The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Les Vieilles Charrues, one of France’s most celebrated summer festivals, is a four-day music event which takes place from 19 to 22 July in Carhaix in deepest Brittany.


However, this year discerning music fans can skip the first day – the headliner on 19 July is geriatric crooner Charles Aznavour and he’s the best of that day’s line-up.


The serious rock n’roll business begins on Friday 20 July with sets from Peter Gabriel, Arcade Fire (playing every festival in France, it seems), LCD Soundsystem and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, to name the big international names. French punksters Stuck In The Sound are the pick of the domestic acts on that day.


Saturday 21 July features Bryan Ferry, Kaiser Chiefs, Sean Lennon, Herman Dune (promising some blissed-out summer sounds) and the brilliant electro-pop of French singer Emilie Simon, whose cracking single ‘Fleur De Saison’ was one of this column’s picks of 2006.


The weekend finishes with Scissor Sisters, Sinead O’Connor, Rickie Lee Jones, Klaxons and headliner Yannick Noah, the former French Open tennis champion who’s now a huge music star with his brand of bland reggae-flavoured feel-good pop. Also on Sunday’s bill is the wonderful Emily Loizeau, a piano-playing cabaret-pop chanteuse who we highly recommend.


A three-day pass for Les Vieilles Charrues costs only €69.50 – and camping is free for ticket-holders.


In addition, the regional train and bus services in Brittany are offering special cheap transportation to and from the festival - for example, €10 return for a train ticket from any station in Brittany (such as Rennes or Lorient, both of whom have air links to Ireland).


It all sounds like great value, put on with a view to as little hassle as possible for the festival-goer.


Tickets for Les Vieilles Charrues are available online and in English from French ticket outlet FNAC. For further details on the festival, contact the organisers directly at

French Festival (1): Garden NEF, Angouleme 

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