I've just finished photographing the 19th Street parade as mentioned in one of my previous posts.
After a break of two years I was really looking forward attending again. I was disappointed and I'll tell you why.
Normally (well, in previous years actually), there has been a massive party held in the Zürich main station. As soon as you disembarked from the train, there was the thud of Bass from the massive loudspeakers echoing through the giant hall.
This year there was nothing. Just people milling around. I took a few pics with my colleague Sindhoor and then we made our way to the Parade itself.
Walking down the main street towards the parade route I was struck by how "quiet" it was in comparison to my previous visits. The people as always were in a happy mood and willing to pose for pictures but there just didn't seem to be that "vibe" from previous years.
I had warned in my previous post that taking a rucksack would be a bad idea due to the crush of people attending but the reality was different. Sindhoor had a rucksack and experienced no problems whatsoever with mobility. There were open spaces everywhere. I could've swung my camera around by the strap and not hit anyone in some of the places.
There were several stages throughout the parade area. Normally they are populated by very attractive dancers. I was dismayed to see that this years crop (with only one or two exceptions) were lethargic and distanced.
Also a first for me this year was seeing the amount of drunk / drugged ravers. Now I know that rave parties and drug culture are inextricably linked, but previously they weren't too visible. This year I had them walking into me, I saw them falling over. I watched them try to focus their eyes when talkng to their companions. One couple behind me kept snorting what I can only assume was cocaine through a twenty Franc note every four or five minutes after which he'd unroll the note, lick it clean and then carry on dancing. I took this one surreptitiously over my shoulder. I've made him anonymous with a suitably trippy mask.
One group were just sat in the middle of the pavement with a cigarette rolling machine and a plentiful supply of marijuana.
Lastly, the Lovemobies themselves. I know that it takes quite a while for the Lovemobiles to make their way along the route and maybe the dancers onboard are tired by that time but of the first five mobiles that I saw, there were hardly anyone dancing. Most of the people onboard were jusr drinking, chatting amongst themselves or leaning on the railings and looking into the crowd.
At around five o'clock it began to rain heavily so I called it a day and made my way home.
I'm not saying that the parade was a complete let down but there wasn't the atmosphere of previous years. Sindhoor enjoyed it and he got some great images with his new camera. Me? I "only" took around 300 images. I didn't even fill one memorycard. That would have been unheard of previously.
Maybe it will be better next year. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm getting jaded and spoiled by the experiences of previous years.
I'll leave you with this image. It's a crop from one of the pics on my site and shows me reflected in one of the girls' sunglasses.
Till next time. Take care.