- Top 100
April 23, 2012
Written by DJ Si Edwards
Intro: This week we touch down in Marseille, France for a charity show in a live music venue. Hosted in conjunction with NRJ radio, the event had an unusual twist for admission, you gained entry by bringing donations of food, which then goes towards the local charity. So then, what kinda show do you get for bringing a tin of beans and a bag of carrots to the club? Let’s find out.
Destination/Location: Marseille, France
The charming city is actually the second largest city in France. Located in a stunning harbor by the sea, the busy port isn’t just a hub for the thriving fishing business, there’s great history, amazing buildings over looked by the stunning Notre-Dame De La Garde (Its behind me in this picture above). The city has tons of tiny streets, driving around felt like being in some action scene from a hollywood movie, the ones that see mini cars flying down unthinkable narrow roads. It also has a vibrant nightlife, with tons of super cool bars and some wicked clubs, I was excited to get out to our event as I know the french know how to party.
City Review Link: What to do in Marseille
Venue/Club: L’Espace Julien
This live music building had all the hall marks of a classic rock venue, huge stage, mosh pit-like dance floor and staggered standing area that set back into the dark backdrop of the unknown, you look around and you know these walls have seen some messy shows! Although all the performers we’re DJ based, the place didn’t have what you’d expect from a club these days, no fancy lasers or special effect machines, no super cool VIP or lush decor, this was as raw as your gonna get, brick walls, giant spot lights for the stage and that’s your lot, after all its mainly for live music shows.
Website Link: L’Espace Julien Venue Website
Night/Event: A night to help raise money and food for local charity, called ‘We Luv’. It’s a great cause and with top European radio broadcaster, NRJ onboard supplying a hotbed of talent to perform, this event was always going to be a winner in more ways than one. As we arrived the show was in full swing, Big Al was on stage ripping it up alongside his DJ, it had that concert feel, everyone losing themselves on the dance floor. Hands in the air, eyes closed, the sweat dripping from the walls and the large PA system ripped through the crowd like a hot knife through butter. Speaking of the crowd, was a mix, old and young, and I mean like really old and really young, it was an open charity event for all, great to see different generations uniting as one for a good cause.
Top Tip for Tour DJs: If your playing in a country or city that you don’t speak the local language, make the effort and learn the basics, how to say hello, it goes such a along way, especially over the microphone. This was the case for this event, using a little bit of french went along way to connecting with the fellow performers and especially the crowd. Sometimes its naive to think everyone will understand English, yes people here will still understand the basics, but connecting on their level, speaking their language, wow, had such a bigger impact. Even when leaving the show, saying thank you (‘merci’) went along way and made all the difference. Stay humble, keep it local.
Music/Genres: Hosted by NRJ radio, who’s slogan is ‘all the latest hits’, said it all, if its big on radio it was in the show. Very commercial, think David Guetta, Rihanna, add some classics for the older people who turned up to support, the likes of Michael Jackson and Madonna. Although the DJs dropped some heavy remixes, nobody swayed too far away from the commercial sound. It may not have been a night of cool music, but the masses turning out for a good cause, raising so much for charity, now that IS cool and using music, regardless of the genre, is a wonderful way to celebrate it. It was also wonderful to see such a classic, Billie Jean tear up the club, the crowd gave a massive cheer as soon as the iconic baseline dropped, was certainly the tune of the night!
Tune of the Night: Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
Stand Out Moment: Such a varied crowd, old and young mixed on the dance floor. My personal favorite moment was seeing a woman who must of been 60+ at the front of the stage, she was loving the show throughout, dancing, singing to every track. I mean the venue was packed, the music was blasting out and she was up there with the younger ravers with her hands in the air, music is an incredible thing to bring people together, this was one of those moments, age, race, culture, everything went out of the window, all as one united by music on that dance floor. It was like seeing my own mother out there dancing to an afrojack remix!
Final Thought: If somebody said to me, turn up to a club with a bag of potatoes and a bowl of fruit and you’ll get entry to see a wicked show, AND all proceeds go to charity, I’d be all over that, just like the masses were here in Marseille. I feel more events need to be like this, using the music culture as a way to raise money for local charities, giving back to our communities. I know there are big charity festivals, huge events like Band Aid, but think how many cities in the world have nightclubs, if every cities did a local event like this it would make such a difference, and giving back to the needy on your own doorstep, that in itself is why we need more events like this. Who ever thought the success of a club event could be measured in bags of food? I certainly didn’t, but my eyes have been opened, I hope yours have too. Peace.
Shout Outs: Claude, NRJ, Cyril, Big AL