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Street theatre festival, the "Turbulents" in Vieux-Condé

Renaissance 2015, a new component to Lille 3000

Renaissance 2015 - a great international event was launched… Over 250,000 people were there at the grand parade marking the opening of Renaissance 2015, the 4th season of Lille 3000.  A parade with all the colours of Rio, a touch of Fellini with its huge Baroque dolls, its lighted puppets, and Godzilla floating in the air. The 16th century Renaissance, symbol of intellectual and artistic enthusiasm casts a shadow which illuminates our own century. A century still at its dawn awaiting a new world. A world of consensus, open, inspired, and innovative in the image of the exhibitions, performances, and debates that enliven all the 2015-16 events at Lille 3000 in all the 75 communes that make up the "Eurometropolis".

Opening festival of the new Lille 3000 season: Renaissance
  • Opening parade at the end of 2015. Several thousand people came along to attend the festival marking the new Lille 3000 season
  • © Maxime Dufour photographies
Make the streets a stage, the walls a screen, the works a mirror, the audience a colourful parade.

The vivacity of the "Turbulents de Vieux-Condé"

Every year in early May, the "Turbulents de Vieux-Condé" festival is one of the major cultural events of the region. Over three days, the 2016 festival - the18th - will speed up the tempo of life in the streets and open spaces of the Valenciennes area: international companies, contemporary dance, circus, World conversation championship, and free shows are central to this unique event. Under the leadership of the "Boulon" - the National Street Theatre Centre, the festival goes down into the street, gets on the bus, and enlivens parks and gardens by transforming urban spaces into performance areas.

Theatre company putting on its show surrounded by the crowd
  • Street theatre festival, the "Turbulents" in Vieux-Condé
  • © Rémi Vimont

Folies de Maubeuge and the Follies et la Via 2016

The two festivals are brought to you by Le Manège Mons Maubeuge, the cross-border cultural centre. Every year it puts on more than a hundred performances and festivals combined including the Follies et Via 2016. For nearly 30 years, the Festival Via brings together forms of expression as far apart as the performing arts and digital design. Its shows in 3D in which artists, acrobats, and musicians perform is one of the major events of the contemporary stage. Another highlight - Les Folies festival invades the town: town-centre streets, car parks, squares, and even cafés, with an outstanding programme. Concerts, parades, shows, exhibitions, and fireworks turn urban spaces into places of artistic expression through multiple art forms.

Open air theatre, for all the family
  • Family theatre performance at the Folies de Mauberge
  • © Rémi Vimont

In the Rues Joyeuses of Tourcoing

Since it first began in 2009, the Rues Joyeuses festival has become established as a major event in the Lille conurbation; it is both cultural and popular. An event with a big following, and not only by the people of Tourcoing. Now taking place every two years, the next one will be in spring 2016, and is expected to bring together again international companies and performers. For two days, in Tourcoing town centre, a family audience has access to a festive, good-natured event of the first order. A program that successfully brings together circus acts, magic, dance routines, concerts, and plays.  

Musicians, made up and in disguise, enliven the streets of Tourcoing
  • A colourful and...joyful group enlivening the Rues Joyeuses festival at Tourcoing (Archive photo)
  • © Didier Alkenbrecher

"Fêtes de Lens" and its Street Theatre Saturday

Amongst the highlights of this great traditional festival at Lens, don't miss the street festival in the Rue Taraderuze. A celebration of original music which, on 21 June, gives pride of place to street theatre.  Clowns, acrobats, jugglers, and magicians beat the streets of Lens to the sound of the brass bands and dance companies. Under the aegis of Taraderuze, the giant of Lens with his pick and miner's lamp at his side, the festival is intended for a family audience where all the shows are accessible even to the youngest. There is a wish to enable the greatest number of people to join in what has become a special day.

Acrobats at the evening events during the Lens festival
  • The Lens Festival and its acrobats
  • © Frédérik Astier

When Giants join in the celebrations as well…

Finally, amongst festivals well rooted in the traditions of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, mention should be made of the "Ronde des Géants" parade at Steenvoorde in the depths of French Flanders. An event organized every 6 years by the Association des Amis de Fromulus. It is an opportunity to discover, through both diversity and similarity, the international character of this very special tradition.  On the last occasion, the parade was more than 4 km long, assembling some one hundred giants borne aloft and accompanied by more than 2000 extras. The next "Ronde" should be taking place in April 2017.

The colourful giants parade along the Rue Faidherbe from Lille station
  • Parade of giants from all corners of Europe
  • © Eric Le Brun - Lightmotiv