Report : Rencontres Alternatives with the Spiral Tribe

By Capitaine Tortue – monday,  september 2nd, 2013


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Let’s not fool ourselves, we frenchs didn’t invent nothing in term of rave parties and nomad culture. The English did. Fleeing the repression of Margaret Tatcher’s government, they started driving around England, France and all Europe organizing massive free parties, showing us that another way of life, involving more freedom, was possible.


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If it is so common see geraniums flowering to the bottom of customised vans around us, that’s because the english, which the most famous are regrouped under the name « Spiral Tribe » have come around here 20 years ago and planted the seed.


While, for many, Rencontres Alternatives was just another techno party, it was for me a way more meaningful event. It was the occasion to show to the Spiral Tribe, who came back in conquered land for the occasion, how that seed they have trusted us to breed has grown and flowered.


Rencontres Alternatives 


It is with much emotion and a certain pride that I think about this night in Rennes’s green immediate surrounding called « La Prévalaye ». Rarely had I seen such a unity in the techno movement. There were sound-systems from all over Brittany, artists collectives, and DJs from all kinds of techno cultures including trendy places such as parisian nights, Midweek and Afterworks.


Musically, and contrarily to the previous edition, we were offered a wide range of techno styles distributed between the 5 cleverly decorated stages, going from House to Hardcore including Drum’n'bass and such…all being accessible for most people (that means not to play too many styles which names end by « core »). Lot of mixing, but also many live performances, in particular on the stage dedicated to the Spiral Tribe. We even got to see a live on a Gameboy in the chill out !


Rencontres Alternatives


Rencontres Alternatives, apart from the music, is also a great place to connect with the people. Everybody is coming back from holiday and has a lot to talk about. Also, the great accessibility of the site – reachable in a 20 minute walk from the city center – allows a great mix of the population and give the opportunity for curious outsiders to come and finally see what a free party is all about with their own eyes and ears. Yes ! Like back in the old days !

And the proximity with « the Society » doesn’t take away the feeling of freedom which is so important to the movement : the party still remains a Temporarily Autonomous Zone, and the only uniforms one could come across were those of the Red Cross.


Rencontres Alternatives




With the Spiral Tribe coming by, maybe it is time for an analysis of the evolution of the underground techno movement in Brittany since the great days of free parties.

In 20 years, the seed has grown and became a great tree with many branches. For a long time clandestine and often persecuted, the movement now benefits from a certain tolerance and trust from the authority, which is far from being the same in others regions of France. It is thanks to this that events such as the multison or Rencontres Alternative can exist.

The rebel and subversive aspect has slowly faded, but the creative force remains stronger than ever, with more and more music styles being represented, and decorations crazier every time. We therefore witness a new diversification of the public thanks to the wide range of musical styles, which became less dark but happier and more accessible. This change in the public is also due to the legal aspect of these parties, which allows to acknowledge the location several days before, and ensure not to have to confront with the police.


The original message remains intact : RAVE ON !!






Capitaine Tortue


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