Friday, June 12, 2009

A Very Montpellier Story

Right now, I can hear music. They're sound-checking a huge rock-stage setup by the Three Graces fountain in the Comédie, a block from my house. Earlier, a smaller stage was sound-checking. There are tents and pavillions set up up and down the plaza. There are wooden tables set up the entire length of the center of the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. There are bleachers in front of the bandstand there. All along the Comédie, there are flags. Red ones for the Région Languedoc-Roussillon alternate with yellow ones for an event that will start tomorrow at 11am.

Total Festum, it's called. There's a shadow-picture of some people and lettering saying "With our region, proud of its culture." A parade is promised, a banquet, and a couple of other things I don't recognize because they seem to be in Castellan or Langue d'Oc.

So, who's playing? What's with the banquet? What are the traditional arts and crafts which'll be on display, according to the trilingual signs set up next to the little pavillions on the Comédie?

Who knows? This is a big event, no doubt about it. You can see the whole mess on the city's web-cam.

You cannot read about it on the city's website.

There's nothing on the Tourist Office website, either.

Wait! There's a picture of the poster on the region's website! And when you click it, it downloads the program.'s not the program. It's just the cover of the program, labelled as the program.

It is now 4:35 on Friday afternoon. At 11 tomorrow morning something will happen. I have no idea what it is. Bands will play, but I have no idea who. Food will be served, but I have no idea what or how much it costs. There will be other cultural manifestations, but I have no idea what they are. They're still sound-checking what sounds like French soft rock.

People will show up just because it's happening. They won't make plans, just do it. Do what, I can't say. But hey, it's Saturday, and after I hit the market, I'll do it, too. Might as well. I just hope the bands don't play too late.


  1. There's always so much bollocks being put up and torn down each week in la Comedie that I tend to ignore what it actually is... but I'll be in town tomorrow first thing to watch NZ play France at rugby (noblesse oblige) and so I'll probably run smack bang into whatever it is when I'm catching the tram home.

  2. Eh bien, tu m'appprends quelque chose. Je ne sais pas de quoi il s'agit moi non plus.

  3. Les Languedociens sont riches, c'est pour cette raison qu'on fait tout le temps la fête ici ! Très riches !

  4. C'est bien une promotion des cultures occitane et catalane !

  5. Great detective work, Marie!

    Un vrai Dupin!

  6. A true Sherlock :-)) Actually I've already attended that event but there are so many things going on here that j'étais un peu perdue. My second comment was ironical, of course. You could have got rid of it :-)) Our politicians know what we need is panem et circenses.


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