Old Ploughs Cut A New Furrow

The 17-year-old Les Vieilles Charrues Festival in France smashed its four-day attendance record by attracting 215,000 fans across the July 17-20 weekend.

"It was brilliant. We had really good weather, and conditions were perfect for breaking records," said festival marketing manager Catherine Boulanger, announcing this year’s festival beat the 2001 record by more than 12,000.

Festival des Vieilles Charrues ("Old Ploughs Festival") has moved twice as it’s grown to become one of France’s major outdoors.

It’s definitely the largest. Since it started in 1992 in Landeleau and attracted 500 visitors to the tiny village with a population of little more than 1,000, it was first forced to move a few miles to the city of Carhaix as the crowd grew to more than 4,000 by the third edition.

After two years in the centre of Carhaix, which is a small city of about 10,000 people, it had to shift to a Greenfield site on the outskirts because by now the event was pulling more than double that number.

The acts helping the old ploughs cut a new furrow included Motorhead, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, ZZ Top, Gogol Bordello, The Hives, The Kooks, Babyshambles, Vanessa Paradis, The Go! Team, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and breaking French acts including Yelle and The Do.