This year (2016) was the 27th time that I have exhibited my pipes at St Chartier/Chateau D'Ars and I have been taking time to go through my photos and reflect on this annual pilgrimage I have continued to make nearly every year since 1985.
I realised that I have spent over a third of my Julys in central France at this wonderful festival which has had a big impact on many people lives; people who love to hear and dance to drone music. When I first went there in 1985 I had only just begun making pipes and it was inspiring to come into contact with so many established pipemakers. Instrument making tends to be a fairly solitary occupation and St Chartier provides a unique annual opportunity to make friends and connections with more and more pipers and pipemakers from all over the world.
>The festival is now 35 years old. Up until 2008 it was held at the chateux in the little village of St Chartier, near La Chatre, Indre, Central France. Over the years it has became an important Mecca for Bagpipe and Hurdy Gurdy makers and other instrument makers.
In 2009 the Chateau was sold and the festival moved to another Chateau D’Ars which is only a few kilometres away. However, after so many years, it is hard not to refer to it as St Chartier. It is a great new venue with 120 instrument makers stalls scattered around a large wooded area as well as dance floors and a big outdoor concert area behind the chateau.
If you haven’t been it is time you did! It is usually a 3 or 4 day event and is always timed around July 14th.
Visit their website http://lesoncontinu.net/en/