A day which didn’t end up quite like the itinerary said it should but which definitely had its charms. We arrived through the spectacular scenery of the Ardeche to our hotel, the Palais Oriental in Montreal ( which is the next town over from one called Prends-toi-garde which is next to Joyeuse) where there were several complications, the most pressing being that we had thought there would be lunch at the hotel (there’s nowhere else around). Turned out that lunch was actually waiting 11 twisty kilometers over, in Labeaume where it was thought we would warm up in the afternoon. Flexibility overcame us and we put down our bags and set off for lunch, which turned out to be home cooked by the very lovely volunteers of the festival. Onion tart, salad, prosciutto, cheese, fresh peaches and the day had redirected itself. We went down to the church to which Brian got the key, and did our warm up. Came back to the Palace where the proprietors Mustafa and his family whipped us up some pizza to tide us over until the post-concert dinner then set out again at 7.45 for Labeaume and the 9pm concert.
People kept arriving for the concert Tthey squeezed everybody in, the church was full to bursting: at 88 degrees or so it was a hot night in the Eglise of Labeaume. Fantastic response. Then the festival offered us an al fresco dinner of fresh tomato salad, trout and vegetables, cheese and a local specialty dessert with Crème de Marron. Then back to the Oriental Palace, pretty late….but feeling rather as if we had been in the South of France!
The Palais Oriental, where we were rather sequestered ( not necessarily a bad thing) with no TV, no phone, and no internet, which is why this report is a day late
From the hotel to the village of Lebeaume which is by a river, the landscape is spectacular
The bus can only go so far on the descent into the village. We debark and walk the rest of the way
After any number of quick bites at road stops, this was a treat. After which we walked a few steps down to the church
A moment while Brian gets the key
Warmup, back to the hotel, then back again as the evening fell
People began arriving early to wait for places. Our concert was a bonus at the end of the festival, and was the last event in this summer's Labeaume en Musique. There was a good pre-sale, then a huge (in the context) number of people just showing up. By now we were just about out of CD's to sell ( having done very well so far, but having had supply problems). Adam set them up anyway and we sold the last of the Out of this World, and quite a lot of Comedian Harmonists and Ludus Paschalis which was what remained. There seem to be more people in France than elsewhere who are interested in the middle ages, and of course they are less familiar ( therefore perhaps more intrigued) with the Comedian Harmonists than they are in Germany.
There are always children playing in the little plaza in front of the church while their parents eat at the restaurant which is steps away. Due to the crowd inside, and the ambient temperature ( high 80s we'd say) by the second half the doors were left open.
The fantastic post-concerty trout dinner took place back where we had had lunch, and we were home by 1am or so...This festival always offers a special experience of life on a smaller scale, which we appreciate a lot. Next the biggest festival in the heart of a large city!