FESTIVAL INTERCELTIQUE DE LORIENT 2019
As I reflect upon this particular trip, so many things spring to mind. The year of Mary Mac. Beer watches. Dupree Tree. Bench Parties. Grahame's socks. Skipinnish. Jugs. Athol Highlanders. Battle of the Bands. And that's just off the top of my head. Now, these words may not mean much to you, but everyone who experienced this trip knows exactly what they mean.
Over the course of the 10 days (1st - 11th August) we performed at;
A Grande Parade to kick off the festival
Magic Nights (Tattoo/Concert)
Our own concert in the Espace Marine
A performance in the Irish Tent
Parades and shorter performances every day
A Battle of the Bands event at Port Louis (Definitely one of the best days)
A pipe band competition
Our own spontaneous performances (unscheduled)
Our typical day consisted of meeting at Dupree Tree mid-morning to get lunch. After lunch we would practise until a performance - Well once Andy decided it was time to begin. He liked to set a time that meant even if we were late (or what we thought was late), we'd never be late for the time he actually wanted us to be there. Usually, we had free time between the performance/parade and our Magic Night show. You'd think 'free time' meant to relax or to shop or to catch up on much needed sleep. No. We kept playing. We would have positioned ourselves right in the heart of the festival, got a few beers going and played there all day long. We couldn't have been happier and before we knew it, we had a crowd to play for. You would be surprised at how quickly a crowd would gather, it made the moment all the more fun and a lot more magical.
Yes, we were busy. But it certainly wasn't all 'work' as such. I must say, every year we attend (this was our 3rd) the group know how to work hard and play harder. Cliché I know but there is honestly no better way to explain it. We approached every day with positivity and enthusiasm. Even with being ridiculously tired, sleeping didn't seem to be an option because at the end of each day we had a bench party to attend...
And lets face it, no one wanted to miss out, because with Lorient Festival there is so much happening and always something to be missed. We all had to make the most.
Though, I can't deny that there were times where a few of us struggled...
But we carried on and really did have the time of our lives.
The Interceltique Festival de Lorient is an experience I won't be forgetting any time soon. I played music, met new friends and caught up with old ones. But most of all, I made the best memories with a great bunch of people all out there for the same reason, to play music and get fully involved in what the festival is all about.
There is just something surreal about a group of people from different backgrounds and of different ages coming together and really bonding through this festival. We're always itching to meet again on another trip.
I genuinely cannot recommend this experience enough if it ever comes your way. And, if you find yourself loving it as much as we do, you'll never look back.
- Chloe McGregor