I'm into folk at Dranouter

It must have been 7 or 8 years ago when I went to the folk festival in Dranouter and I immediately fell in love with this sympathetic music festival at the French border. Since then I've not skipped many years (see proof here, here or here). This year the Friday evening line up ath the main stage with Kadril, Altan, Bart Peeters, Starsailor and Axelle Red was particularly attractive, so I convinced Jan to take Friday off as well...and off we went.

The 'parking' grassfield was already quite full so we had to hobble all the way to the end. The advantage is that less cars are coming by so it might still be possible the guess the original colour of my car unlike the first cars. Anyway, I had been smart enough not to wash my car the previous week because I know from experience that you return with a dust covered car.
Katrien often a partner in crime at Dranouter couldn't make it but we could surprise a fan in line for the ticket office with Katrien's free ticket. We did make them promise to drink lots of beer...after all our free tickets came from Alken-Maes ;).

After a traditional exploration of the festival area and the location of the tents and the little market stands and food stands while listening to Kadril at the background , we spread our blanket out at the Flamundo tent and enjoyed the atmosphere.

After a while we moved to the outside of the Kayan tent because I really wanted to hear Altan.
[flashback 12 years: I am an exchange student in Canada late at night and as usual my host dad has put one of his celtic CD's on just before he goes to bed. At first I got tired of the ever same music but slowly I had learned to appreciate this late night ritual. It started to calm me as well and after a couple of months I knew both CD's by heart. I made sure I had a tape copy before I moved on to my next host family.] From then onwards I regularly listened to celtic music and that love for the traditional celtic melodies has grown to a love for folk music in general. ...one of those CD's had a song from Altan. I don't really know Altan beside that one song but I wanted to see them and listen to them to see what else they would perform.

They bring quite traditional folk, but in a fun way that got my feet tapping on the ground again. I was just laying on our blanket outside on my back looking at the clouds and listening to the jigs and ballads from Altan. "Life is great" crossed my mind :).

As was to be expected the Kayan tent really filled up before Bart Peeters hit the stage. I knew Bart Peeters from his endless list of tv shows he presented, the comedie series he made and as a teenager I was a fan of the Radios. I had heard he was now singing again in Dutch but I didn't really now his repertorium until we saw him recently on tv with a life concert. It was great and we immediately bought the live CD on iTunes and it has played lots of times since in the car where I gladly sing it along with a loud voice :). During the concert I realised that I was not the only one knowing all the songs: there were 10000 people singing along! In his usual contagious enthousiastic style he connected with the audience and got us all going. His world music with foreign mucisians and weird instruments is really swinging, alternated with more kitchy semi-serious love songs that brought many arms waving in the air.

When Bart jumped during such a love song into the audience to hug a girl and to hand his microphone to her boyfriend who proposed to her, you couldn't hear yourself screaming anymore. When afterwards he started one of his biggest Radios hits "I am into folk", at a folk festival, the tent exploded. Whoa, great concert! And I was not the only one to think so: in some newspapers this was named one of the most memorable concerts of the summer.

We could still enjoy the end of the hyperactive Toujours Jaune and toured the stores once more. We watched some north-African Rai from Les Boukakes in the Palace tent where some people where clearly freed from any inhibition to dance as a result of their alcohol consumption, regardless their lack of dancing skills.
Dranouter really has the atmosphere of a summer village! It's very big, yet it never felt "too big" to me.

Starsailor was however very disappointing. I am not sure whether the guy is struggling with a depression, but he sure sounded like that. In the mean time we started struggling with fatigue and the cold and I started to realise that I could not put up the effort of staying 2 more hours before Axelle Red would hit the main stage. I was torn between my rational who told me that we'd soon be too tired to drive for another hour and between my emotions who had been looking forward to see Axelle Red. As usual my ratio won, especially because I also felt that Jan wasn't very motivated to stay much longer either.

Once warmed up in the car though, my usual grumpiness when tired got strongly fed by the disappointment of leaving "early" and not seeing Axelle Red while we are there. Despite the fact that I had made the choice myself, I did not manage to control my own disappointment though and not being angry at myself for being a whimp and not persisting. Pff it's hard to think clearly when being tired. Once I got into bed though, I was quickly gone to the other side of conciousness!

this was by the way an indirectly sponsored post :p.


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