Chassepierre Festival International des Arts de la rue took place the past 17th and 18th of August in Chassepierre, a sweet tiny fraction of the already small town of Florenville, in Belgium in Wallonia, near the border with the small city state of Luxembourg. And it was greatly beautiful.
Chassepierre Festival is primarily a Festival of Street Art, but also of Performing Art, Theatrical Improvisation, Dance, and Music. It will definitely surprise you for the very wide range of activities on offer to festival goers, in every corner of the delightful Belgian town something happens on these two days, whether it’s music, dance, installations, or simply witnessing gnomes moving while carrying a heavy load on their shoulders.
For this year’s edition, Belgian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Czech and Swiss artists were seen: Joshua Monten with a dance-fight inspired by the Slapstick Comedy, Hotel Iocandi with a show halfway between music and circus, Defracto with Theater and Juggling, surrealist Theater by Fred Tousch, Kadawresky with a theatrical performance plus skiing, music and tight-rope walking by Les Filles du Renard Pâle, La Mondiale Générale with Circus of the Absurd, circus virtuosity of Takapa, theatrical walkings of La Passante, Theatropavana and Folk Rock music by Puurlain, The Muddy States, The Groovy Gents and Folk Dandies, and many others!
Many acts of the Festival are repeated several times a day and also the day after, so one shouldn’t worry too much if happening to miss a performance. The places of interest are marked by numbered signs and amount to 15: it is possible to get to see shows both in the pleasant Belgian village adorned with flower vases, and in the vast grass field in front of it.
What is really amazing is being able to witness such a spectacular offer at a really low cost, no more than a few tens of euros. In summary, inside the tiny town it is possible to see installations, itinerant representations of dancers and actors in masks, tight-rope walkers who climb on roofs, sometimes blocking the exit of the taverns with their ladders, and also conceptual shows that in this edition involved snails…
In the large open space in front of Chassepierre, instead, activities related to the Circus are mainly carried out, and shows that involve sufficient agility and dexterity to walk in balance on a wire stretched in mid-air. In this area are located also many stages where to attend concerts and there is even the main bar and central Festival Tent where you can drink Belgian beer of excellence starting from 2 euros and dance wild until late at night on Celtic Folk notes.
As for the food there are numerous taverns in the small Chassepierre that serve the most delicious dishes of the area, along the road that connects the village to the large grass area you will also meet stands that serve exquisite Belgian Bruxells or Liège style Gaufre, a must try, and not far there is a shed which sells organic food from bakers and farmers in the province, so even from the food side Chassepierre Festival absolutely stands out.
If you wish to attend amusing Street Performances in a jewel-like place in Wallonia in Belgium, a fraction of the small Florenville, go to Chassepierre Festival without hesitation.
Written and Translated by Gerardo Iannacci