Traditionally France has always been a country of many festivals: classical, baroque, musicals, jazz, cinema, etc. In this environment the Interceltic Festival is unique, open, international and a gathering place to voice the contemporary expression of Celtic culture. The Interceltic Festival crosscuts all forms of music of Celtic origin from thousand year old traditional songs to folk, rock, jazz and symphonic works, all in an extremely prolific creative environment. Alongside music there are cinema, painters, sculptors, dance, history, literature, musical instrument making, showcase events plus so much more.
QIAPB was the first Australian pipe band to be invited to, and play at, the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany, France.
The Brittany Festival welcomed the QIAPB with the “type of fanfare usually reserved for visiting rock idols” as reported in the Sunday Mail on 6th July 1986. The 36 members of the No.2 pipe band, nicknamed “Les Kangourous” by the French, won rave reviews.
We have returned to play at the festival many times over the following years.
QIAPB returned to play at the Lorient Festival in 1999 and were accompanied by a contingent of QIA dancers and two Highland dancers. There were four Night Magic performances from 10.30pm in the Parc due Moustoir stadium, playing with a number of other pipe bands from around the world and the dancers that we took to France also performed in each Night Magic. A little bit of rain didn’t stop anyone from performing!
The band also performed with these dancers at Place Nayel Caberet, participated in a number of street parades as well as the Grand Parade des Nations Celtes.
2006 – Year of Australia
Our pipe band again returned to Lorient in 2006 accompanied by a little Celtic band that was put together for this trip – Murphy’s Pigs. Lots of performances, Night Magics, street parades and the Grand Parade, as well as filling in where needed when other bands couldn’t make it. Such a wonderful and fulfilling trip to Lorient.
QIAPB returned to Lorient again in 2008 for the Festival with our own Irish dancer accompanying us. There were lots of performances, Night Magics, street parades and the Grand Parade. Another great festival enjoyed by all!
QIAPB were invited to attend the Lorient Festival again in 2012. Five Night Magics in the stadium from 10.30pm on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a number of performances around town, some street parades and the Grand Parade on the Sunday morning. For this trip our Irish dancer that previously accompanied us was now a side drummer accompanying us! We also managed a couple of day trips for the band so we could visit some towns near Lorient. Another great trip to this amazing festival!
We returned to the Lorient Festival again in 2014, this time as an Irish pipe band. Despite lots of rain during the festival and a bit of illness in the pipe band we still managed to get out and about and enjoy the festival, doing five Night Magics, quite a few performances, the Grand Parade and a couple of street parades as well as some other random performances by a few of us around town which was so well received. So much fun! We again managed to fit in a couple of day trips out of the town so we could get a feel of the gorgeous countryside and towns nearby.
2016 – Year of Australia
Year of Australia was celebrated at the Lorient Festival in 2016 and we were off to the festival again. We had great weather this time, five Night Magics, lots of performances, street parades and the Grand Parade. There was also some random playing around town which again was well received! It was almost non-stop for us so we were kept very busy. It wasn’t without drama unfortunately as three of our members were delayed in arriving at Lorient due to a plane crashing on landing in Dubai – fortunately for them it was one of the planes in front of theirs and their plane was able to abort the landing and land somewhere else in the UAE. Uniforms and baggage went missing and wasn’t tracked down for many days, which meant these three couldn’t perform with us, one of them being our Pipe Major!