see any. Line up for the event before Mika wasn’t well-known or famous but still quite entertaining with variety of performers. The sets were kept short enough but the speeches were numerous and some of them quite emotional and the schedule was far too tight for the speech part and in the end Mika had to rush his set through without much time to breathe or talk to the audience and probably leave some songs out of the set but he did his part extremely well and managed to keep the energy level high during the whole set and looked happy to support the cause and controlled the rushed situation well. I felt sorry for him because he was made to perform in a hurry but he didn’t let it ruin his show and tried to do as many songs as the time allowed.
This was a free concert so the set he did (around 10 songs) felt like a proper set and more than that could have been too much for his voice to sing without any pause between the songs. The experience was different than usual gigs and I didn’t concentrate on any details or any special songs but focused on watching the show, the whole situation and people celebrating the cause hoping I could see something similar happening in my own country in the near future. It was amazing to see Mika on stage and be in the middle of the audience with hundreds of flags, very special event indeed. Short clips here and here.
Edit: Haven’t seen any professional vids around yet, so uploaded a few songs:
What an amazing event! I was incredibly proud to see Mika performing for marriage equality in Paris tonight, can’t even describe it. I will write a small report later. I don’t have any pictures of Mika’s performance and took only some (unfortunately very poor quality) videos. It doesn’t matter though, there will be hundreds of professional photos and videos of the event soon (already found us here). I uploaded WAG even the sound is bad. It’s too early and cold for going shirtless, isn’t it? He did very well even the schedule was so busy he didn’t have time to stop and breathe between the songs.
Almost feeling like a reporter from a reality show – welcome to the festival camp! Hahah, see the mud and smell the garbages. Above how the area looked (not that pretty). I arrived to Papillons de Nuit festival with Leila, Virginie and Julie a few hours before the doors were opened. A huge thank you to Julie for driving us such a long way! Hundreds of festival goers were probably still sleeping in their wet sleeping bags and tents at the camping place next to the festival area. For a second I wondered what an earth I was doing there. It’s different for typical/average festival goers, most of them at their twenties, having loads of time just to get wasted. However, the day went quickly and I met a lot of lovely people. I regret now not chatting with people more, but at some point I felt myself tired and couldn’t find English words so I just took my book and read a bit (but didn’t mean to be rude and very much enjoyed meeting everyone!). Loving the pics below (thanks Isa for taking the photo of Mine, Helena and me).
When the festival started it was easy to remember why I do all this (even there must be some easier ways to experience popular culture). First of all, the bands we can see at festivals are usually much more entertaining than the ones we see as short supporting acts and it makes waiting for a Mika show much more pleasant. This time I didn’t fall in love with any special artist or band, but the female singer starting the festival at main stage had an awesome band playing a lot of different instruments. One of her musicians was also a professional dancer and they did a fantastic show together. Unfortunately the second artist was really boring… I was yawning so much the young security guy in front of me started to yawn too and obviously we both had to make an effort to stay awake. The singer ended his show coming in front of people with his whole band and that was a very entertaining way to end the show and after that we could watch how the team builds the stage for Mika (loved watching it as always). His team and musicians must have been really tired after sleeping only a few hours since leaving Seoul but were still smiling and friendly. The security working at the festival was great and paid their attention to real trouble makers instead of fans and also let some small children come in front of the barriers (for safety reasons and to be able to see, although I generally can’t understand why people bring such tiny kids to messy festivals with a lot of alcohol).
The Mika show was fantastic and very energetic. Mika didn’t look tired even he had practically traveled around the world, he chatted a lot (but in French so can’t give you any details, sorry) and did a good festival performance. The stage looked awesome! He was using the symbols we know but had added some bigger cubes with new pictures. The symbols were lightened with different colors and were simple and clear enough for the large festival stage. I loved how the stage glowed pink during Popular (looked good combined with the green polka dots, I filmed it, see it below, but the sound is not good and not sure you can see the pink effect, cool and impressive in real life, imo) and warm golden during WAG. The symbols were glowing pink, red, blue, yellow and turquoise during the whole show. I was near the stage but I’m sure it looked fab even from far away. The confetti in the end fitted perfectly once again and made the show a huge party, often so appropriate for the festival atmosphere. This time my favorite songs were Popular, Lola and Drunk. Besides the biggest hits all the high-energy songs are always suitable for festivals as well as Karen and Underwater (the audience can easily sing along).
I forgot the rain and the mud and my wet clothes as soon as Mika started his performance and in the end the muddy ground was turned to a colorful confetti field. However, I knew it was wet and slippery and was a bit worried Mika could have an idea to come down from the stage and he did in the end and fell down. The security was quickly offering him help to escort him back to the stage but after looking embarrassed for a second he showed his stubborn child face (I’m a mother, I know that face) and pushed them away and continued his way to greet the audience. The majority of the people probably didn’t totally see what happened (except the worried looking front row) and he seemed to be fine in a short moment, went back to the stage after greeting people and ended the show cheerfully jumping down from the piano to Tim’s arms. Both Mika and the band seemed to be happy the show went well and entertained the audience hugging and carrying each other to the backstage. So much fun, we were all smiling after the show and started to climb out from the muddy festival area, everyone’s shoes ruined.