As a 4 time attendee of Rhythm and Vines, New Zealand’s largest New Years festival, the desire to go to a few European festivals has been mighty high… My first taste of a European festival was last weekend, when Dan and I attended the Le Bleymard festival, just over the hill. We camped at the local campground, just a 10 minute walk from the festival set up, two huge circus tents. We’ve had a taste of the hippie vibe out here in the mountains, with the Florac market being a focal gathering point for a large majority of them, gathering on steps, singing, dancing, smoking, all in the same mismatched clothing which Dan and I so badly try to reciprocate.
But it turned out that Florac market really was just a taste, and the Le Bleymard festival is THE hit spot for all the local hippies. Not that we’re complaining.
What is a hippie anyway? I’ve been told I look like a hippie… But I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb here… Despite my best efforts.
When I refer to ‘hippie’ I mean gypsie style , mismatched, dreadlocks, slightly dirty looking, usually smoking, rainbow colours here and there. You get the picture.
We started the morning walking through the market, upon realising the gates to the festival don’t actually open until 7.30pm. So we took our time, basking in the sun, attempting conversation… Which for me doesn’t go so well…
“How many languages do you speak?!” He says in a very stong accent as I ask if he’s in the toilet que.
“Umm, just English” my voice goes up an octave as I sense his disapproval
“I speak 4 languages and you speak JUST English?” He’s very angry…
“Well, it’s hard to learn new languages when your surrounded by English speakers.” I defensively mumble… This is awkward…
“But your in France! You will make NO friends here… Speaking English!” He splatters the last word and walks off. I get a few disapproving looks as I remain standing in the toilet que….
My first taste of the France I was told about… The France where you need to speak French.. Rightly so…
After my incident bumping into the angry French man I avoid practising my age 2 French on anyone and stick to basking in the sun with my vodka and apple juice. By 7.30 we enter the festival to find two very packed circus tents, hippies sitting round fire lamps, a caravan toilet, and angry rock resonating off the sides of the tents.
The night pans out well… With some more embarrassing French attempts, resulting in me promising to learn French to a few more angry people…
“Can you say anything other that Bonsior?!”
The music was less memorable… A Cambodian rock band with the lyrics
“I have a visa but no rice”
A rock band with a French horn… That was bizarre.
And a few more rock inspired bands who blasted their guitars and shouted. Not really my style, but enjoyable to be amongst all the head banging hippies none the less.