Lorient Festival 2017
From August 3rd to 14th the De La Salle Scout Pipe Band participated in the Festival Interceltique De Lorient which is held every year in the heart of Brittany in France. This year was the year of Scotland and the emphasis was on all thing Scottish.
The festival comprised of around 200+ acts and events with over 4500 artists and 1600+ volunteers participating in one of the most spectacular events to be hosted by a Celtic Nation. This was the fifth occasion in recent years that the De La Salle Scout Pipe band has been invited to take part in this very prestigious festival which was founded in 1971 to contribute to the development of Breton and Celtic music and culture.
Following a full day of rehearsals on the Friday the band was ready for the nightly “Magic Show” which brought performers from all of the Celtic Nations into the stadium to perform to a live audience as well as being televised and at the end of each night a fireworks display would light up the night sky.
On the Sunday the band participated in the Grand Parade. This is a grand spectacle with bands and participants parading through the streets of Lorient to the delight of two hundred thousand spectators and a TV audience of millions.
This time round the band had many members new to the experience of a major festival but having worked hard during the year the band put on excellent performances throughout the week and all band members enjoyed the experience immensely.
Some members of the band were called on to do solo performances and Eimear Costello and Tiger lily Keoghan gave outstanding performances at the “Magic Nights on three occasions.
The band also had various other parades and put on a fifty minute concert on its own where it played traditional Irish and Scottish tunes for an audience of seven hundred people.
To finish off this year’s festival the band participated in the annual pipe band competition and came 5th overall with the drum corps taking 3rd place, needless to say celebrations were held mark these achievements.
To mark the last “Magic Show” the pipers and drummers from all of the participating pipe bands came together outside the stadium to form a massed band to play through the streets of Lorient followed by spectators and this was a fantastic to be seen at 1.30 in the morning.
The participation by the band in the festival was not all practice, parades and “Magic Shows and the band members did have time off to enjoy various aspects of the Festival, visit the local beaches, go shopping and make friends.
The band is very much looking forward to getting another opportunity to return to Lorient in a couple of years’ time.
Lorient Festival 2017