Saturday, July 11, 2009

Participatory traditions II

Another festival that accentuates participation above passive entertainment is "Rencontres Internationales de Luthiers et Maîtres Sonneurs" organized by "Comité George Sand" in Central France. As the festival title suggests, this started out as an international meeting of makers and players of traditional musical instruments. However, over the years it grew into perhaps the biggest informal gathering of people interested in traditional music and dance in France. It is difficult to decide whether the activities arranged by the festival committee itself are more important, or those that happen spontaneously in the campgrounds, the streets or in the pubs. Most participants would probably say the latter. See for yourself:

Since 1976, the festival has been held during the weekend closest to the Bastille holiday in the little village of Saint Chartier, about 15km from Chateauroux. However, this year it has been moved 5km away to the only slightly larger town of La Chatre. Read more about the festival at

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