Despite living in France for years, I’m amazed at how much there is left to discover right on my doorstep. The perfect example is the Musiques En Stock festival in Cluses. I only found out about the festival when a friend mentioned he was looking forward to seeing Australian band John Butler Trio.
Cluses is a town about forty minutes from La Clusaz. It’s not a tiny place, but it’s far smaller than Annecy. That makes a freebie, ecologically-minded festival even more surprising — especially one that draws acts such as Midlake, The Veils and Nada Surf. With the view of the rugged mountains near Mont Blanc and a mineral-rich river flowing nearby, the festival offered easy access by train, bus and car pooling/parking, two stages; festival memorabilia, food stands, other stalls, and a kids’ entertainment area almost as big as the rest of the festival.
As a music lover, I should have already known about this festival. How have I missed it? France is full of surprising events and landmarks that are simply overlooked I guess.
Although the food was limited to about 10 stands, it was great to see sushi and Indian food amongst the more traditional French options. Both have been adapted to French tastes, with the sushi stand offering banana and Nutella maki and Spéculos (a French cinnamon biscuit) maki for dessert.
Meanwhile, the Indian stand offered entirely vegetarian food! It’s hard to find a restaurant around these parts that offers decent spicy food, and this one was not apologetic about the lack of spices. Quite the opposite: the stand advertised “best qwality” (sic) food with “no piquant” (spices) that would leave a “good feeling inside”. I can confirm that both the food and the music festival left me with a good feeling inside (and spices were available separately). Bring on next year!