Tignes Fest 2008

Frosty Free French Festival

The sight of so many ravers in a blizzard was dumbfounding.

The new festival in Tignes, perhaps unsurprisingly entitled Tignes Fest, was nestled in the midst of the heart of the French Alps. Spread over three evenings, Tignes played host to some of the best new and established names in dance and electronic music. It borrowed plenty of home-grown talent in the shape of Eddy Temple-Morris, Primary 1, autocratz and A.human, and sampled some French from The Shoes.

In the space of a few hours, a main stage had been constructed upon the snow, in the middle of one of the main walkways in Tignes Le Lac village. The Shoes, both in leather jackets, bouncing quietly behind their laptops delighted the small audience early on in the evening. As it started to snow harder and whilst it was still light outside, the appreciative crowd danced through Knockout and America. In a cross between The Whip with the attitude of The Rapture, with some old school hip hop, it is French electro music that’s ultimately different from Justice. And is all the better for it.

Primary 1, a sort of hybrid of Klaxons, though infinitely groovier, and Jamie Lidell’s experimental streak, were next. Appropriately, they launched into ‘Outside’ first. “Outside just isn’t that nice at night,” sang Joe Flory, as he started a strip show on stage as part of a bet he’d made earlier. By the time he was topless and down to just his jeans, he blamed the other members for not keeping their side of the deal. ‘Hold Me Down’ continued in the same Prince-pop vein as the rest of the set, and was just an enjoyable.

After Autokratz pitched in a good, but short set, The Loose Cannons prepared to start the party. In a bid for some audience participation, it started to feel more like a Simon Says game than a gig; and looking around, the crowd were young enough to appreciate it. In the space of a couple of hours, the entire adolescent community of Tignes had congregated for the free festival. It had turned in to ‘teen-fest’. The Loose Cannons’ efforts were however commendable, especially after he announced that they were to be the last band on stage that night. Apparently, 12 tonnes of snow had fallen on to the roof of the stage, which had now become a safety hazard. A few other bands, like Trash Fashion, would have to take in the views of the mountains this weekend and not much else.

The djing throughout the weekend from Eddy Temple-Morris and Boy8-Bit were superb. The festival was well organised, and literally a breath of fresh air. It was particularly nice to sample something that will no doubt become over-run by more tourists than just the young locals of its first year in the future.

Check out Clash’s photo gallery from Tignes Fest 2008 here.

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