Saturday, 5 August 2017

Scotland at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient

This weekend sees the Festival Interceltique de Lorient event take place in the Breton town, one of the biggest celtic music events in the world.

It's a surprise to some that such a large-scale celebration of celtic music takes place in France, rather that Ireland or Scotland, or even Canada, all places that could with some justification claim to be at the centre of contemporary celtic culture. But France's celtic heritage is something that the country is proud of, and not just in Brittany.

This year's Festival Interceltique de Lorient places the focus on Scotland. Runrig, Altan, Amy Macdonald and Capercaillie are among the dozens of of acts performing over the weekend. 

There are also dozens of French celtic acts from crossover celtic rock/folk to more traditional choirs and pipe bands, from Brittany and elsewhere.

A parade of the celtic nations on Sunday serves as a centrepiece of the event, attracting thousands of artists and spectators to the streets of the town.

While the festival's been running since 1971 and regularly attracts some of the biggets names in the genre, it's more than just a showcase for a genre of music.  It's a major part of Brittany's celtic culture and acts as a catalyst. It's a celebration where artists can not only find an audience but also meet and collaborate. Where the audiences can also learn and get involved in discovering their own relationship to celtic culture.

It's an inclusive, outward looking and international event, very much in the spirit of the music it celebrates which has spread its influence around the world far beyond the shores of the celtic nations.

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