Piercing red lazers permeate the the thick, foggy atmosphere as nearly 1,000 revelers throw their hands in the air while Detroit techno legend Kevin Saunderson drops a booming bass line during his DJ set at BUDX Paris. Outside, a queue of nearly 200 hundred people await to get into the sold out event. It's arguably the hottest ticket in town that features headlining performances from Richie Hawtin, Maceo Plex, Busy P, Hamza and more over three days. That said, this is only the first event and already the energy is at peak levels.
BUDX Paris served as the first stop on the BUDX world tour that will travel to creative hotspots around the world, including Ho Chi Minh City, Lagos, Cape Town and Tokyo. In Paris the ethos of the series was revealed, with a stacked program of panel discussions, workshops, live performances and immersive experiences that celebrated the city's creative leaders.
The event took place at La Marbrerie, located in the Montreuil neighborhood, one of Paris’ most attractive suburbs when it comes to emerging culture and nightlife and a hotspot for creative minds that is acting as the new beating heart of the French capital.
The day programming brought together a collective of music industry professionals discussing what fuels their passion in their respective cultural fields. Day one included talks on Paris' booming DIY rave scene, the vibrant LGBTQ dance parties and deep dive into the history of techno with pioneering artist Kevin Saunderson.
On the second day the discussions heated up with an exploration into how music and other cultures are interacting. Here there was a focus on how subcultures are impacting fashion, the essence of the voguing community and a celebration of 15 years of Ed Banger records with the label founder Busy P that touched on their incredible use of music videos to pair with their releases.
The final day kept the engaging chats flowing with a collective of artists discussing the rise of French hip hop, using social media to go viral and the essential connection between visual art and music with Kim Chapiron, Ousmane Ly and Mr. Fifou.
Once the talks had concluded on each day the crowd would shift to the main hall where the party would kick off with performances from many of the most exciting artists in house, techno and hip hop.
Beginning with a bang, the first night's performances featured the homegrown label heads of D.KO Records to kick off with set of jacking house, mixing in some of the label's top vinyl releases. The energy was turned up a notch when Palestinian phenomenon Sama took the stage next. She brought forth a dose of dark and brooding techno before handing over the reigns to Detroit techno legend and pioneer Kevin Saunderson. The night finished in high spirits as headliner Richie Hawtin delivered a euphoric and hypnotic taste of his distinct techno blend.
The second night kicked off more eclectic programming as Louise Chen began the night with a proper display of house heat before Kiddy Smile turned up with a rowdy performance. His set was highlighted by his crew of voguers that got the crowd immersed in their infectious energy. It was a beautiful display of freedom of expression that was highlighted further when Busy P and Myd stepped up next for a showcase of Ed Banger flavors (watch here). Ellum Audio label affiliate Madben took over before the night was capped off with Maceo Plex (watch here). The dynamic talent wasted no time in showcasing breakbeat, techno and electro motifs that concluded day one with a ravey finish.
In keeping with day three's early programming, the night performances celebrated all things hip hop with a mixture of French and international talent. Leading off the night was Laylow, followed by the crooning sounds of Sônge, before Dinos took the mic and lifted the crowd to new heights. Headlining the evening was Hamza, who had the crowd moshing and singing every word to all of his tracks. This young talent is fast on the rise and it's easy to see why. French producer Myth Syzer finished off the night with a DJ set of hip hop both old and new.
View photos of the BUDX Paris event below to get a glimpse of the full experience and find out where BUDX is heading next here
[Photo credit: Marie Rouge / @lesjouesrouges]