Champs Libres Festival from May 9 to 12: how to reveal the potential of rurality in the Agglo du Pays de Dreux?

Bringing culture to the heart of rurality: this is the challenge of the free open-air festival of shows, Champs Libres, in the Agglo du Pays de Dreux, including Republican Echo is a partner. We interviewed Jean-Loup Justeau, the mayor of Nonancourt, the opening town of the festival, on Thursday May 9.

How are the rural communities of the Agglo du Pays de Dreux preparing to host the traveling festival, Champs Libres, during the long Ascension weekend?

For its second edition, the cultural event which will total thirty-four shows (circus, poetic walks, music, performances, etc.) will take place in six new towns: Nonancourt, Saint-Lubin-des-Joncherets, Le Boullay-les -deux-Églises, Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, Anet, Boncourt. The final will take place, like last year, in Mézières-en-Drouais – Écluzelles.

Nonancourt is the first commune in the Eure de l’Agglo du Pays de Dreux to participate in the festival. With, in addition, a place of choice since it was chosen for the opening shows, Thursday May 9, from 6:18 p.m.

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The first meeting will be an incredible concert, perched in a century-old tree in the city hall park.

The mayor of Nonancourt, Jean-Loup Justeau, appointed for the occasion president of the second edition of Champs Libres, reveals his ambitions.

What does it mean to you that Nonancourt was chosen as the opening town of the 2nd edition of the festival?

It’s a lot of joy. We fought to be part of it. We had to position ourselves and argue to be accepted.

“We came in force with the entire municipal council. It will also be a breath of fresh air for the residents. The period is already gloomy, but, in addition, they have just undergone a year and a half of work to beautify the city center. We wanted to celebrate with the Champs Libres festival, to get off to a good start.

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The objective of this festival is to bring culture to rural areas. Is this something that Nonancourt lacks?

“It’s something to develop, that’s for sure. We have a rich heritage, but not enough known, like a church which dates from the 12th century. During the Hundred Years’ War, Nonancourt was on the English side, Saint-Lubin -des-Joncherets on the French side. This story deserves to be known.

A few years ago, Nonancourt was a cantonal capital. With the festival, we want to wake up Nonancourt.

b9ddaa3847.jpgTimber-framed houses. Nonancourt opens the door to Normandy.

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What repercussions do you expect?

“Even among my fellow mayors of the Agglomeration, some do not know Nonancourt. The opportunity to have the Champs Libres festival, especially for the inauguration.”

This is an opportunity to attract people who live south of the Agglomeration, so that they can say to themselves: It’s not bad, Nonancourt, we could come back.

“There are between forty and fifty local businesses, which is rare in our area. We have renovated our city center. We hope that the festival will strengthen our visibility.”

Hélène Jaffiol