Monday, May 01, 2006

Festival International de Louisiane

First off, sorry that is a Monday post, rather than a Sunday post. This is a consequence of a weekend road-trip to Festival International de Louisiane (FIL). All I can say is "WOW!". Having been to other international music festivals, such as WOMAD, they do not even begin to compare with FIL. At WOMAD, they seem hell bent on getting every last penny out of your pocket, whilst providing as little music as possible. At FIL, the case is the total opposite. FIL is totally free, although they do ask that one buys one of their pins, at a cost of a mere $5. Not only that, there are six stages with music running simultaneously on each. Even compared to JazzFest, in New Orleans, FIL is much cheaper and a lot more fun.

On Friday night, we saw Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca from The Congo, followed by La Boutine Souriante, from Quebec. We also tried to take a look at Zydeco guys J. Paul and the Zydeco Nubreeds, but there were just too many people to see the stage.

On Saturday, we got a late start and just kind of wandered around, seeing bits and pieces of bands. We did catch quite a bit of Vasen, from Sweden, who were great. Much of the time though was spent poking around in various craft stalls, selling all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff from all over the world. We got a couple of unique items for good prices though. The big problem with Saturday was the weather. It was windy and overcast. Eventually the threatening skys opened and there was torrential rain. It was almost Biblical -- we beat a hasty retreat! The local news said that six inches of rain fell in two hours and I am sure that they are correct. Although FIL shut down for the day, there were all sorts of other music venues open. We found a neat little place called The Blue Moon. They had a great Cajun band,so the day was not a bust.

Sunday dawned gloriously and the weather could not have been more perfect. What was amazing was the Festival site. As we left, we had seen debris all over the place and even a tent with poles bent ninety degrees. However, the next morning everything was perfect again. Those Festival people must have worked through the night to get everything fixed. As in previous days, we had a lot of fun just wandering around. The variety of food for sale at FIL was amazing. There were also all sorts of wild drinks available. On the food front, of especial note was the Deep Fried Roast Beef Po'boy from Joe's Dreyfus Store Restaurant at the Fais Do Do Stage. Although I am sure my physician would disapprove of this delicacy, it was a little slice of heaven to eat. We finished out the day by hearing Buckwheat Zydeco, followed by The Skatalites. The $5 pin price was worth it for these two bands alone.

Although we are tired after FIL, we will certainly be going again. Apart from the utterly incredible music, the whole experience was a blast. The people were also incredibly friendly. We were wished 'happy festival' many times. I recommend this festival to anyone. It is a shame that we will have to wait a year until the next one.

The CP


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you moving to Mondays? ;-)

10:25 PM  

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