This is Not a Love Song Festival 2019 #TINALS
A Haven of Sun, Discovery and Emotion
Located in Nîmes, Southern France, TINALS is not your regular summer festival. Rather than showcasing big headliners, This Is Not a Love Song is the perfect place for musical discoveries and will definitely satisfy your curiosity and crave for new names.
With this in mind, we entrusted our special collaborator and photographer, Camille Reposeur, to experience the uniqueness of this festival and share her adventure on UNCERTAIN.
Before the departure I couldn’t stop listening to the entire lineup and planning out exactly who I wanted to see. With each band I listened to, the excitement to be among the crowd and dance was getting out of control. My gear and clothes are packed and since it is going to be scorching, it’s the perfection occasion to wear flower patterns and sunscreen lotion. Last but not least, a dozen rolls of film are waiting to capture all the precious moments.
The night was short, but here I am on the train, joining forces with my friend Vincent with whom I went to this festival two years ago, and Emma and Celia. We don’t know each other but we soon hit it off and before we know it we’re walking to TINALS where we’re going to experience three days of musical greatness.
The first band I see is Wallows, an indie rock band from the US, whose lead singer is also famous for playing in a popular TV-show. Next, on the Mosquito Stage, which will turn out to be my favorite of the festival, we’re putting our belts on for a trip back to the 70’s with The Nude Party. The sun sets on this first day to the sound of Canadian band Men I Trust, which happens to be my photographic crush because of their sweetness and the smiles we share throughout the set. We leave the stage happy and because Emma loved the band so much, she bought the vinyl record. In a streak of luck, we meet Jessi and Drogo, the bass and keyboard players.
Later, we start to feel the first signs of tiredness, so we unwind for a moment while listening to Kurt Vile in the background. We regain our strength for Channel Tres at the Club. On the stage, two men, who we believe are the musicians, start to dance. We scream and dance and we can’t get our eyes off them. Everybody is enchanted and wants more, but after 30 minutes the show is over… We are sad but keep on dancing, the four of us, before heading back, worn out by the full day we had.
None of us thought about setting an alarm, so we wake up at 3 pm after sleeping for 12 hours – a well-deserved rest. We rise and shine slowly, then put on some music to get warmed up. The flower crowns are out on this second day, as we start it with Big Thief. I am completely stunned – there is so much beauty, such inexplicable power. No doubt it was one of my highlights of this festival. The guys from Men I Trust are also in the crowd, just as mesmerized as we are.
Vincent goes to the Main Stage to see the Korean band DTSQ, quite unknown in France but the audience is nonetheless there and ready for their psych rock. Meanwhile, the girls and I are heading to Methyl Ethel. They sound as beautiful as they are and needless to say, the audience is in a total frenzy. Later, hamburgers are on the table. Now Courtney Barnett is next, delighted to be here as well.
Between sets, we express our feelings and we all agree on one thing: TINALS is awesome. Around 10 pm, we are back to the Mosquito stage for Boy Pablo. We get carried away at once by their expanding joyfulness and we can’t stop singing, dancing and jumping. The crowd is raving and so are the musicians, shirtless from the heat. By the end, exhausted but still smiling, we look for a place to rest.
Right at that moment, James Blake arrives. I have been wanting to see him for years and now it’s finally happening. I am stunned and up in heavens as he plays Retrograde, which slowly turns into a kind of body-moving minimal electronica.
What better way to wrap up the day than dancing our feet off with Dam Funk at the Main Stage. The second day is now over, but we are still full of energy. We walk back to the house and dance to Boy Pablo once again while eating cake, before collapsing in our beds.
Slowly waking up in the heat of Nîmes. The third day of TINALS debuts with the best ice-cream, and then continues with a stroll around the festival until we come upon the choir my friend Vincent could not stop talking about. He even joined them to sing and dance – seeing his head bobbing up and down it was certainly a funny thing to see.
Wednesday Campanella is the first to play on this last day. Alone on the stage, wearing a colorful, extraterrestrial dress, she introduces us to her universe. A balloon pops up behind her and flies up in the air. She cuts through the crowd up to the sound desk, then plays with flower pots she finds on her way: a 50-minute otherworldly experience that leaves us a bit staggered.
The soft sound of Mormor has the Main Stage under a spell – a moment of beauty, an erupting voice leading us until it finally makes us jump around to Outside. As the sun sets, we are wandering around, enjoying the last rays of sunshine before two thunderous sets.
We get to the Mosquito Stage for Rendez-Vous, where I meet my friend Jules. I am a little scared of the mosh-pits, but as soon as the music starts, I am sucked into one and the crowd doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon. After they finish their gig, I have no time to waste because I am on my way to see Shame. The first jumps appear and the crowd follows. An hour of sweat and bodies colliding, but a communion of us all nonetheless. I come out of it breathless and with my watch missing.
As I am heading to the Paloma stage to see Fountaines D.C., I can feel the end of the festival floating in the air, a mix of exhaustion and excitement for the last moments of this year’s edition.
Eventually it is time to leave this haven of music. Three days of discoveries, encounters, sunlight and community. The memories and songs in our heads are here to stay and we are already looking forward to next year. This is Not a Love Song Festival sure knows how to bring everyone together as a family, gathering them every year around a common passion: music.
This Is Not A Love Song Festival
Camille Reposeur is a French film photographer