For 10 days and 10 nights, Lorient will become the Interceltic Capital, where thousands of artists and festival-goers from around the world come together every year to share these common roots!
From 3 to 12 August 2018, the festival-goers will discover a Lorient Interceltic Festival under the emblem of the dragon: Wales will be the country guest of honour this summer in Lorient! The poster of this edition, unveiled last January, sets the pace mixing the different symbols of the country guest of honour: the red dragon and the triple harp, national instrument. The 48th edition celebrates Wales, with artists such as Manic Street Preachers, Calan and Alaw.
Wales is a land of mountainous peaks, hills, sheer cliffs, sandy beaches, rivers and lakes. Cardiff is one of the youngest European capitals, and in the 19th century, was one of the greatest ports in the world. Cardiff is home to the Senedd (Welsh parliament), since its establishment in 1999. Its vibrant choirs and Eisteddfod, its famous poetry festival, have earned it the nickname ‘The Land of Song’ since the 19th century. With one hundred odd medieval castles, the country is sometimes referred to the ‘world capital of castles’.
Although the triple harp is the country’s national instrument, Welsh choirs immediately spring to mind when one thinks of Welsh music. Young generations of artists have explored other creative territories and renewed their repertoire: from traditional music to a new and updated kind of choral music to alternative folk, the country also boasts one of Britain’s most incisive pop rock scenes.
So many artists and talents to discover in Lorient this summer!
Apart from an important Welsh delegation, the festival will welcome 4,500 artists coming from all around the world to share their common culture, despite the thousands of kilometers that set them apart the rest of the year. The LIF is, first and foremost, a human adventure designed to encourage cultural exchanges. Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Ireland from the British Isles; Galicia and Asturias from Spain; the diasporas of Australia and Canada… people from all of these nations make the journey each year to Lorient to celebrate, alongside the people of Brittany, their one unifying culture.
Although the festival is a predominantly musical event with its traditional flagship events such as the Grand Parade of the Celtic Nations or the Interceltic Nights, it also features dance, literature, the visual arts, cinema, history, etc.
Focus on Wales
This special show dedicated to Welsh artists offers you the diversity and musical richness of the country in the spotlight. The choirs are represented by two renowned groups: Côr Meibion Pendyrus, composed of about 60 members, and the young talents of Only Boys Aloud.
The Welsh youth will surprise you: the folk group Mabon makes each of his performances an intense musical experience. Alaw, composed of three musicians, shares his passion for traditional Welsh music with the most captivating skill and sensitivity. Calan, whose music illustrates the 2018 teaser of the festival, produces a vibrant sound and revives traditions with its sparkling melody and dynamic performance on stage. He presents himself for this concert with a large and unique formation, Pendevig (Calan and 10 musicians and tap dancers) created for the National Esteddffod (the Welsh Festival of Music and Poetry).
Festival of Acadia Quebec
For more than a decade, the Acadian power trio Vishtèn has carved out a place on the international scene. These multi-instrumentalists combine original arrangements of traditional Acadian songs with dazzling instrumental creations and Celtic, rock or indie-folk influences.
Following the successful SOLO tour, Quebec's traditional music groups Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan are offering a new and colorful show! Eight top-notch singers and multi-instrumentalists from two world-renowned ensembles offer you new songs and unpublished pieces: the best of folk/trad music!
Their environment, mixing authenticity, humor and camaraderie, invites the festival-goers to an unforgettable evening where the festivities will live up to the reputation of our friends from across the Atlantic.
This highly memorable show, suitable for all the family, brings together traditional music, dance and song, featuring over 500 artists from all of the Celtic countries. A light show with video projections are broadcast on large screens behind the musicians and the traditional instruments. This breath-taking event that culminates in an impressive fireworks display. A perfect harmony between tradition and modernity!
The Grand Parade of the Celtic Nations
A veritable highlight of the festival, the Grand Parade is a unique event that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime! Every year, it brings together some 3,500 artists from all over the Celtic planet in traditional dress. Musicians, dancers, pipe bands, bagadaù, circles and bandas de gaitas parade through the streets of the town.
Many festival-goers discovered them last year during their exceptional performances at the Scottish pavilion. The fiery quintet Elephant Sessions mixes quality grooves, powerful guitar attacks and unpredictable violin / mandolin melodies. Their second album All we have is now, released in 2017, was awarded Best album of the year in Scotland. The five young artists will certainly transmit their contagious dynamism, this time in the biggest hall of the Festival!
Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her solo career took off after her performance at the T-Bone Burnett: Another Day, Another Time’s 2013 show in New York. Her first solo album Tomorrow Is My Turn was nominated for the Grammy. It's a beautiful combination of several genres such as gospel, jazz, blues and country. Her second album Freedom Highway, was released in February 2017, it includes nine original songs written or co-written by herself.
She performed at the White House before President Barcak Obama, and his wife for a tribute concert to gospel, honoring Aretha Franklin and Emmylou Harris. Rhiannon Giddens also received the BBC Radio 2 2016's award for Folk Artist of the year. In 2017, she was among the winners of the MacArthur Foundation. Rhiannon Giddens, who studied opera singing at Oberlin, made her acting debut with a recurring role in the TV show Nashville, where she plays the role of Hanna Lee « Hallie » Jordan.
Hat Fitz & Cara
Hat Fitz & Cara form a wild and charming duo, whose original compositions, with "roots" sounds, have a contemporary energy that tend to create a new genre by itself.
Hat Fitz, adventurer of the great blues scenes of Australia, has multiplied over time his shows in Europe, always coming back to the same public enthusiasm, both in intimate concert or in major festivals. While performing in Ireland, he discovers a certain Cara Robinson, whom he will never leave again!
This artist, with a soul background and an exceptional voice, has toured all over Europe and the United States. Not satisfied with "only" being a singer, she also plays drums, washboard and Irish flute. The rough Hat Fitz is still there, now tempered by Cara's mesmerizing talent.
Brittany Symphony Orchestra with Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
‘The Queen of Harps’ is the nickname given to Catrin Finch, an internationally renowned harpist known for her performances in the United Kingdom and all over the world. Seckou Keita is a Senegalese multi-instrumental artist who plays the kora and the djembé as well as the 22 string harp.
These two remarkable artists met in 2012 and released a joint album in 2013 that was performed at Lorient during a memorable concert. A case of artistic love at first sight, the duo are back together with their new album SOAR, exploring themes like migration and travel. The intrepid duo continue their musical voyage of exploration, and celebrate the differences and possible parallels between their instruments and cultures. In Lorient, they share the stage with the Brittany Symphony Orchestra in a cultural and musical exchange that promises to be a memorable journey. They will be accompanied on stage for a few numbers by special guest, Alan Stivell.
Photo Credits: (1) Festival Interceltique Lorient, (2) Calan, (3) Jamie Smith’s Mabon, (4) "The Ultimate Guide to Welsh Folk", (5) Elephant Sessions, (7) Hat Fitz & Cara, (8) Seckou Keita (unknown/website); (6) Rhiannon Giddens (by Walkin' Tom).