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July 1, 2012


La Marche des Fiertés 2012

by soundlandscapes

IT’S SUMMER AND AT this time each year la Marche des Fiertés, or the Gay Pride March, hits the streets of Paris.

Around half a million people take part and yesterday, as I stood on the Boulevard Montparnasse at the head of the march, it took over two and a half hours for them all to pass by.

Reporting La Marche des Fiertés is one of those occasions when words seem to become much less important than the sights and sounds which very definitely take centre stage.

Sounds before the start of the march:

For those who think that recording events like this must be simply a matter of pointing a microphone and hoping for the best then think again. It’s actually much more difficult than that.

Sounds of the March:

The seemingly endless, obscenely loud, mind-numbing music plays havoc with those of us trying to capture the much more interesting sounds. Even from the depths of the café, La Consigné, where I retreated to try to escape from this sonic onslaught, the unwelcome sounds penetrated unremittingly.

From inside the café La Consigné:

No, I do not like the excessively loud so-called music that is such a feature of this march every year, but that probably says more about me than it does about the march. There is no doubt that La Marche des Fiertés is an astonishingly well-supported event. The atmosphere is terrific and the people are very friendly and good-natured. Yes, it’s noisy but it’s also very colourful and deliciously outrageous. Long may it continue.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kaki Kika
    Jul 1 2012

    Thanks for your beautiful pictures 🙂 I was there too but i didnt see all of that , i was in the first trucks;) Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Kaki Kika XXX

    • Jul 2 2012

      Pleased you like the pictures. If you were in the first truck I must have seen you at some point. I hope you enjoyed the day.

  2. Jul 1 2012

    Even amongst the wall of sound you have managed to capture some details that show the flavour of the day. It seems to be a universal rule that bland generic dance music can only be appreciated if it is really loud! You’re getting quite a good compilation of street festivals on your site, all of them different.

    • Jul 5 2012

      Thanks Jay. ‘Wall of Sound’ is a really good expression and it sums up the occasion very well. Against that, tracking down and capturing individual sounds is quite a challenge but an enjoyable one. I do though worry about the youngsters who enjoy and often stand too close to the very loud music. Their hearing must suffer in the long run.

      On the question of street festivals, I’m hoping to go to another one this weekend This one has a tropical flavour to it so we’ll see what distinctive sounds emerge from that.


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