Josestanie, the festival that fell from the sky
< h1> Day 1: The Discovery
It is Friday August 27, the van that my friends rented for their vacation in Italy arrives at the gates of a lost field in right in the middle of New Aquitaine. The day before, this couple of friends picked me up in Marseille, on the way back to Paris. After ten hours spent on the small roads of France, we finally arrive at the meeting point. The GPS indicates Montmorillon, close to Poitiers. This is the address given to us by the organizer of the Josestanie . We have arrived safely in paradise.
In front of the barrier protecting the entrance to the field, three oddly dressed fanatics greet us with great gestures and a smile on their faces. Despite the fatigue, we get out of the truck, pleasantly surprised. It is that they seem well barred these festival-goers , that promises. They ask us to show a white paw before explaining the concept to us. Yes, we are on the list. Yes, we have been invited to this festival that you can only hear about if you know one of the guests personally.
According to the legend, the Josestanie started four years earlier in the field of 's grandmother José < / b>, not far from there. José, therefore, having lived all over the place, wanted to bring together his traveling buddies. There were only a few dozen at the start. From year to year friends have invited their friends. Trust, joy and respect have always been the watchwords for add new members. We call it a virtuous circle it seems. Today there are five hundred of us.
After having to promise to respect nature, we park the van further in the field, a parking lot has been set up. Even if not in the majority, we are not the only ones not to have chosen the tent option. It is that at thirty years past, comfort matters more than anything. Among the hundred tents of all sizes already installed, there are also ten motorhomes or vans. People took their Friday apparently. It's not even seven o'clock and it's already busy.
The Josestanie is THE event of the year for many, but it is a great first for us . We find some of our friends already there. We are about fifty of our team to have been invited to this edition.
Weeks that I have not seen my old friends. I'm overexcited.
I unpack my things. I bought the whole Foir'fouille and Gifi together. I haven't had a proper party worthy of the name in months. I even took rab 'for those who did not have time to do their shopping. Hope to see everyone in disguise. The theme was fashion weird , that leaves room for the imagination. In addition to the accessories for my outfit, I took water guns, bubble tubes, lollipops, glasses of all colors, and even a hula hoop. Break up the girl.
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Once dressed in my best croupier outfit in Las Vegas, I move on to the festival . I have to drop my bottle off at the bar. It is a private festival , there is no sale of alcohol. They also asked us to bring pasta to give to an association, I really like their spirit. All the people I meet on the way have played the game, there is something for everyone, unicorn costume, colorful harem pants, sequins on the cheeks, feathers in the hair, boas around the neck, there are even some who walk around with their pool buoys. Each person I cross greets me energetically and gives me their most beautiful smile. I am delighted.
The second field - the main one - has been laid out in the style of a folklore fair. We discover it after having borrowed a well-lit forest land, where they had the rich idea of installing the dry toilets. They have thought of all the details. There is a bar made of pallets, food trucks, they protected the access to the lake to avoid accidents and sheltered the dance floor. Paper lanterns hang everywhere, a chill corner has been set up with real armchairs and cushions covered with green or red velvet. They even hung baroque-style paintings on the trees. It's magical. I turn around to observe the surroundings. We are not yet five hundred but we are already a lot. Things are moving on the dance floor.
This evening, it's DJs from our team who are mixing. One of our members is part of the Josestanie organ, so it was quite naturally - after joining our band - that he proposed to our DJs to come and mix this year.
On this Friday evening before the start of the school year, techno, microphone and minimal house set the dance floor on fire for several hours. It starts well the Josestanie , we are unleashed.
At midnight it starts to get cold. While the others continue, I (the oldest) go to bed. I recently decided to take care of my health.
Day 2: The Surprise
At five o'clock, don't wanting to miss the minimum, I force myself to wake up. Other friends of mine arrived during the night, I heard them set up their tents, our camp looks like a happy mess , our van is surrounded on all sides. Time to say hello and get a makeover, we go back to dancing. It's on fire until ten in the morning, it dances, it talks, it tells each other the latest gossip and then everything stops. At ten o'clock ? Already ? But I just got up. They have to put the equipment down for the afternoon I'm told. It won't resume until two o'clock. It was well worth going to sleep. They had warned, but as usual I did not listen. I am disappointed but I can only blame myself, I did not inquire. Come on, the break only lasts four hours, we'll find something to do. We decide to organize a small after party. The weather is nice and hot, so take advantage of it. The group settles down at the back of the car park so as not to wake up the whole campsite. I am told to speak less loudly, it is because I do not realize that the others have read the program and that they take the opportunity to rest. We plug in the turntables and speakers that one of our friends brought back. That we are happy to meet again, we are between us, we bask in the techno sun in the background, we have a good time.
And then at two o'clock, the long-awaited moment arrives : it's supposed to resume on the other side. But when I don't hear the boom boom restart I get disillusioned. I haven't read the program, but I haven't tried to find out the style of the artists on the line-up either.
Really, these Josestanians are surprising. If the evening is techno, the day is an acoustic concert. Very acoustic. It makes me smile, you had to think about it. Mixing the two genres is a hell of a good idea, but my hyperactivity and I weren't ready. I am told that it will be a gentle break all day, until ten o'clock. Oh yeah anyway. It is three o'clock. It's going to be a long time.
I trample, I try but I can't take advantage, it's too calm for me, I get agitated, I annoy my friends, they tell me to 'appreciate, calm down, but it's stronger than me, I have too much energy to spend. I have been waiting for this event for weeks. Knowing my team, I hadn't even imagined anything other than a hundred percent techno weekend. But it's my fault, it's me who put too many expectations, it's up to me to adapt.
After complaining for a few moments, I decide, therefore, as to my habit, to do what I like, that is to say: wiggle my hips. I manage to convince a few electric batteries (after asking the organ for permission) to continue our little party in the parking lot ... As long as we bother no one there is no problem, we are told.
Frankly, if I had known I wouldn't have slept at night, but during the day. Still, I didn't come to party in a parking lot, no matter how nice. I no longer even think of going to the yoga stand or the massage workshops that I wanted to do during the day, we are too far from the main field, the back and forth takes whole quarters of an hour. But I put it into perspective, it's their program, they do what they want and in addition festival-goers are incredible , I have everything to learn from them. < / p>
There is an atmosphere of trust, wisdom and tolerance rarely seen in this vast field. From the first moment I felt at ease. < / b> No one judges us, even if we don't have the same tastes or if we have decided to create a different atmosphere in the parking lot. They are older than us and it shows, they observe us from afar with a benevolent gaze, waiting for us to understand for ourselves that we have not understood anything. I decide to stop bitching and let myself go, to follow my example. I take this opportunity to eat, wash, rest and chat with my friends. Even though I can't wait for the party to restart, I'm finally having a great time just letting myself be carried away. And then the hours pass quickly, night falls, the bass is reconnected on the main track, the boom boom resumes. The Josestanie is r'partiiii.
Saturday night is magical, everyone is together, there are five hundred of us, the energy is electric, joy can be read on the faces, the sweetness of the concerts has given way to the hysteria of techno DJs. The Josestanians have a touch of madness that makes the atmosphere supercharged. Forget the race for performance, all that matters is having fun. They go through all styles, from commercial techno, house, trans. It's madness, it jumps in every corner, it screams with joy, it encourages. I dance so much that I have blisters under my feet, I scream so much that I no longer have a voice. The night passes at breakneck speed. At six o'clock, exhausted, I go to bed. I absolutely do not regret my day. Josestanie makes me dream.
Day 3: The Lesson
When I wake up, three hours later, ready to re-ambience myself for the last day, I am told the end of the festival < / b>. Once again, I'm not on the timing. It is true that it was well marked "stop nine o'clock in the morning Sunday", but at the same time they told us that we could stay on site until Monday morning. I did not understand everything visibly. As usual I made up my own mind. I am told that some are trying to negotiate. My old SLRs are taking over and I too can not help but ask for more. They tell me about a pact with the town hall, about a story of shutting down the sound, I am right. It's good because they are respectful that they continue to be able to set up their festival every year, eh. And I like that we keep our promises. It frustrates me a bit but it doesn't annoy me more than that. I like them Josestaniens, I really want to imitate them when I see them there sitting on their sofas relaxed, not looking stressed. There is like magic that floats in the air, as if the universe is telling me to calm down. It’s already Sunday after all, back to school is approaching, it has to stop one day. I try to take their rhythm. We took the opportunity to clean up a bit, to give them a hand, to thank them for letting us stay on the premises. And after one or two hours of beating a miracle operates, the commander-in-chief of the Josestanie lets us reconnect the sound-system, he has understood that the young people were not yet tired. It is magic this weekend, they are magic the Josestanians, when I grow up , I want to be like them.
The music allows us to end this smooth day, it is not the big chouille, we can not put too hard not to annoy the neighbors, but the atmosphere is family, pleasant, gentle. As the hours go by, we take the opportunity to get to know a few die-hards still alive, elders, they are as wise as the atmosphere they create. The discussions are informative, the dance steps much more relaxed and lighter. Ultimately this is maybe the best part of the weekend for me. When I'm too exhausted to want to control everything. Little by little the field is emptying, the Josestanians have given enough, they are resting in the chill areas, or have left altogether. Even if fatigue creates some tension when we do not really know until the hour we have the right to continue, everything is resolved very quickly, we came here to have fun. And then finally they will never tell us to stop. What a lesson in patience, they just let us enjoy it. The evening unfolds in joy and good humor, then ends gently in the early morning. And there you have it, it's already time to go home. What happened quickly. A real enchanted parenthesis.
I return to the camp and check my banana: it is weird I didn't lose anything, everything I lent came back to me. I, who have such a hard time relaxing, felt confident throughout these three days in Josestanie , as if nothing could happen to me. As I close my suitcase I float on a small cloud, this weekend was mystical, all these meetings, all these life lessons, in life nothing happens by chance, I feel like I've been where I needed to be.
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Photo credits: Pikotis Pikotas Mayñier
Thank you to the organizers José, Émilien, Quentin and Halim as well as to all the festival-goers
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