Nyon, the small town where I live, hosts the second largest annual music festival in the world. So every year in July, the Paléo Festival kicks into action for six days and turns our peaceful little area into a crowded music mecca. Every evening sees 35,000 people entering the gates of Paléo. As the population of our town is only around 17,000, you can imagine the effect it has on our normally tranquil existence.
However, this is nothing compared to the effect it has on our small apartment. As we live within spitting distance of Paléo, our little abode becomes the festival camping ground for a goodly number of our friends and family. As regular as clockwork they arrive each year and set up camp for six days on any flat surface we can offer, or they can find. Like some kind of strange ritual, we all then immediately kick into the ‘Paléo’ routine and start having breakfast at midday, a long apéro from about 3-7 pm, and then everyone is off to the festival to rock the night away until the wee wee hours.
Returning, with giggles, moderate wobbling and extremely tired, our cocker spaniel then entertains the neighbours with a good dose of ‘I’m a good guard dog’ barking and howling to greet the tipsy intruders. Of course he continues his duties as the flock then line up for the bathroom before finally settling along with everyone else at somewhere close to sunrise.
Then at around 11am, a new day begins. A bit like ‘Ground Hog Day’ in fact as day two of Paléo will be exactly the same as day one. As will all six days until finally Sunday arrives and a gigantic fireworks display signals the end of Paléo for another year. Dog tired, we all huddle around the dining table for our last ritual Paléo breakfast at around midday on Monday and slowly, our friends and family pack up and leave. Until next year.
Yes it’s chaotic, tiring and crowded. But we just couldn’t imagine a year without our ‘Paléo Campers’. We love it.