The band wanted to go back onstage once the storm blew over but – even after a 10-minute mopping-up operation – it was still deemed unsafe. Undeterred band leader Win Butler led the other musicians back for an acoustic version of “Wake Up.”
“It took them five minutes to become heroes for a year,” Rock En Seine chief Salomon Hazot told Pollstar, describing the reaction the band got from the 35,000-capacity, sold-out crowd.
“We are continually getting weather forecast updates and we expected a shower or two and a little wind, but we weren’t expecting anything like we got,” he explained. “The wind came around to blow directly into the stage and within minutes the rain was hammering in to our faces.
“It was all over in a few minutes but most of the equipment was saturated. I say thank you to Arcade Fire and commend their professionalism.”
Hazot, who recently sold Nous Productions to Warner France but hung on to his festival business, hopes to grow next year’s Rock En Seine by adding a stage and upping the capacity. He’s also in talks with Sonisphere Festival co-founder and K2 agency chief John Jackson about staging a French edition of the festival in 2011.
The other acts playing up a storm on the Saint-Cloud site in the Paris suburbs Aug. 27-29 included Blink-182, Massive Attack, LCD Soundsystem, Queens Of The Stone Age and Cypress Hill.