Living in Nyon sums up Paléo 2017, plus a personal review of the festival by Jonas Parson
Paléo 2017 ended on Sunday with a traditional classical concert in the afternoon (this year performed by the Geneva Chamber Orchestra), followed by a firework display at night that lit up the festival grounds. The evening ended with a concert by Manu Chao who performed on the main stage.
In the final press conference of the six-day festival, President Daniel Rossellat declared Paléo 2017 to be a successful year. The extra seating and new lights around the grounds had been appreciated by the crowds, and many had said how they had enjoyed climbing the steps of the “Volcano” and looking down at the “town” of Paléo below them.
Photos above – the lighting and seating areas of the festival (including some big bubbles!)
The weather had proved somewhat unpredictable throughout the week, but music lovers still stayed on at concerts even when it rained. Rossellat said it was all part of the atmosphere. The Ruche area of the festival had seen a 30% increase in visitors this year which was very encouraging and the new luxury glamping tents had also been a big hit. There had been a very good security team in operation throughout the festival, discreet but efficient and the festival’s success owed a lot to the work of the 4,800 volunteer staff.
Photo above – artist in La Ruche area of the festival
As to the music, Programming Coordinator Jacques Monnier said there had been many highlights but most people concluded that the concert by Midnight Oil was one of the best. Paléo was delighted that they could finally get this band on the programme in 2017. They had been due to play in Nyon over 20 years ago but that concert had to be cancelled for various reasons. Now that the Australian band had finally made it on to the Grande Scène, they were definitely worth the wait.
There were many other concerts worthy of mention – that of Arcade Fire, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Swiss artists l’Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp XXL, Fai Baba and Alice Roosevelt won unanimous approval whilst hip-hop made its mark with the American rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Black M and MHD. New discoveries included Lola Marsh, Jalen’Gonda and the disco-funk electro of Parcels.
Date for your diary – next year’s Paléo will take place from 17th to 22nd July 2018. The line-up will be revealed on 20th March and tickets will go on sale on 28th March. The Village du Monde will focus on music from Southern Europe.
Jonas Parson gives his take on Paleo 2017
Manu Chao’s memorable concert finished off an incredible 42nd edition with style and generosity. His two-hour long concert was a beautiful gift that highlighted the magic that can happen at Paléo, and the coming together of 45000 people with a band for a shared moment that seems to freeze time. Generosity is probably the word I would use to define the past week. Generosity on the part of the musicians and bands who share their craft and energy with the crowds, such as Peter Garret and Midnight Oil’s amazing concert on Wednesday (maybe the best concert of this edition!), and smaller bands defending their passion with all they had.
Photo above Midnight Oil © Paléo / Boris Soula
Some of the largest headliners failed to convince probably because of this lack of enthusiasm and generosity, such as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pixies, but overall this year was full of musicians thriving on stage through their music.
Generosity also from the part of the crowd. In front of a Renaud who was a shade of his former self-completely destroyed by a life time of alcohol, tobacco and depression, the crowd was there to support him and give back some of the love and wonder that he has given over his career. It was terribly sad to see him there on stage, alone and trembling, but the sheer amount of love and understanding coming from the crowd was overwhelming.
German band Meute also got a taste of what Paléo’s crowd can be like, and their second concert of the week under the Detour on Sunday probably had the most enthusiastic and loud crowd of the whole week. Their fresh take on techno via a marching band got the whole tent into a delightful frenzy, and they looked pretty amazed by what Paléo had to offer.
Photo above and video below – the wacky but wonderful Meute from Germany playing in the Detour tent on Sunday night
Generosity finally from the organisers of the festival who each year work to make each edition better than the last, programmers who share with us their musical discoveries and make it possible for great names to come to Nyon. Paléo is not a money making business but a non-profit association, and that obviously comes out through the quality of the welcome on the grounds. Areas like la Ruche (see Living In Nyon’s interview with two of the people in charge of la Ruche here) are pure acts of generosity: la Ruche isn’t the reason people pay for Paléo, and thus has no economic interest. It is more of a gift that Paléo offers each year to the festival-goers, a small something that makes the festival even better.
All in all, 2017 was an amazing year, and even if it rained a little, the festival charged on unphased, crowds dancing under the rain with glee. The time has come to pack up our festival gear, wash off all the mud from our shoes, and wait impatiently for next year’s festival, with all the great moments of this year’s edition in our minds to make the wait seem shorter.
All photos and videos above and below – C. Nelson-Pollard
Video below – Delgrès playing in the Dome, also on Sunday night
Video below – the fireworks above Paléo
Food at the festival – BBQ ing your own sausages and smoking salmon!