The Cornouaille Festival in Quimper, summed up in five words

The Cornouaille Festival in Quimper, summed up in five words
The Cornouaille Festival in Quimper, summed up in five words

Place de la Résistance, quais de l’Odet, l’Éphémère at the Jardin de l’Évêché… From Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 July, Quimper will be radically transformed to host the 101st edition of the Cornouaille Festival. “For me, the strong marker of the festival is that of the family. It is a family event above all where we walk around the city and discover a lot of things,” emphasizes Igor Gardes, director of the festival. Like the Quai gourmand, the village of artisans, the shows for children, the street entertainment, the introduction to Breton dance, the Kernekiz… “This family side is really what differentiates us from other events in the region,” he persists.

  • 2 Friendliness

For Igor Gardes, the other word that perfectly suits the Cornouaille Festival is conviviality. “The Breton culture that we defend here is a culture that is open to the world, of acceptance of others,” smiles the director. And to sum up: “You’re not Breton? It doesn’t matter. Come, we’ll explain and show you our know-how on the dance floor,” which will be open every evening from 7 p.m. on the Place de la Résistance and can accommodate between 3,000 and 3,500 people. Entrance fee with the “Pass Rési'” (€7 per evening, €15 for three days). And there are still places! “Festivals have trouble being sold out, like the Charrues. That’s our case too. We must have sold barely half of the passes. Only the Gwennyn concert is almost sold out (Friday at 8:30 p.m., at the Théâtre de Cornouaille),” says the director.

  • 3 Discovery

    “At the Cornouaille Festival, we like to surprise people,” says Igor Gardes. So, among the new features, between Friday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you might come across Hoper, “a bell ringer who will play in different places in the city” such as on the balcony of the Musée départemental breton. This year, there will also be the discovery of a new era. “For the 101st anniversary, we decided to turn the page on the last hundred years and focus on creations, local artists, like Pêr Vari Kervarec, and very young groups,” says the festival director. Young people, like the artists Shõ, Awen An Douar and the duo Koulma and Loeiza, who we will have the opportunity to see on the stage of L’Éphémère, on Saturday, from 7:30 p.m.

  • 4 Identity

    Those who have known the Cornouaille Festival for a long time know that it has changed quite a bit. “We are keeping our 100% pure butter identity but we have decided to bet on youth. I know that it will not be easy”, acknowledges Igor Gardes, assuring that he wants to continue to “cultivate the difference” represented by the festival and its 650 or so volunteers. “Without their commitment, we would not be able to do much. They have been the cement of this event since 1923”, he adds. Not forgetting the commitment of the Celtic and bagadoù circles who will parade on Sunday, from 10:30 am, in the streets of Quimper. A parade which, let us remember, will be paid for this year (€5). Audience size? Around 6,000 people.

  • 5 Culture

    “We have a strong, vibrant, inventive and resilient culture. It’s very important and it’s what we want to show at the Cornouaille Festival,” says Igor Gardes, before revealing his favourite from the programme. “The Peacock Feather Trophy (on Friday at the Jardin de l’Évêché). It’s the world championship for couples of bell ringers. The holy grail of bell ringers. It’s an incredible level,” he confides. This year, at the Cornouaille Festival, there will also be the group Braan in concert on Place Saint-Corentin (Friday at 6 p.m.), Gaviny on the Resistance side (Saturday at 7 p.m.), Irish music at the bar des quais (Saturday at 6:30 p.m.), a fiery fest-noz on the dance floor (Saturday at 8 p.m.) and, of course, the election of the Queen of Cornouaille (Sunday at 5:30 p.m.).

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