A brief by Elise Baudelet, junior expert in territorial marketing at CAAC
Since 1971, around 700,000 people have met every year in the Celtic land of Lorient to celebrate the Celtic culture. The festival showcases a culture based on historic roots and thorough collaboration. Music and dance are the headlines of the 200 events and shows display by around 5000 performers.
Every year at the beginning of August, the eight traditional Celtic nations (Asturias, Galicia, Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Cornwall) as well as the regions of Celtic diaspora (such as Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba…) gather to maintain and share their traditions. For each edition of the event there is a different nation as guest of honour. This year it was Ireland, universally known for its strong Celtic origins.
The festival has aimed to celebrate the heritage of French Brittany while opening itself to the other nations sharing this same DNA. The popularity of this festival refutes the vision of the Celtic culture as obsolete, showing that it is experienced daily around the world and within each territory in its own way.
Promoting internationally the culture and enhancing exchange are the two goals of the festival and similar objectives to those of INTERREG projects working for territorial development through transnational collaboration. Hence, a project such as ATBrand can capitalize on the strong links the event has created between nations and the Celtic standing it provides. Actually, as the main Celtic territories are part of the Atlantic Arc, this culture is an intrinsic part of its identity.
In order to find synergies for future projects, the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities, is looking for events as the Lorient festival, similar to the Atlantic Arc festival in Gijon, or the Interceltic festivals of Avilés and Ortigueira.
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