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Secret Nights: the big recap!

On July 22, 23 and 24, festival-goers had an appointment in the North of France in Aulnoye-Aymeries where Les Nuits Secrètes were held. We attended the last day and we embark you in the heart of this moment!

It is Sunday July 24, only a few hours pass between our return to France following the Francofolies de Spa and our departure for Secret Nights. A changed memory card and recharged batteries: we are ready to experience the last day of the festival. For this closing of the Secret Nights, Oboy, Virgo Ascendant, Juliet Armanet or OrelSan are, among other things, expected.

Live under a bright sun!

It is around 7 p.m. when we arrive in Aulnoye-Aymeries. While the party is in full swing under a bright sun since Friday, the observation is clear: the festival-goers are still in a form of hell. They are totally ready to live these last moments of celebration, which promise to be boiling. At the same time, it’s the 20th anniversary of the festival…

Immediately we hear the rap of Oboy resonate on the site. With titles taken from his latest album such as “TDB”, “Bétoile” and slightly older songs such as “Cabeza”, and “Avec toi”, the artist ignites the public from the Main Stage.

© Elise Dezecache

After soaking up this first atmosphere, we take the time to discover the festival site. A place whose configuration has also been redesigned for this 20th anniversary. We then notice a particular audience, not going unnoticed. Some show up with T-shirts and others are dressed in a flag dotted with green, blue, red, black and embellished with white and gray. Do you see what audience this is? If we tell you that The earth is roundthat coming to the Nuits Secrètes is as simple as Basic, you visualize a little better? We are obviously talking to you about the public ofOrelSan. Fans came en masse to the Nuits Secrètes, one of the few dates in the North of France for this festival tour. It will nevertheless be necessary to wait a few hours before the arrival of the great San on stage!

On the other side of the festival, the Brussels duo Virgo Ascendant has been raging EDEN since 8 p.m. Festival-goers are carried away by the musical intensity offered by the duo. Techno mixes with some electro sounds but whatever, let’s not put the musical style of these artists in a specific box since it seems unique!

9 p.m.: the queen of disco takes the stage

A few minutes before 9 p.m., we return near the Main Stage, for a concert that promises to be brilliant. The public is ready to welcome the disco queen. Juliet Armanet then arrives on stage showing herself, too, ready to give everything for her audience. Jet of rose, perfect communication with the public and power: the singer invests her place of performance in an electrifying way from the first seconds.

For an hour, Juliette Armanet chained her hits, always with the unfailing support of the public. “Tu me Play”, “Brûler le feu”, without forgetting the essential “The last day of disco”, everything goes there. Disco ball and sunset, it’s the perfect featuring to spend a beautiful evening!

A boiling audience for the last concert of the 2022 edition!

Here we are. The hour of the last concert is approaching. It’s time for us to enter the crash. Instantly, the madness and the fervor of the public are felt. Even if the festival-goers are boiling at the idea of ​​welcoming one minute to another OrelSan, those that will be described as the nuggets of this moment add a little more madness. Those are Thomas and Anthonyaka the charlie, which ensure this increase in power. We show you…

We have also collected the testimony of one of them, Thomas:

With Antoine, we were very happy to see the crowd shouting “Charlie”.
Basically, it was just a delirium between us and it became a real moment of happiness at the festival. We were stopped to take pictures, it had become nonsense but we liked it!

Thomas adds:

The public of the Nuits Secrètes was brilliant and super benevolent. It was a real pleasure to exchange with everyone, even after the 4000th “Where is Charlie ?” !

11 p.m.: 3,2,1 black scene!

The lights go out, the instrumental of “Civilization” oscillates between the cries of the public, the emotions multiply on the faces: OrelSan arrives on the Main Stage!

It was probably the most awaited concert and we quickly understand why. Festival-goers know, without exception, all the lyrics. Titles taken from Civilization or of Mermaids’ song yet released in 2011, everyone sings. We even come across little ones just as much on the job as the older ones.

At the end of “The Smell of Gasoline”, it’s time to Civilization Fighter, a recurring game on the Norman artist’s tour. To do this, two teams and members of the public are chosen to participate. Surprise, we see two people who are not unknown to us. It’s the two Charlies!

We ran into Ablaye (the manager and backer of OrelSan) in the crowd just before his Orelsan concert and talked to him about everything and nothing, from the tour, to the fact that I already went on stage with Orelsan in March in Zenith of Lille for the Civilization Fighter… Suddenly, he confided to us that they were still going to play this game, suddenly we said that we were motivated!

During the concert and at the end of “The Smell of Gasoline” I asked a few people in the crowd to carry me so that Ablaye could spot me, and that’s what happened, he chose me! I told my friend Antoine (the second Charlie) to follow me because I really wanted to share this moment with him. Arrived in front of security, we were told ‘no no it’s only one person’ but Orelsan saw us and offered to each play a part.
Backstage before going on stage, we were super happy and we had to reassure Ines (my competitor who also went on stage) because it was her dream to be able to meet her idol!

Thomas, aka Charlie


Unanimous festival-goers…

Throughout the festival, no less than 55,000 people vibrated to the rhythms of diverse and varied musical proposals. Curious to know the feelings of the public, we interviewed some festival-goers…

Les Nuits Secrètes is a very friendly festival on a human scale to really have fun in all corners of the festival. Very varied programming, with all genres of music. The space is very well thought out. It is very easy to find each other and make beautiful encounters. Big big up to Charlotte de Witte who will certainly read this message!

Thomas, 21, Lille (and obviously a fan of Charlotte de Witte)

… and already looking forward to returning to Les Nuits Secrètes in 2023!

It was my first time attending this festival. I really loved it, everything was super well organized. The passage of Rilès was a defining moment for me. There was a crazy atmosphere and incredible music! I’m going back next year for sure

Juliette, 22 years old, Valenciennes

This day, I spent it with my brother and his friends whom I already knew. I was able to meet new people because the atmosphere was warm and most of the festival-goers were in the same energy. I loved this festival, very happy to have seen Orelsan, an artist I’ve been listening to since college, but also Juliette Armanet and Ascendant Vierge. It’s also nice to discover lesser known artists. I was not disappointed and I plan to do Les Nuits Secrètes again with great pleasure!

Constance, 22 years old, Violaines

It was the first time I went to the Nuits Secrètes, but certainly not the last. There was a really good atmosphere, good concerts and good beers…
I keep good memories between friends and can’t wait for next year!!!!

Clémence, 17 years old, Bettrechies

I went to Nuits Secrètes with a group of friends. Then it was my first festival so I was excited!
We easily found access to the city by following the signs. We were also well guided and welcomed by the staff.
The sets were impressive, especially the moon next to which we finally felt very small.
What impressed me the most, I would say, was the good mood of the festival-goers! I was able to see a great mutual aid and a lot of sharing!
Looking forward to the next edition!

Chloe, 21 years old, Dunkirk

Speaking of next year, you can already note in your diary that Les Nuits Secrètes will be back on July 21, 22 and 23, 2023!

🖊 & 📸: Elise Dezecache

© Elise Dezecache

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