Post by kerouac2 on Sept 19, 2017 11:12:15 GMT
Last week I received an email from the electric company (EDF) asking if I wanted to participate in a drawing for a free ticket to see Les Insus at the Stade de France. Even though I try to keep up with the music scene -- even styles that I do not appreciate -- this did not ring a bell, which is quite surprising. Not many people can sell 80,000 tickets for a concert in France. Looking them up, I realised that I did know them. Téléphone was France's first credible modern rock band... 40 years ago. 3 of the 4 members have reformed temporarily and have been touring for the last two years. The Stade de France concert was the grand finale.
Nevertheless, it is proof that I am getting old if people like that can tour France for 2 years and I do not even notice that they exist and cannot remember having seen the name Les Insus anywhere. Even though I liked maybe half a dozen of their songs over the years (their first incarnation lasted 10 years before they went on to solo careers), I was never really a fan, but I figured what the hell, I'll click on the email. Not only did I have no chance of winning a ticket, even if I won a ticket, there was nothing forcing me to actually attend.
Well, obviously I won the ticket and received very precise instructions for the rendezvous with the EDF person. After two searches, I arrived at the meeting point. The woman in charge really knew her stuff because she looked at her list and guessed my name on the first try, which she proceeded to do with every other person. I was surprised that there were only 16 names on the list. After all, it is the 5th largest energy company in the world and has 160,000 employees. (It would be the largest energy company in the world if EDF-GDF has not been split in two -- the GDF half, now called Engie, is the 2nd largest energy company in the world.) But employees were not invited; this event was just a few crumbs being tossed at some minor shareholders -- individual shareholders represent less than 3% of the capital. I was selected out of 49,000 possible people although Ms. EDF told us that only about 900 people tried for tickets. After all, it was one ticket per person and lots of people never attend anything alone, and also for some reason, not everybody lives in the Paris metropolitan area, or they have kids or they're in nursing homes or just who the fuck wants to see Les Insus, I've never heard of them, I don't like crowds, I'm too old for such things, there might be a bomb, it ends too late... In the end, it is sort of surprising that 900 people tried for tickets on 3 days notice.
Why 16 people? Because we were invited to the special VIP box of the CEO of EDF and it has 16 seats. Karine (Ms. EDF) said that we were luckier than we could imagine because the previous CEO absolutely never let anybody else use his box.
We got our tickets and all I could think was yikes, who would pay that much just to see a concert? (Yes, I know that a lot of people would.)
We went through more security and were delayed slightly because Tran, the Vietnamese member of our group, had too many suspicious electronics on him. We were greeted by at least a dozen greeters, walked through the big open bar and snack section ("You can have as much as you want and it's all free.") And finally we entered loge 88, which immediately made me think that it was chosen by EDF with China in mind.
Basically, each loge is a big lounge with a small kitchen and bar and then 16 seats outside for watching the event.