March isn’t usually a month that you associate with outdoor festivals in either hemisphere of the world, but around these parts, one has just come and gone and another one is on its way. The Radiomeuh Circus festival is on this weekend, with live acts and DJs galore, both on and off the piste. This online radio station has loyal and happy followers all around the globe. Just a handful will get the opportunity to come to the Radiomeuh Circus festival — including me! If there’s one way to warm up on and off the piste, it’s dancing, and I’m all for it, even in ski boots.
Last weekend was the Glisse en Coeur event in Le Grand Bornand. This involves a crazy 24-hour race on skis or snowboard by teams who take the chairlift up throughout the night to do more laps of the lit-up piste than any of the other teams. They raise money for a charity called ‘Les Puits du Désert‘ (‘Desert Wells’ – to help kids in Nigeria have access to clean water.) To encourage the teams, various French musicians, DJs and comedians performed on a stage right next to the course. The skiers ski between the stage and the crowd watching from behind the course’s barriers.
I’d love to have shown you some great photos of the night, but my SLR was out of action, and the Grand Bornand tourist office haven’t replied to my requests for some of the fantastic photos that they took. Highlights from the evening were seeing a yeti on skis doing laps, hearing French singer Christophe Mae warble to a somewhat massive crowd for these parts, and a break in the downpour of snow during the concert. Punters had to be careful not to fall over on the slippery entrances and exists to the watching area, and despite the very cold temperatures, beer was being downed in quantities typically seen at summer festivals (complete with gloved hands holding the cups).
The food was not quite typical festival food. The only option was buckwheat crepes (galettes) wrapped around a sausage. A Savoyarde/Brittany hot dog? Being a vegetarian, I had a delicious galette with BBQ sauce. At least it only cost 1€. The staff couldn’t keep up with demand, and the smoke from the BBQ was actually greater than the smoke coming from the stage. One thing is for sure, a festival in the French Alps is a very different festival experience.