Lorient is a city located in the south of Brittany in the west of France.
Brittany is a region which has a very strong cultural identity, especially because it’s a Celtic region in France.
The Celts were in Brittany, just like in Ireland, Wales (UK), Scotland (UK), Galicia (Spain), Asturia (Spain) and other European countries. They spoke Celtic languages which still exist thanks to the good will of the people who live in these Celtic areas. They do not want to lose them because they are a big part of their culture and identity.
Since 1971, every summer, in August, all the Celtic musicians and fans of Celtic music have gathered at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, also known as FIL by the locals. It’s a real celebration of Celtic culture.
Almost 700,000 people go to this festival to enjoy its various gigs, parades and other events every year.
The duration of the festival is 9 days. Its entrance costs 9 euros. You receive a bracelet which is your pass and your wallet for the duration of the event. You choose the amount you want to add on your wallet. 5 euros minimum. Indeed, if you want to drink or eat in the area of the festival, the stands don’t accept euros but CeltiCash. Some parts of the festival are free, such as the big parade which presents all the artists of the event highlighting their origin.
Outside the festival, you can find many bars and stands where you can buy crepes, waffles, Celtic jewels, local craft and the famous “marinières” (stripped sweaters traditionally worn by sailors).
The people who go to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient are warm-hearted and are there to enjoy life by listening to Celtic music, drinking, eating local food and dancing. They are there to enjoy the fest-noz (= night party in Breton)
The gavotte is one of the dances you can enjoy during the festival. It is a folk dance, probably from lower Brittany. We dance it, sometimes by holding each other’s pinky, making an open human chain. All the people who want to join the chain are welcome. It’s easy to learn the different steps. Then just let yourself go and enjoy the special Celtic atmosphere and community spirit.
The festival also offers conferences about the challenges of the Celtic culture in Europe and story telling events. The Celtic legends are famous in popular culture.
Every year, there is a special Celtic country guest.
If you visit Brittany, this festival is a must-see. It’s located in the city center of Lorient, in the neighborhood of the port.
Learn more about Le Festival Interceltique de Lorient by visiting its website.