Musilac – the Alps-influenced music festival

Musilac 2011 skyline

Musilac music festival was held last weekend in Aix-les-Bains, and the crowd had that lovely festival feeling.

The usual weirdness of a festival, such as this rubber chicken on a stick that was waved around near the front of the stages for most of the day, was present, along with a few other notable things. The view from anywhere was glorious, ranging from the lake and boats to jagged mountains and rolling green slopes. For a change, a music festival had some geographical ambiance — a nice change from the usual converted farming fields. I wasn’t expecting fireworks between the acts, nor the crowd’s reaction, as if it were the first time they’d seen fireworks. The applause after the fireworks was longer than for half the acts on the day! The acts, although limited in number, were generally fantastic, and yet the French influence endured through the night, with a guy called Philippe Katerine taking to the stage after Eels, PJ Harvey and Chemical Brothers.

A photo just wouldn’t justify the weirdness. He appeared in a Tudor-style dress and said in French: “I am the queen of England. F**k you!”
Chicken on a stick at Musilac 2011
After a few dodgy numbers, he stripped down to miniskirt with bi-colour tights and sung along with his four female backing ‘vocalists’ known as “les Katrinettes” — a parody of an old famous French singer (Claude François, who I’ll talk about another time) who had backing singers called the “Claudettes”. Bouncing boobs a requirement, they danced around and sang to songs including one entitled “Let me eat my banana”.
During that particular song, everything smelt of bananas. No, it wasn’t an artificial banana smell that filled the air: it was the real bananas being hurled towards the stage that were numerous enough to stink out the whole area. The singer stood on stage after the song, arms wide apart, inviting people to hit him with bananas. So many people had brought bananas with them! The (French part of the) crowd loved it.

If you’d like to see more photos from Musilac, Madamoiselle Caroline has plenty.


I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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7 comments on “Musilac – the Alps-influenced music festival
  1. Penny says:

    Ha! I just checked out Mlle Caroline’s photo and I think the Queen of England has been watching too much of the Aunty Jack show!! Sounds like a blast!

  2. Wendy says:

    Oh yay! Someone who remembers Aunty Jack! I was so tempted to make the comparison so thank you Penny. He reminded me a lot of Aunty Jack. 🙂

  3. Bob says:

    My goodness! This looks insane but fun! Hoping to visit France soon and I’m actually learning a bit of French using a little app on my iPhone. Can’t wait! Great blog!

  4. Penny says:

    Oh good, I’m glad you got it! I thought I might have been showing my age 😉
    Oh and I have to thank you for linking to Mlle Caroline’s blog a long time ago. I read her all the time – not only is she good for my french but she’s hilarious!

  5. caroline says:

    youpi, thank you so much Penny !
    Wendy is good for my english too, and her point of view is always interesting (?)

  6. Ha! Things were way more laid back here in Cugnaux! LOL I love PJ Harvey–or at least one song by her. Was she any good?

  7. Wendy says:

    Samantha, I was a bit disappointment with PJ Harvey. She lacked any crowd interaction and just kind of played her set coldly. She sung and played well at least.

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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