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Cabourg Mon Amour 2017 – The Debrief

Oh the joys of a few sunny days spent on the French coastline. Cabourg Mon Amour took over the small seaside resort that is Cabourg for three days and three nights, from July 28-30. For the most time of the year, Cabourg is a quiet little town in Normandy with mostly empty villas and hotels and a grand promenade clinging to the sea that comes and goes like clockwork. In summer though, the town’s population rises from a good 4.000 to around 40.000 and the century old habitat comes to life.

For Cabourg Mon Amour then, a strip of about 800m on the beach is fenced off and two stages and a good handful of food stalls and bars are being set up in the sand. Now, with a grand total of 24 names over three days on the day time line-up, the festival does a proper job on the selecting end of things. So, Friday saw seven acts including two banging headline sets by local heroes Paradis and Jacques in the breezy late July air.

Saturday though, pulled out the big guns. Dreamy rockers Cigarettes After Sex had the audience eating out of their hands, as evidenced above, and after that Agar Agar really gave their electronic equipment a proper go. Next up was SØNGE, highly anticipated, and wow she really went at it. Having the entire main stage for herself, she was everywhere, putting forward a vibrant energy.

The prime twilight slot on Saturday then belonged to Lescop and their banging electronic pop, caught in a mood shot above. Sunday then had the biggest line-up with ten shows to catch. The one that stood out for Team Poule was by Australian disco poppers Parcels who had a good time on stage and their infectious 70s disco vibes carried everyone. Their last single Overnight is attached below, produced by Daft Punk, no less.

Furthermore, Ryder The Eagle did a great dreamy rock show, complete with a quick stint in the audience, where the singer took his girlfriend for a dance. Only in France. The twilight spot then belonged to the grand dame that is Fishbach. Casually smoking cigarettes on stage, she did what she does best and had the audience on her fingertips up until the moment said ‘bon soir Paris…. Cabourg!’ and the atmosphere took a steep dive like seagull on the hunt for fish. She charmed her way back into Cabourg’s hearts though and all was well.

Now, Cabourg Mon Amour is a special festival experience for a number of reasons. For one thing, the way the time table is laid out leaves enough time to see the whole gig and casually walk over the second stage and catch the next show. There are no simultaneous events and the other stage would not start before the first one ended. So, over the festival day you see yourself walking from one stage to the other, and back, and all over again. The whole effort of making your own time table and keeping an eye on time to get to the next circle on your print out does not happen at Cabourg. Which is kind of great, because it puts a brake on your festival days and you really don’t have to think about too much. Secondly, and because of that, a strange feeling on fraternité and communauté carries the festival as everyone has a very similar experience of it. Also, if you don’t feel like seeing the next concert, you can just lie in the sand for two hours and just be. And nothing really beats the rhythmic sound of the ocean caught inside the plastic shell of a portable toilet. Cabourg Mon Amour if you will have us, we will be back next year.

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