Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

Reggae, rain and men in underwear

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Terres du Son was held on the grounds of Chateau de Cande outside Tours, France. (Yes, I took a tour of the castle.)

I don’t know how fun, free festivals keep finding me on this trip, but I’m not questioning this luck in the hope that the randomness continues. When I first contacted the goat farm about working here in July, they let me know they’d be exhibiting their farmstead goods at the Terres du Son music festival. I was even more excited about coming to stay. I knew helping out at a food booth during a 25,000-plus-person event would be a lot of work, but there is live music involved. And I am in France. C’est bon.

I worked a lot during the festival prepping farm-made goodies, including open-face sandwiches of tomatoes and goat cheese, yogurt with confiture, ice cream, milkshakes, and spice cake with goat cheese. (I know that last one sounds odd, but please, please try it. It’s amazing.) In between my kitchen duties, I escaped the tent to experience the French festival scene. 

Local foods, including yummy goat cheese and tomato tartines from the farm, were part of the festival's sustainability efforts.

Terres du Son is about the environment as much as it is about music, so that made my sustainability-geek side very happy. My farm was there was part of a local-foods group of vendors, featuring restaurants and food producers with heirloom, free-range and organic foods from the region. Vendors used renewable and biodegradable serving ware, bathrooms were dry toilets (yes, more about toilets–and this one deserves its own post later), recycling stations were everywhere, and there were as many environment-related presentations as there were music acts.

Here I am, lost in a sea of reggae dancers in the rain.

Dub Inc. was one of the music acts on the main stage the first night. I’m not a reggae fan, but I wasn’t going to turn down using my exhibitor pass to see them. Sebastian (one of the farm owners) and I battled into the crowd to see the concert, but then he got called back to the booth, so that left me to dance with several thousand of my closest friends at midnight in the rain. It wasn’t a soaking Jason-Aldean-and-Miranda-Lambert-at-Applebee’s-Park rain or a Tom-Petty-at-Verizon-Wireless-Music-Center tornadic storm or a pre-Blake-Shelton-at-Spotlight-Lexington torrential downpour, rather a nice, steady rain that might as well have been choreographed for grooving to reggae.

Paling in comparison to my solo-reggae experience but still worth mentioning is the children’s magic program I watched earlier in the evening. In France, people heckle children’s magicians. Where else does that happen?! I was kind of horrified–and amused–by the heckling as the Naze Box Circus crew did their thing. When one of the kids from the farm was chosen to “assist” during an act, he handled the jeers with the greatest attitude. Apparently, heckling is just what happens here. I was further horrified–and amused– when one of the performers had his pants ripped off to reveal tighty whities and a pink tutu. I wondered how many boys asked their mothers for pink tutus that night. I also wondered how I’ve found two family friendly entertainment venues in three weeks that have involved men in their underwear!

There were so many more acts that I wanted to see, but slicing tomatoes for tartines and processing red currants for milkshakes had priority. I stayed home from day three (today) at the music festival to instead work on the farm with the goats and the cheese and to get organized for tomorrow, which is a travel day. Destination: a little port town on the West Coast


One Comment

  1. The ONLY proper way to experience a music festival is in the rain and mud!! 🙂

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