Fest Noz, traditional dances and contemporary music in Brittany: 2–11 August 2019 will see the 49th year of the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, each year hosted by a Celtic nation. This year, the guest of honour is Galicia.
One of the largest gatherings of Celtic countries, over the years the festival has created a concept that transcends the continents. On the programme are 120 stage performances and 4,500 musicians, singers, dancers, visual artists, academics and filmmakers from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia, Asturias , Brittany, the US, Canada and Australia. All these nations come to Lorient each year to celebrate, with the Bretons, the culture that unites them all.
This year, the Festival Interceltique de Lorient – or FIL for those in the know – is tinged with Spanish influences: two great evenings will be dedicated to the guest of honour, the region of Galicia. Because the Celts weren’t limited to Northern Europe – in the 3rd century BC, Celtic culture extended over a large part of the continent, including the Iberian Peninsula.
Celtic accordion, harp and guitar
The opening night on 3 August will therefore bring Galicia to the fore, with, among others, the Banda de Gaitas de Forcarei. A second evening dedicated to Galicia is organised on 5 August, and will bring together artists Xosé Lois Romero & Aliboria, Tiruleque and Pablo Seoane. The blood of Spain will also boil on 8 August, with a concert given by Carlos Núñez. Evenings are dedicated to certain instruments typical of Celtic culture: Celtic harp (10 August), accordion (9 August), Celtic guitar (8 August) and of course bagpipes (7 August).
The FIL also hosts French singer Nolwenn Leroy this year, plus French band Soldat Louis, and the hilarious Serbian musician Goran Bregović, who will perform with the symphony orchestra of Brittany on 6 August to interpret his ‘Letters of Sarajevo’.
Since 1970, the Festival Interceltique de Lorient has honoured all countries of Celtic culture, and their movements scattered across the world. What a way to remember that Celtic territory stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to Central Europe…
Celtic culture in all its forms
Over the 10 days of the festival, traditional Celtic instruments are given centre stage, and masterclasses and competitions highlight the musicians who keep them alive today. Music, dances, and other parades punctuate the celebratory side – but the Interceltic Festival also puts on conferences and exhibitions.
After FIL, Fest Noz (traditional Breton balls) and other Bagad (traditional Breton orchestra, consisting of a bombard, a Scottish bagpipe and percussion) will no longer hold secrets for you!