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What Entertainment-Starved Expats Do on a Wednesday Night in the Languedoc

June 8th, 2016 · No Comments · France, Languedoc, Travel


It was a teeny bit like the Retired Anglophones French Chateau Languedocienne Woodstock.

Music, alcohol, cars parked on every spot not previously occupied by a vine … essentially a farm with no neighbors to complain about the noise … and lots and of gray-white-and-blue hair.

It was quite the success as hundreds of people seemed to have a very fine time, even as the long French sunset finally went dark at the Chateau de Montpezat just outside the city of Pezenas.

A Franco-American friend of ours was the driving force behind the event, along with her AUD&MAD confederate, Maddie, who presented a show subtitled: “Made in USA and France.”

The duo brought together the Jersey Julie Band and the blues singer Nella Nemorin as well as “DJ Calou”, who may be locally famous.

For 10 euros the concertgoers, some of whom were old enough to have gone to Woodstock, got a glass of wine from the Montpezat cellar, with the chance to buy more for two euros per glass or 8 euros for a bottle.

To make sure no one went hungry, at an event that began at 6:30 p.m., they had the “empanada truck” (indeed, locally famous) on site, which appeared to be cranking out empanadas (one for three euros, 16 for six) for about four hours straight.

Also available: sweet or savory crepes from the crepe truck, and a dessert truck.

The stage was the sprawling grounds of a chateau that produces some of the best “bio” (no herbicide, no fertilizer) wine in the area.

After DJ Calou did his thing, and Nella did a fine job, particularly with Gershwin’s Summertime, out came the strapping, saxophone-wielding Jersey Julie (Julie Beth Goldstein), an expat who lives in nearby Beziers and focuses on the blues.

Jersey Julie has a big voice, but her saxophone skills are nearly as impressive, and her backup of guitarist, keyboardist and drummer made it all work.

Some of the old folks, perhaps fueled by generous amounts of wine and empanadas, got up and were shaking some AARP booty.

Another star of the event was the chateau, which sold lots and lots of wine as well as bringing on the vineyard grounds several hundred oenophiles.

Clearly, this part of the Languedoc has an appetite for this sort of entertainment — a big, bold event, with food, drink and music, held in the great outdoors.

And the outdoors hardly gets better than France’s golden summer hours from about 7 till the final gleam of the sunset disappears around 10.

The crowd was far bigger than the picnic tables and chairs could handle, and people were sprawled on their own folding chairs and blankets, and perched on the stone steps around the big open space, and on the barrier above a big pond.

So, just sayin’, there may be room in this market, for live entertainment aimed at golden-agers and their French friends, too.




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