Sep 27th, 2016, 06:43 PM

Techno Parade Through the Eyes of a Police Officer

By Kimberley Pelissier
Image Credit Wike Media/Jon Phillipo
Saturday, September 24, the craziest, largest, and most advanced electronic music parade came back to the streets of Paris.

Techno parade — the second-biggest free outdoor music festival in France after the Fete de la Musique — began in the early 90s as a protest against the government's repression of electronic music. In 1998, the prime supporter, Technopol, finally persuaded the government to recognize it as a musical culture. Ever since, the techno parade has attracted thousands of people from all over the world to dance and spread the slogan: diversity, rhythmicity, and freedom. 

The 2016 techno parade started off at the Louvre and finished at Place de la Bastille (due to security issues as the parade has gotten out of control over the past few years). The techno parade aproximate distance had always been about 5km but this year it was cut down to about 2.5 — to not only ensure the security of the techno paraders but also the rest of the Parisian society. Not only that, but the techno parade lost 15% of their flowing. The festivities went from 350,000 people in 2015 to 300,000 this year. 

Credit Image: Kimberley Pelissier

Moreover, the techno parade isn't just dreadful for those haters of electronic music but even more so for the people who have to deal with the aftermath: people out of control, drug and alcohol intoxicated, 'fouteurs de merde' (trouble makers), and others. Has anyone ever stopped to think about the techno parade through the eyes of a policeman? Or the unlucky sweepers who have to clean the Parisian streets night in, night out?

We interviewed a very angry French policeman. In a very pissed off tone, he told us that with all the recent attacks, his biggest fear was not knowing how safe it was that the city would green-light a huge outdoor event like the techno parade. Not only that, but with the amount of people at an event like this how can they know when to detain somebody: who is a liability to public safety, and who is simply high.


Credit Image : Kimberley Pelissier

Thierry, a very Parisian policeman, told us a story about a man who lost his life at a previous year's techno parade. This man, following a famous new trend of 'let's climb on every possible thing in our site even if it says DANGER' fell off a 25m famous monument in 2015. The tragic part about this story is that the man was only found after the techno parade had finished.  This disturbed Thierry and left a big dent in the perception of the techno parade and as a result, it is a major reason why security is now so reinforced.

Jacobo, a regular of the techno parade (with a possibly fake name) said: 'the techno parade is no fun for me if I am not under the influence of drugs, hard drugs'. Hearing this from someone not much older then us kind of put us in the shoes of the policeman. How do you deal with someone who clearly gives no shits about the rules?

Throughout the many years the techno parade has strived, many police officers have had to endure psychotic and gruesome people, it makes one question how many more downsides there are at the end of the day at the techno parade. Many of the people attending the techno parade don't even care about the consequences of their actions or even the law. Unfortunately, Parisian policeman are seen as jokes, an illegitimate representation of the state. 

Video Credit: Kimberley Pelissier

Additional Reporting by: Hind Ngouonimba