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Photo: Maxime Chermat

Plants Bring Harmony (and Solange!) to Paris’s We Love Green Festival

Summer officially kicked off at last week’s We Love Green Festival as Solange’s neo-soul and Naya’s soft folk rhythms echoed around the trees in the Bois de Vincennes. Paris’ most chic and eco-conscious festival once again rocked the city of love, and it couldn’t have been further removed from last year’s torrential downpours.

There was something for everybody: Shame’s hardcore punk, pop punk from Parcel, Jon Hopkin’s melodious electronica and Flying Lotus and Modert’s crazy psychedelia. The line up is just one reason that this festival, dubbed the ‘French Coachella’, is so unique and attracts so much curiosity from people who revert back to vegetarianism for the event. Hipster rockers, denim-clad arty types, and modern day Bohemians in eco-friendly dresses with flowers in their hair commingled in huge numbers at this year’s fest, dancing sensually in the late spring sunshine.

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Photo: Maxime Chermat

We Love Green Festival, Paris’s only eco-friendly boho festival, is run by We Love Art (Peacock Society) and is now in its 6th year. Once again, it’s shown with panache that big gatherings can still be respectful of the environment. As they do every year, the organizers take every measure to lower the carbon footprint of the proceedings with a special eye on initiatives that further efforts to protect the environment. As such, the entire festival was run on renewable energy (solar panels, green energy from recycled oil generators, etc), and all of the waste was sorted, recycled, or composted.

To raise awareness of environmental issues, “non-music” stands featuring NGOs such as Greenpeace, Enercoop, and Naturalia played a huge part in the programming. Each organization has its own vision for the future of the planet and works to prove that nothing is irreversible– as a society, we can find alternatives to evolve and become environmentally aware, they claim, and this was the message that festival-goers engaged with in between sets in the form of lectures, debates, and talks. The inspirational, optimistic reflection and action-based analysis was a far cry from the consumer-led hedonism that typifies most music festivals in 2017.

And of course, the food was as organic as the rest of the festival, with a wide-range of responsibly-sourced dishes and low-footprint meals. Festival director Marie Sabot and We Love Green’s food and beverage manager Thomas Grunberg selected each product carefully and thoroughly scrutinized the supply chain. The resultant menu featured everything from exotic bao buns lovingly prepared by Petit Cambodge to sustainably-sourced fish and chips from Sunken Chip. (We also particularly loved Guinguette d’Angèle’s addictive vegan cookies.)

We Love Green, moreover, is a breath of fresh air in a polluted world. It feels like an experimental microcosm of wellbeing wherein the senses and a sense of ethics can mingle and entwine in a simple yet sophisticated way. One can feel the vibrant energy of youth rising throughout the We Love Green grounds– an outdoor oasis brimming with political enthusiasm that is redefining the green movement as we know it.

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