It was nearly a disaster. Our village square had been prepared with many marquee style tents for the Fête de la Musique which was due to take place on Friday June 21st. However, a week before this event we had a great storm with winds up to 100km/hr in the village and the surrounding countryside.
The result was devastating as you can see from this picture. However, with hard work and determination, and with the knowledge that the “show-must-go-on”, all was put to rights as you can now read and see.
Le Petit Pressigny:
It may have been mid-summer’s day where you were on June 21st, but here in France everything is geared up to celebrating the national Fête de la Musique. Many villages and towns around France put on a free musical event and anyone can perform.
In our village, Le Petit Pressigny we organised such an event. In fact, by teaming up with the neighbouring village of Le Grand Pressigny whose event was on Saturday 22nd June, we had a musical weekend.
It takes a whole village to prepare the church square for the Fête de la Musique. Firstly, the square is covered by tents; then tables and chairs are brought from the Salle des Fêtes; a dance floor is laid; an area for the musicians to perform is organised; decorations are installed; the local electrician fixes lights under the tents; the bar is erected and the chef from the local restaurant, Au Bon Coin, prepares a meal for the guests. It all takes shape very quickly as the people are past masters at running these very traditional events. Once everything is in place the church square is transformed into a magical performance and social area ready to receive guests, singers and musicians.
Musical Preparations start a year before with the organisers discussing which local groups of singers and musicians will perform in which villages. For many it’s a great honour to be asked.
We were pleased to have Jim Craig and Dominique Bourgeois to open our evening concert. Their selection of music ranged from Beatles songs to Traditional Scottish ballads.
Among other artists were the chorale from Descartes a small town about 20 km from our village. The chorale is called – Descartimento. Also a local group of troubadours, a Ghanain singer, Satchmo, A local trio (although one was Dutch and the other two Spanish), and of course, our band, Celtiqua.
We all had a great evening and two English ladies, here on holiday, said that would definitely book their holiday for next year and practice some songs for the open mic.
Le Grand Pressigny
The following evening, 22nd June, our neighbouring village continued the weekend’s celebrations with Fête de la Musique part 2.
This was a much larger (Grand!) affair with two street stages. However, there was still a great ambience. One of the first acts to sing was the chorale from Preuilly, Passe Moi le Sol and what a great sound they made.
The evening went on late and there was, as is usual on these occasions, space and time for all sorts of music including swing bands and rock bands.
In conclusion, what a great experience we all had and the holiday makers, some of whom had just arrived in the two villages must have wondered what was going on in their peaceful holiday location.