Vieilles Charrues: a trip in Brittany’s culture

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Vieilles Charrues 2021 - Woodkid's show
Vieilles Charrues 2021 - Woodkid's show -

Vieilles Charrues is a big French Festival that takes place in 2021 for its 29th edition. As the festival generally hosts international artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Santana, and in 2023 Céline Dion, it has a very strong place in European Festival Culture. Therefore, Vieilles Charrues did not forget that the festival takes place in Brittany, a region with a strong identity. To understand it better, let’s have a look at Brittany’s culture.

Why is Brittany different ?

Brittany is located in the West of France, only 400 kilometres from the United Kingdom. You probably have seen its flag before, called Gwenn Ar Du, flying over any festival in Europe, even at Sziget festival. Try to spot it at your next festival! Then, the weather. Every Vieilles Charrue’s festival goer would have seen rain at Vieilles Charrues. Get ready to have your waterproof coat when you come to the festival.

The region is known for their Fest Noz as well. It’s a traditional party that only takes place in French Brittany, with typical dances and music.

Gwen ar du at Vieilles Charrues 2021
Gwen ar du at Vieilles Charrues 2021 – Sébastien Martinez

Vieilles Charrues is a symbol in Brittany

As you can guess, for having its own kind of celebrations, Brittany is a land of parties and festivals. Vieilles Charrues is a big event that takes place since 1992. Every festival goer who went there would remember and tell you about this Brittany flag just made of … thongs. It’s called the “String Poher Attitude”! The festival has its regular visitors. Then, even if everything will be written in French, it will be in Breton as well, which is the regional language.

At Vieilles Charrues, there are four principal stages that have Breton names. Glemnor is the name of the main stage. He was a singer-songwriter that helped to maintain the Breton identity. Kerouac is an author with Breton origins. Grall is a famous Breton surname, but also a legendary artifact that has to see with the Knights of the Round Table. Gwernig is a famous Breton artist who lived in the USA and who knew how to play a lot of regional instruments, and lived for the Breton culture.

Of course, at Vieilles Charrues you will recognise the “Krampouezh”. The biggest bar in Vieilles Charrues is not a real bar… It’s a crêpes bar! Actually, you can eat your crepe as they really do in Brittany.

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Talking about Fest Noz, Vieilles Charrues has theirs. Every year the festival has a “Fest Noz” night where you can enjoy some of the best local creations, and enjoy with a Crêpe on Gwernig stage.

About 2021, Brittany is still represented

This year, of course, is a bit different. As French festivals have to adapt this year, the festival map has been changed. Then, Glemnor and Kerouac stages are now two parking lots. The unique stage we have at Vieilles Charrues this year is more or less on the Eastern part of the festival where we had a big wheel on the last editions. On this stage this year, we can see artists like Woodkid, who we have seen at Noches del Botánico in Spain.

About our Krampouezh: it is still possible to eat crêpes at Vieilles Charrues, with a large selection of possibilities. Do you want it with marmalade or with organic sausages?

Talking with a volunteer at the Krampouezh stand, we learn that all the profits are given to a local association called “Action Justice and Peace”.

Crepes Stand at Vieilles Charrues 2021
Crepes Stand at Vieilles Charrues 2021 – Sébastien Martinez

Vieilles Charrues

Vieilles Charrues is a big French Festival that takes place in Brittany, West of France. In about thirty years, legendary artists like Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Justice, Phoenix, Rammstein or Muse played there. Every year, the festival chooses a different theme to create something different. In 2016, for example, video games was the main theme and in 2019 it was carnival.

With Hellfest, Vieilles Charrues is the biggest festival in the country that can host around 70.000 festival goers every day. The festival still looks ahead and they already announced that Celine Dion will be playing in 2023!

Vieilles Charrues 2021 - Woodkid's show
Vieilles Charrues 2021 – Woodkid’s show – © Sébastien Martinez

Music festival lover since my youngest age. Every year I'm trying to go to some more events, from France to Hungary passing by Spain or Belgium. I'm a French guy living in Spain, studying music industry, and trying to discover every day some new things. And most of the time listening to all kinds of music :)