Fete de la Musique, Hancock and INSEAD

Yesterday was a big day in Paris … the annual Fete de la Musique. The Fete is a day and night where the streets of Paris are filled with music in all its forms, with only one guiding principle – all the concerts are free. The festival was originated in 1982 by the former French Cultural Minister Jack Lang, who we randomly saw walking around the Marais this night. The Fete is now celebrated in over 100 cities around the world, including New York, San Francisco and Pasadena.

On the night, you find an eclectic mix of sound, where you can find some stoner playing DJ by powering his iPod with a car battery and connecting it to speakers, and not far from him, a Brazilian orchestra playing with the Republican Guard band at the Elysee Palace. This year’s Fete fell on a night that felt like there was harmonic convergence. It fell on a Saturday night (it’s always on June 21st, the longest day of the year), with absolutely perfect weather, a full moon and a big soccer match (Russia v The Netherlands). You could feel the manic energy building in the city throughout the day.

In the afternoon, I met some friends for a drink at the famous Cafe de Flore – locals all hate this place but my friend’s friend visiting from the US wanted to go there – and while riding my Velib bicycle there saw a big double-decker tourist bus up on the sidewalk next to the Pont des Arts with a big lamp post bent like a pretzel on the street below it. A few minutes later while at the cafe, I inexplicably saw a huge group of scooter delivery guys from the restaurant Planet Sushi taking over Boulevard Saint-Germain. It was that kind of day.

I spent the night walking various neighborhoods with a group of friends until about 2:30am. It was useless to go home earlier than that because the city was so electric throughout the night that your chances of sleeping before day break were pretty small. I really didn’t feel like taking any photos so I have no documentary images but if you’d like to see some from years past, CLICK HERE (these are not my images).

This week also brought the French premiere of the film “Hancock” with a group of stars in attendance – Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Tony Parker, Eva Longoria and Kanye West.

I also had a shoot at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, about an hour South of Paris. A group of young business leaders from Dubai came to INSEAD, a top international business school, to learn the latest greatest thinking in business.

A few photos of the week …

Charlize Theron
Eva Longoria
The cast of Hancock
Butcher’s representation of the city of Paris
Dubai student at INSEAD


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