The Vieilles Charrues Festival is France’s largest music festival that has been taking place in mid-July for over 20 years, in a town called Carhaix in the region of Brittany.
Laurent Corbel, Co-President of BZH NY, spoke at the conference about Brittany and events held for the region in New York, and he gave a brief introduction about the festival. Jerome Trehorel, General Manager of Vieilles Charrues Festival, was also at the conference to provide invited guests with the history of the festival as well as its unique features. The festival, with an impressive lineup that has included James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and this year, Lionel Richie, The Celtic Social Club, and Muse, among many others, welcomes over 200,000 attendees in a town that normally has around 8,000 inhabitants. The eco-friendly village structure that’s created in Carhaix exclusively for the Vieilles Charrues Festival is quite unique. It’s supported by 6,000 volunteers who help to operate restaurants, bars, and the festival’s own local hospital.
Another unique feature of the festival is the participation of a band called The Celtic Social Club. This band, which started in New York City in 2012, performs old traditional songs from all of the Celtic regions: Britanny, Wales, Ireland, Galicia, Asturias, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Scotland. It combines these traditional sounds with contemporary music genres such as hip hop, rap, and the blues. Manu Masko from The Celtic Social Club spoke at the conference about the band’s development, and his excitement for both the festival and The Celtic Social Club’s intimate performance in New York.
Following the press conference, The Celtic Social Club put on an exclusive, unplugged concert at The Concert Space at Beethoven Pianos last Friday. The band played two sets that were recorded live to create an acoustic album. Special guests included I.C. Will, a New York rapper, and Roy Harter, a New York accordion player. The concert proved to be a lively mix of traditional melodies with contemporary sounds, and the audience definitely connected with it. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this unique event in preparation for the Vieilles Charrues Festival! For more information about the festival, check out http://www.vieillescharrues.asso.fr/2015/.