• Four days before the first concert of Mylène Farmer's tour in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille, a dozen fans are already waiting in front of the stadium.
  • Fans are waiting for permission to put the tent in the future queue.
  • We met a woman from Strasbourg who has followed all her tours since 1989.

On Saturday night, there will be 45,000. This Tuesday morning, they were already a dozen installed in front of the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille. Their common passion has a name, Farmer, and a first name, Mylène. All are waiting for the inaugural concert of the new tour called "Nevermore 2023". Everyone wants to be "in the front row". So, every day, these fans wait for permission to put the tent in the future queue.

"The first ones arrived at the stadium on May 1," says Ana. This Strasbourgeoise has been on all the artist's tours since the very first one, in 1989, when she was 17 years old. His girlfriend of Belarusian origin Anna, who accompanies him, met Mylène Farmer during a concert in Russia in 2000. "In front of the stage, the security, armed with Kalashnikovs, asked the spectators to remain calm," she says. But it was madness. We had never seen a show like this at home. »

"She knows we'll always be here"

Both arrived from Strasbourg on the night of Friday to Saturday, a week before the event. Every morning, they face the wind that rushes into the stadium avenue. But no matter, wrapped up in their fleece, they exude the ardor of passion. The one that doesn't describe itself. The one that surrounds the cult of Mylène Farmer since her first hit Maman a tort, in 1984, almost 40 years ago.

The legendary shyness and discretion of the singer in the media have, since then, only strengthened her notoriety. Without promotion, it continues to fill entire stadiums. The tour has seven dates out of thirteen sold out. "Better than the purse," jokes Nathalie, who comes from Montpellier and settles down, her foldable seat in hand. "She knows we'll always be there," Ana says.

But why this attraction? "It upsets us from the beginning. She is a humble, human, exceptional woman," says Nathalie. "She's an artist who wants to stay out of the system and that's good," Ana continues. It's normal that she is distant with her fans. In 1991, Mylène Farmer had to deal with the death of a receptionist killed by a fan because he refused to give the star's address.

"It's like a holiday budget"

An address that some manage to find, like Greg who lives in Paris. "I had the chance to talk to him. It was November 2019, I also took a selfie with her in front of her home. She was jogging with her sister," he says with emotion. He spoke of an "indescribable emotion equivalent to an orgasm" during his first concert in 1999.

This year, it will follow 12 of the 13 dates. "As a caregiver, I work twelve hours a day so I have recoveries," he says. But passion also requires a big budget that goes beyond the 120 euros of the concert ticket. We must add the trip, but also the accommodation for the nights before the concert. "It's like a vacation budget. You have to save money. Luckily she doesn't do one tour a year," Ana laughs.

This whole small community has been together for several years. "We're growing old together," Ana jokes. "We don't know each other, but we recognize the faces. We share the aperitif. Just like at the campsite," notes David. At 70, he comes from Dijon and will be in the pit. "I want to see her up close. My dream would be to meet her face to face, if only for a minute. She lives with me all the time. As soon as I have a shot of blues, I listen to his songs, "he admits.

"I still have a VHS that I watch regularly"

To our astonishment, Greg adds: "But she also has happy lyrics, Mylène. It tells the story of life, actually. And your own life if you listen carefully. That's how we know it. And to learn from fans that Mylène Farmer "smokes" and "loves champagne and strawberries Tagada". Everyone compares their favorite songs, their anecdotes. It's okay, it comes on the forecourt of the stadium.

This time, it is Jessy, 34, who arrives. "I live in Villeneuve d'Ascq and I come to meet the fans to share," says the young man who was rocked by Mylène Farmer thanks to his sister. "She's the only artist who can bring tears to my eyes. I still have a VHS of the Stade de France concert in 1999 that I watch regularly. »

What if Mylène Farmer was a kind of modern Peter Pan? "It's true that he's the artist of adolescence," admits Anna, the Belarusian. As long as you follow her on tour, you don't feel like you're growing or getting old."

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