As a long time attender of gigs I finally got to attend a music festival last week. Ok it was only one day of the four days, there were not banks of tents, mud, and generally unwashed people milling around but it was a music festival and it was all day and there were three different stages for bands to perform on so in my book it fitted the bill.
Not being experienced festival goers we packed our insulated backpack filled it with cool blocks, water, Cola and a couple of baguettes from our favourite bakery and to keep the sun off us we took a large golf umbrella. Sensible.
The festival was well-organised with free car parking and free bus shuttle to the venue. So far so good. Well apart from slight mishap as I banged my head on the rail above the bus seat, but no one noticed so I still was exuding cool, in my eyes anyway.
Arriving at the venue, a lovely château up on a hill with views across the Mediterranean, we noticed the age range of fellow attendees to vary from young to old. A good sign.
When we went through the entrance gates our sensible baggage was not allowed so we had to put the brolly, ice blocks and cans of drinks into the ‘left luggage’ area before heading in.
Our first views of the area inside was impressive with the backdrop of the chateau and set amongst the trees was a stage and surrounding the area were a good variety of food and drink stalls.
We set our blanket down and settled ourselves ready for the first 3 acts; all pretty good but the shining star of the lot were Mountain Men, a bluegrass band with so much energy you couldn’t fail to stamp your feet and enjoy their music.
After that set we headed to the larger area where 2 stages were set at right angles to each other and this was where the remaining acts were going to perform. Alternating between the stages and with barely a breath between acts, it was incredible organisation. All you had to do was turn your head from one stage to the other ; no decision needed on who to see, you saw them all.
The atmosphere was excellent, no rowdy drunken behaviour, good humour abounded. It really was a family friendly environment.
As to the acts, well clearly Santana were the stars of the show, giving a polished performance as you would expect. One act stood out for us, not because he was good however, but because we were incredulous that despite being so awful he is clearly a much loved French singer. We stood in shock as his awful songs were greeted with cheers and singalongs. We squirmed as he ‘seductively’ undid the buttons of his shirt. We laughed as he tried to exude rock star status by leaping off the stage, running through the crowd to clamber astride the water fountain then hitching a lift back to the stage on the back of some poor man in the audience. One can only imagine how that chap felt with his neck wrapped by the sweaty crotch of this fella. But we clearly were in a minority, his French fans loved him, young, old, male and female. Très bizarre.
Another act followed Mr Charisma and that was a lad from Suffolk who barely speaks any French, sings in English and is obviously another big star over here. This time however we could appreciate a bit more why he was popular. Still not necessarily to our taste but at least his songs had more than 3 words in them.
After Santana finished and buoyed up by our first experience of a music festival we headed back, picked up our brolly, ice blocks and cans and headed for the free bus back to the car park and the short drive home.
An excellent day out. Proof yet again that the French are superb at organisation. And yes I think we might do it again.