Musilac Mont-Blanc: Most insane mountain music festival ever?

Zeb Blais |

Last light on the Aguille du Midi above the Musilac stage. Photo: Zeb Blais.

Final rays of light hit the Aguille du Midi above the Musilac stage. Photo: Zeb Blais.

 

Chamonix just hosted what is possibly the world’s most eclectic music festival. The three day festival started Thursday and drew 40,000 people from across globe. The all ages crowd danced, sang, laughed and rocked out to the weirdest collection of bands that have shared a stage in a mountain town.  Headliners ranged from Rag’n’bone Man’s smooth blend of soul and blues to French rapper Orelsan to the mo-hawked, over-the-top, hard rocking Shaka Ponk.

 

Shaka Punk getting the crowd fired up.
Shaka Punk getting the crowd fired up.

The festival featured seven bands each day, blasting music from mid-afternoon until midnight.  Acts ranged the spectrum of musical genres, but each day they were vaguely within the same vein until Saturday when the wheels came off.  On the closing day, space disco group L’Imperatrice cleared the stage for acoustic soul reggae Selah Sue and quickly changed gears to Ben Harper, wild woman Beth Ditto and the heavy rock and wild antics of French rockers, Shaka Punk.  The crowd didn’t miss a band and seemed almost equally enthused about each act, giving the performers back the energy they were putting out on stage with claps, cheers and dancing.

Ben Harper giving it up Saturday.
Ben Harper giving it up Saturday.

 

L'imperatrice.
L’imperatrice.

 

Beth Ditto belting out lyrics and as much French banter as she could muster between songs.
Beth Ditto belting out lyrics and as much French banter as she could muster between songs.

 

The Musilac Mont-Blanc Stage drawing a full crowd under the backdrop of the Aguille du Midi. Photo: Zeb Blais.
The Musilac Mont-Blanc Stage drawing a full crowd under the backdrop of the Aguille du Midi. Photo: Zeb Blais.

 

What other music festival has mountain peaks looming 9,000′ directly above the stage? The music stood on its own, but the backdrop of the Aguille du Midi and the massive glaciers of Mont Blanc made it surreal.  Perfect weather and clear skies each night made for dramatic sunsets bathing the glaciers of Mont Blanc in pink and purple light.

Shaka Ponk's wild visual effects and energetic stage presence wowed the crowd.
Shaka Ponk’s wild visual effects and energetic stage presence wowed the crowd.

 

This was the debut of the Musillac festival in Chamonix, but there are more to come.  This was a massive event for the mountain town of just under 9,000 residents and organizers are already planning the event for next year.

Just one more reason to make the pilgrimage to Chamonix next spring!


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