It’s not just about the folk, folks...
The Breton love of music, celebration and togetherness naturally lends itself to the festival experience, so it’s no wonder that Brittany boasts so many unique and well-established events. What might perhaps come as more of a surprise is the musical variety on offer. Reckon that Brittany is all about folk music? Think again.
Festivals for all
It’s a common enough assumption, and of course there are plenty of events celebrating the region’s rich folk heritage, but even the folkier fests like the Festival Interceltique de Lorient are broad churches that, while championing the Celtic tradition, also extend their welcome to a dazzling and diverse array of acts from around the world. But Brittany is also home to La Route du Rock, in scenic St-Malo, and Vieilles Charrues, two of the country’s major league rock festivals, and jazz fans are also well catered for with the likes of Jazz à Vannes and Fest-Jazz.
Since the late 70s, Rennes has hosted Les Transmusicales, which began as a punky regional statement of musical independence and has remained at the musical vanguard ever since. And while ‘Les Trans’ takes place, a sister festival Bars en Trans, based in small local bars, ensures that the whole city joins in the fun. More than any other event of its size, Les Transmusicales de Rennes is a testament to Brittany’s forward-looking attitude and restless boundary pushing.
Cream of the country
For more evidence you might check out Brest’s Astropolis, an electronically inclined festival that emerged in the 90s and which every year attracts the cream of France’s emerging dance producers and international names. Still, even with ultra-hip acts flying in from all over the world, there’s never a shortage of true Breton flavour – at most festivals, local food and drink are in plentiful supply.