Blog: Chris MercerThe malaise of French youth

Chris Mercer | 24 May 2010

The prospect of 10,000 drunk teenagers crowded together in one space without supervision is the stuff of nightmares for officialdom and it is causing French authorities serious headaches.

Aperos Geants - the literal translation is 'giant aperitifs' - is a big trend in France at the moment.

It is a simple formula: giant parties are organised via social networks, generally Facebook, and then everyone turns up with booze - lots of booze. Different cities are locked in competition to gather the most people.

The death of one young man at one of the parties in Nantes recently has made Aperos Geants headline news.

France's minister for youth and active solidarity, Marc-Philippe Daubresse, has spoken of "the malaise of our young people, who feel the need to gather in tribes and party".

Reactionaries want a ban. Intellectuals have talked about a revolt of the internet youth, for too long stuck in their bedrooms.

More likely, a lot of people are turning up with their friends 'just for something to do'.

Those in authority with more sense are trying to manage the situation rather than stop it. If Aperos Geants is a long-term trend, what opportunities might there be for private enterprise willing to bring a degree of control to the anarchy?


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