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Ballingeary pipe band at the festival interceltique de Lorient


Festival Interceltique de Lorient.

Lorient in Brittany will host the massively popular Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient in August. How do we know that? Well, the local pipe band are travelling to Lorient to participate. The Ballingeary Pipe Band will be performing at the festival. We at Lee Valley Ireland are proud to contribute to their trip, sponsoring their clothing – what else! We wish them every success in Brittany.

What is the Inter Celtic Festival of Lorient?
This festival celebrates the Celtic-ness of Celts and the Celtic countries. Ireland has a long history of participating in the Inter- Celtic Festival of Lorient. These have included: Clann Mhic Ruairí, Lorcán Mac Mathúna, Planxty O’Rourke, Sheila Friel, The Friel Sisters, solas and The Corrs. The Corrs are also one of this years’ headline acts and for the first time performing outside of Ireland is The Ballingeary Pipe Band.

Ballingeary Pipe Band  2016 trip to Lorient France

Who goes to the festival?
Ireland’s President, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, attended the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. They attended the Glanmore gala concert, dedicated to the memory of Seamus Heaney, and the parade of Celtic nations on the following day. President Higgins has a long- standing relationship with Lorient. When he was mayor of Galway, French minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was mayor of Lorient. Galway has been twinned with Lorient since 1975. The two men have been acquaintances since their mayoral duties introduced them.

Many musicians, bands, artists, families and holidaymakers descend on the town of Lorient and the surrounding areas from August 5th-14th. Not only is there a massive celebration of all things Celtic (music, song, dance, food and drink), there will be a parade on the first Sunday, every morning Master Classes are being held and there are numerous sporting activities happening too. Artists and craftspeople will be exhibiting their work, gourmands can sample foods from all of the Celtic regions and countries.

Where is the festival?

The town of Lorient fully embraces the festival. Their stadium hosts the concerts, the quayside plays host to a market, booksellers and processions. Musicians, singers, songwriters, writers, artists, cooks, chefs, bakers, dancers, performers and anybody that has a liking for all things Celtic are welcome. This year they celebrate the Celtic link with Australia with pipe bands from all over OZ taking part.

Who is involved?

Primarily the Bretons (as it their festival!) and also other Celtic nations: Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Ireland and in the north of Spain, Galicia and Asturias. Musicians, dancers and performers from all of these countries are welcome to perform and showcase their talents.
The festival’s own website: calls the festival ‘a cultural laboratory’. I hope nothing was lost in translation…

Facts about the Inter-Celtic Festival:

  •  Since 1971
  • 10-day festival
  • 200 events & shows
  • 5000 performers
  • 120 stage shows, 60% of which are free!
  • Bands, singers, musicians, artists, sailing, sports, exhibitions & conferences
  • 34,000 meals will be served at the school
  • 40 ferry crossings
  • More than 1200 volunteersRead More Lee Valley Ireland

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