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Wales in Lorient 2017 – A celebration of Welsh culture in France’s biggest festival

Wales in Lorient 2017 – A celebration of Welsh culture in France’s biggest festival

Every year, some 700,000 people gather in Lorient on the Breton coast to enjoy the finest music, dance and performing arts from the Celtic nations of Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. The festival has won France’s prestigious Best Urban Festival Award for the last three years.

Audiences will be treated to performances by Welsh artists across all the main festival venues, but the main focus for Welsh culture will be a dedicated Wales Pavilion on the Quai des Pays Celtes. Visitors to the Pavilion can sample the best of the country’s music, get a taste of Welsh food and drink and Visit Wales information for potential tourists. The Wales Pavilion is funded by the Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales and delivered by Orchard Media and Events Group.

This year, the main festival programme features folk/jazz fusion group Burum, performing dynamic and original Jazz interpretations of traditional Welsh folk melodies; Burum will be joined by the Breton flute maestro Jean-Michel Veillon. Alaw means ‘melody’, and it’s a love of melody and a passion for the old tunes of Wales, performed on guitar, fiddle and accordion, that’s at the heart of this exceptional trio. Sioned Webb and Arfon Gwilym are two of the main exponents of the Welsh triple harp and Welsh folk singing, specialising in the traditional song forms of ‘Cerdd Dant’ and ‘Canu Plygain’. Lorient audiences will also be treated to the world-famous tradition of male voice choirs with a coming together of the great singers of Abertillery Orpheus and Cwm Male Choir. Other performers appearing at the Wales Pavilion include folk-rock band NoGood Boyo, fiddle and guitar duo Olion Byw, indie-folk band Ofelia, dynamic string trio Vrï and the soulful trio Elfen.

Wales’s visual arts will also be on show in the Euro-Celtic Art exhibition with an exhibition of Karen Pearce’s wonderful landscape paintings of the rugged west Wales coastline and mid-Wales mountains.

Antwn Owen-Hicks, the Wales Delegate for the festival and Project Manager for the Wales Pavilion said:

"Again this year there’s an exciting line-up of talented artists and performers from Wales with a wide range of styles and approaches. The Lorient Festival is a significant international stage to showcase Wales’s cultural traditions to thousands of people, not just at the festival itself, but across France and internationally, as concerts and events are broadcast on French television and the festival’s YouTube channel."

The festival takes over the whole town of Lorient for 10 days. A combination of concerts in venues and marquees along the seafront and street performances create a vibrant and distinctive atmosphere. In all, there are some 200 events and shows with 5,000 performers on the bill. Each year the festival has a featured nation and this year the focus is on Scotland, but we will be announcing 2018 as the Year of Wales.

-ENDS-

For further information please contact: Iwan Llwyd

Iwan.Llwyd@celf.cymru

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