OK, so we didn’t actually witness too many accordions being brandished, but this free outdoor music festival was still great fun.
La Fete Accordion du Plein Pot was held in the village of San Quentin la Poterie (no Johnny Cash tribute acts in sight, but we did learn about the particularly nasal preferred local pronunciation of San Can-tanne!), over the last weekend of May, just a few minutes drive from our Uzes holiday home on Rue St Etienne.
It seemed to be held under a road bridge and saw a number of bands playing a spirited melange of Irish, Scottish and American folk and uptempo rootsy music, with a few Creole and Gallic touches throw in for good measure.
A few hundred people came along and it was lovely to see the enthusiasm with which people danced, sometimes locking arms barn dance style, other times pogoing and jiving where they stood. It was a real family affair too, with all generations camped out at long tables eating and drinking and many small children, some sitting contentedly watching the stage, but most were having a whale of a time whizzing around each other and across the small plaza on their bikes and scooters.
A beaker of decent quality wine was astonishingly good value, costing just a single euro, with a 5 euro deposit required for the special plastic beaker. I kept mine as a souvenir.
Of course there were a good number of food stalls to enjoy too, with everything from crepes to tasty, barbequed spicy mergez sausages being served up.
Provence Music Events for the Diary
This Fete de la Accordion Plein Air is held over three nights every May. It’s one of a number of similar music bashes held in the region. Some other notable ones include the Nuits Musicales d’Uzès – an international festival of baroque music and jazz held during the latter weeks of July in historical buildings such as the 17th century Cathedral of Saint Théodorit.
In January 2015 the nearby city of Nimes hosts a Flamenco Festival, presenting a mix of Spanish artists alongside native French players. Nimes makes good use of its splendid, remarkably well preserved Roman arena throughout the year. Coming up later this month is The Garden Night Festival (18 June to 4 July) with a good variety of French and international music, dance and theatre acts planned.
Finally there’s the Festival de Nimes, also held in the Ampitheatre, from 28 June to 24 July, which this year sees the likes of the Black Keys, the Arctic Monkeys, Rodriguo Y Gabriella and ZZ Top performing.
Do you have a favourite local music event you’ve attended in the South of France? Share it by leaving a comment below!