Last Saturday we went to a small village close by that has a yearly Street Music Festival called L’autan en Fanfare. Fanfares are large brass bands and the ones we have seen in France are outstanding. Great musicianship but with a wack-a-doodle sense of humor. There’s weird costumes and antics and yet the music is highly professional.
When we got to the village a competition of sorts was taking place between two bands. There was a master of ceremonies giving each band a challenge and then the two bands would “compete” for the BEST via audience applause.
For instance, one band was given the task to create a tune and song about cassoulet (one of the famous regional dishes here) and the other band to make a tune/song about Roquefort cheese. Each band (there were about 15-20 members in each) conferred for about a minute and then started playing and singing. It was a hoot. Then the audience clapped to pick a winner.
After these challenges, the bands played for real and we saw about 4 of them before the heavens opened up with a huge downpour.