Contribute something productive you reprobate!!

The leading English language magazine. Now covering Poitou-Charentes, Dordogne, Vendée and Haute-Vienne too!

Living magazine distribution map

Les Sarabandes 2015 - the start of festival season

Les Sarabandes 2015 - the start of festival season

Sitting under a starry sky, red wine in hand, listening to an accordion trio is a true reminder that la belle vie is all around us. To find it, we simply need to visit one of the many festivals across the south west of France...

One of our family favourites to kick off the season is Les Sarabandes in Charente. Each year, a village near Rouillac is taken over by artists of all genres, those that perform in the many live shows to those that exhibit in the gardens and barns. Some exhibitions and performances are fascinating and others are simply bizarre! It's a festival for all ages with plenty of performances for children although parents may want to check out a few of the exhibitions first to avoid any unpleasant surprises!

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

This year is the turn of Bignac, a tiny village of stone built houses on the banks of the Charente river just 18km north of Angoulême. Tucked between four large lakes dating back to World War II, 230 residents and 150 volunteers welcome the public into their streets and gardens for the weekend. The fun starts at Friday teatime, running through out the weekend until Sunday night but wait until dusk falls for the festival to really come alive.

Charente-festival-Sarabandes-2015

This alley of umbrellas lights up after dark...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Each garden has a different artist or two...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Light is an important part of the festival...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Watch as the giant men reveal their poems after sunset...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015  Sarabandes-2015-17.jpg

No space is left unadorned...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

And the villagers clearly make the most of this wonderful occasion. You can only wonder who is invited to this midnight feast being cooked in the nearby house...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

The church is decorated inside and out...

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

For more photos, visit our Instagram account @living_magazine.

And finally, on a practical note, there is plenty of space for the little ones to run around, and several food and bar tents. But, be warned, you may be in for a long wait in true French festival style!

Festival-Charente-Sarabandes-2015

Tickets cost from 8€ on the door with child tickets available for the under-14s. Find all the details on the festival website: http://www.lapalene.fr/bignac/