Two nights in a row, the Invalides lawn has become the playground for hundreds of revelers, mostly young, who have come to take advantage of the postponement of the curfew to 11 p.m., often forgetting the barrier gestures and above all, the ban still in progress. to hold gatherings of more than 10 people.
Police did not evacuate the scene until 11 p.m. on Friday to enforce the curfew.
But on Saturday, the police were tougher - and arguably better prepared, because of the previous day's precedent.
“There were the CRS very early on,” confirms a 14-year-old college student, who calls himself Atraxe, present both evenings at the Invalides.
“As soon as a group that was a little too large formed, it was immediately dispersed,” he continues.
At the end of this new celebration, three people were arrested according to the police headquarters.
These two evenings were called "Project X", in reference to a film released in 2012 in which two American high school students organize a birthday party whose success is such that they find themselves completely overwhelmed.
Their outfit was the result of a clever mix of anticipation… and improvisation.
Influencers and word of mouth
Originally, it was "kinds of influencers, party groups in Paris who launched the idea," Atraxe describes to us. Two of them agreed to talk to us, including the owner of the Snapchat account projectx2021_off, who wishes to remain completely anonymous. "Our task is to unite people, to ensure that they meet in the same place instead of celebrating each on their own", he begins, before specifying that the way of organizing is very variable and constantly evolving. "Sometimes we prepare a party in advance, sometimes we receive a lot of messages from people who want to go out so we organize something, and it also happens that people are already present somewhere and we say to ourselves that it is is a good opportunity to start a movement ”. If he works on several social networks,he wants to focus on Snapchat which offers, according to him, “better accessibility to stories and faster photo sharing”.
Javier *, for his part, maintains the Instagram account projetx_paname2, exclusively dedicated to these evenings. Friday, two hours before the start of the party at the Invalides, he launched the invitations. “I receive thousands of messages a day, regarding what people want to do, where they want to go, if they are looking for a party… And I organize myself according to this,” assures us this 18-year-old student. He therefore occupies a role of intermediary and relay, taking care of finding a place "large enough, where there will be no problem", sometimes inviting a DJ - paid when the evenings are paying -, then notify his 3,500 or so subscribers, who generally allow his posts to reach 15,000 views An activity that he has been carrying out since the end of the last confinement and which, according to his words, does not take him a lot of time.
New party at Les Invalides, the police intervene
For the evening at the Invalides on June 11, he "could not afford to take a DJ, because of the risk that the police would intervene" and seize the equipment.
It was therefore up to the participants to bring back speakers.
On the other hand, the party the next day is not his fault, "I even told people not to go," he tells us, explaining that as there had been one the day before, the forces order would necessarily be there.
But if these evenings bring together so many people, it is precisely because they are not the work of a single organizer. Several influential accounts, generally public - therefore visible to all - had invited young people wishing to party to meet at the Invalides on Friday and Saturday. And then there is word of mouth, version 2021. “One of my friends suggested that I go and I myself, on the spot, I made a story by telling my subscribers to come. at the Invalides where there was a good atmosphere ”, tells us Héloïse, an 18-year-old high school student. “I saw on social networks that my friends were going there, the word got around very quickly. I even heard about it in the metro ”, completes Atraxe, which sums up the operation as follows:“ We are trying to attract as many people as possible, without attracting the police ”.
One of the stories warning of the holding of an evening at the Invalides on Friday 11 June.
One of the stories warning of the holding of an evening at the Invalides on Saturday 12 June.
Why the Invalides?
Because it's a classic.
"Before the Covid, there were already regular parties of this kind in this place", confirms Héloïse.
Last year, a party - which had degenerated into clashes - had already taken place on these lawns in the 7th arrondissement of the capital.
With the warm weather returning and after months of restrictions, it's hardly surprising that the place is in high demand.
On the other hand, given the course of the weekend, it is a safe bet that this "spot" will be closely watched the next weekends: "We will go to another place, on the docks or elsewhere," concludes Héloïse.
* The first name has been changed