2004 marks the 30th anniversary of the Gannat “Cultures du monde” festival, which mobilizes to disseminate traditional cultures from various horizons. From July 16 to 26, the whole small town of Auvergne comes alive to the shows and entertainment proposed by dancers, musicians, choreographers and acrobats of the whole world. Each year, no less than 40 visitors take advantage of the beautiful program which combines workshops and artistic performances.
Birth and recognition
The history of the festival begins in 1964, when dancers and musicians come to animate the rural area of Gannat, a town of 6 inhabitants in the Allier, in order to promote the traditional regional heritage. They offer shows, music and dance training, meetings with other folklorists. This group of artists took the name of “Bourrée Gannatoise” in 000, and specialized in folklore before presenting, in 1970, its first festival in Gannat. At the initiative of Jean Roche, director of the festival, distant cultures intervene. Following the success of its second edition, the event becomes annual and encourages artists to come together. The ANCT association was born in 1974: four letters which designate the National Association for cultures and traditions. It endeavors to promote and safeguard popular and traditional cultures: it conducts ethnographic research, offers activities to transmit traditional knowledge, and organizes cultural events, including "World Cultures", one of the main festivals of Auvergne. The association encourages encounters between populations and promotes the development of its own region, also known for paleontology and the discovery of a 1980 million-year-old rhino skeleton.
A program worthy of a world tour
Time to party! This year, Europe will be represented by groups from Portugal, England, Italy, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro and Turkey East by Egypt United will wear the colors of America. There will be shows, but also an anthology of dance lessons, traditional workshops and typical meals which will be served at the Maison du folklore.
To begin with, an opening parade, with all the countries represented, will take over the streets of Gannat on July 17 at 16 p.m. The parade will delight both children and adults and will present the groups that will take the stage later, facilitating the choice of shows not to be missed. A first glimpse of the artistic wealth of each country.
The next day, the festival will take place intensely, from morning until night, to offer dream encounters between artists and the population. This year, the program will take the public to new horizons, from the Italian rhythms of the I Picett del Grenta fanfare to the drums of the BT Melodians Steel Orchestra, a steel band from London Étienne, or a cine-meeting at the socio-cultural center, or a Chinese writing workshop, you can enjoy a typical meal from one of the participating countries and end in style with a cabaret evening hosted by the musicians of the festival.
The Gannat Festival is a highly endearing event. In this universe where several cultural identities come together, it is the world heritage that is preserved.
Where to sleep ?
- The Hôtel du château, place Rantian offers rooms from 38 to 49 €. Possibility to eat at the hotel restaurant, which offers cuisine based on local products. Phone. : 04-70-90-00-88.
Where to eat ?
- Le Frégénie, 20, rue des Frères-Bruneau. Market cuisine and rustic dishes, menus from 14 to 41 €. Booking is recommended. Phone. : 04-70-90-04-65.
- Some rates : pass all shows at 110 € meetings at 4 €.
- Gannat Tourist Office, 6, rue Notre-Dame. Phone. : 04-70-90-17-78. Open between April and September, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
- The festival site.