Summer time is back (in the northern hemisphere, I mean), and folk music concerts and festivals return to many towns and villages, with local musicians and others coming from distant places. They become a unique opportunity for experiencing diverse traditions, as well as having a nice time with food, sun, heat, sweat, drinks, rain, noise, late sunset, smoke, wind, music, fireworks, ...
The experience can be sometimes exhausting, but also rewarding if you had the chance to find bands with good sound & songs. One of the great aspects of folk and traditional music is that it provides you a special ingredient: the chance to learn about the cultures and the histories from different people and places. New musical instruments, different scales and rhythms, other languages, ... So it can also become an educational experience.
Last summer I stopped by in the German city of Nürnberg, during the weekend that the local Bardentreffen festival was taking place. I was there just for a few hours, but the atmosphere was thrilling. Bands from many parts of the world playing in many of the city squares and parks. The whole city centre was crowded with people walking up and down, in a really pleasant mood. Good beer and the best music in an old town with beautiful medieval architecture.
The event is taking place again on July 29th thru 31st 2011. You can find all details about the event @ www.bardentreffen.de. This year they will have a series of guest artists coming from Spain. Mostly Catalonian rumba bands, the German-Spanish Al-Andaluz Project, and the Galician singer and piper Mercedes Peón.
No matter where you are, we are sure that you will have some good chances to enjoy traditional, folk or world music. I am just remembering another great event: the Festival de Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany taking place 5th thru 14th August (www.festival-interceltique.com). Being there you can enjoy in just one city the music traditions from at least six places from the west European Atlantic area: Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Galicia, Asturias,...
For a folk music fan, summer vacation is the time of the year that provides maximum opportunities to live unforgettable experiences. For the musicians this is a stressful but also exciting season, and the chance to show all the creativity, the practice, the work that was developed during the past fall and winter.
Let’s enjoy it, Pío.
Photo Credits: (1) Katzenjammer @ Bardentreffen 2010 (by Dorthe Lübbert).