Europe's largest country and western festival in Mirande, southwest France
The small town of Mirande, situated in southwest France, in a landscape of hills and fields, hosts the 21st edition of its Country and Western music festival on the weekend of 11th to 17th July.
The largest country and western music festival in Europe takes place this weekend in the town of Mirande, in southwest France. It welcomes stars from the world of country music, including both international and domestic acts.
The 2013 edition of the "Festival de Country Music Mirande" festival takes place from the 11th to the 14th of July and consists of 50 concerts over 4 days. Phil Edwards will present the acts at Mirande's "Sun Stadium", the world's first solar powered concert stadium venue. The lineup combines acclaimed American country acts, such as Peter Kingsbery, Amanda Cevallos and Randy Thompson, alongside homegrown French artists such as Nolwenn Leroy and GG Gibson. Country acts from Germany, Italy and Northern Ireland will also be on hand to add to the international flavour.
If you are lucky, you might even rub shoulders with members of the Ewing family. The actors from Dallas, patrons of this year's festival, will be present to introduce a number of the musical acts to the public. Also on offer are courses in line dancing and 350 stands offering all sorts of country and western clothes, toys and accessories for sale.
Country and Western has grown in popularity over the recent years in France. The Mirande festival has been on the go for 20 years and has attracted the likes of Jett Williams, Jo El Sonnier and Dixie Wheels. The town of Mirande is situated in Gers, generally considered as a kind of rural backwater in France. It is a landscape of fields, farms and cows, subject to extended periods of humid heat, alternating with heavy rainfall in the summer, making it somewhat similar in climate and appearance to the American southern states.