MINI United is a Janus-faced festival of sorts. In the blistering heat of the day, it’s all about MINI, MINI, MINI. But as dusk descends, a different vibe sets in. The air becomes heavy with the crackle of opening beers, the shrieks of overexcited children, and the chatter of new-formed friendships. The festival stage begins to glow as the sunlight dims. It’s party time.
MINI United had a truly stellar lineup this year. From local French bands to international megastars, from disco, to punk, to dance to mellow rock, there really was something here to suit every taste. Add to that a blistering soundsystem and a seemingly endless crowd of festival-goers, and the stage is really set for a night to remember.
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Friday’s lineup kicked off with British indie rockers The Rifles, who warmed up the crowd nicely with their wry observational style. French locals, Naive New Beaters, followed the show with a psychedelic performance and some pretty creative stage props. And the cult French musical legend Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine lent some gravitas to the proceedings with a complex, multilayered and thought-provoking set.
By the time Iggy and the Stooges were due on stage, the atmosphere was positively electric. And Iggy only superseded expectations of his live performance. Writhing on the stage with signature bare torso and flying blond hair, he exuded a maniacal energy that couldn’t fail to astound. The crowd was hooked from start to finish, with pleas for encores resounding long after the set was over.
Chart-topping French DJ, Martin Solveig, closed proceedings with a gleefully eclectic set, sampling everyone from Run DMC to Nirvana. Sound strange? Ask anyone. It worked.
Saturday’s lineup offered a different vibe. Parisian singer-songwriter Ben Mazué warmed things up, honing a laid-back, soulful style with an undeniable hint of je ne sais quoi. French rockers SOMA shifted gears with a blend of anthemic pop and aggressive, rock ‚n' roll attitude. And English-born French native Charlie Winston charged through his set with boundless energy and spontenaiety – check out this impromptu beatboxing for a teaser.
The night’s headliners had a lot to live up to, but they didn’t disappoint. UK punk pop darlings, The Ting Tings, whipped the crowd into a veritable frenzy with a string of super-hits and some memorably charming Franglais. And riot-punk megastars Gossip seared through a scorcher of a set. There’s no denying the strength of that voice.
Festival closers Birdy Nam Nam flew the French flag high for a final, high-octane dance set, closing the festival lineup with a bang.
It’s always been a haven for MINIacs, but this year, MINI United truly cemented its reputation as a spectacular music festival in its own right.