We are the official arts festival for Poitiers, France.

Poitiers France is the home of many art festivals and it’s easy to see why a lot of people head to this part of France at certain times of the year.

If you’re looking for a place where creative people of all tribes, background and walks of life share their creative output, this is the place to be. Also, if you are looking to travel to France, do yourself a big favor and don’t just content yourself with a trip to Paris.

As awesome as the Eiffel Tower is and as amazing as the art collection stored in Louvre be, they get old quickly. You can hang out cafes on the west bank all you want, but eventually, the whole Paris scene, as awesome and interesting as it may be at first, gets old quickly.

This is why Poitiers is so popular. When you go here during our art festivals, you meet a lot of people. It’s not just a question of going from point A to point B to find yourself at a certain place where you can take selfies. It’s not just a question of looking at certain buildings and landmarks and calling it a day.

In fact, I would be so bold to say that when you go to an art festival at Poitiers or any other place in France that holds regular art fairs, you are going to an event. In other words, your experience is the point of your trip. It’s not the landmark, the art that you see or specific manifestations of art but the overall experience.

It’s really quite hard to put your finger on it because it involves the things that need to happen before, during and after your arrival at the art festival. This also involves the things you see, taste, smell, touch and hear. It works on many different dimensions and this is why a lot of people who travel to France insist on seeing an art festival.

Now don’t get me wrong. This is very different from an art show. When you go to an art show, it’s the pieces of art, whether they be paintings, sculptures or mixed media, that is the center of the show. As important and fascinating this can be, it offers a very limited experience.

How novel can paintings be? Sure, Van Gogh is very sublime. Picasso definitely pushes peoples imaginations, but let’s face it. It gets old quickly. It becomes flat. In fact, it might even become downright boring, routine and unimaginative at some level or other.

I know that this sounds almost like sacrilegious or blasphemous to a lot of people, but this is the absolute truth.

When you go to an art festival, on the other hand, you’re not just content with the stuff that’s being shown. It’s the people and how they interact with each other that is at display. And believe me, you’re not going to be seeing that same configuration the next time you go to that same art festival. That same place might even feature the same people, might have the same music and food, but it’s never the same.

That’s what’s so awesome about going to art festivals compared to art shows, exhibits, symposium and typical art gallery type showings. I’ve been to many art retrospectives from California to London to Paris and it all gets old because these types of art shows are usually put on by professional companies who follow a script.

It’s as if they have some sort of template that they are forced to work with. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s like there’s this law out there that they have to present art in a certain way to attract a very predictable and boring bunch of people. It’s no surprise that a lot of otherwise imaginative art critics and up and coming art coinsures are too bored to even participate. In fact, a lot of them just quit the industry because how long can you beat a dead horse?

This is why I’m really optimistic about art festivals. It’s the interaction, the sense of urgency, the sense of imagination, creativity and recreation that is all combined into a small compact multiday event. It’s as if each day is very different from the day before and the day that will come after.
It’s this sense of anticipation plus immediacy that really takes art festivals to a whole other level. It impacts it with so much meaning, immediacy and value. I know that I’m just throwing all these words at you, but believe me, seeing is believing.

My mind was blown the first time I went to a Poitiers art festival because there were no freaks there.

There were no people covered head to toe in tattoos, no people who cut themselves with razor blades, you know, the whole art show schtick or tried and proven gimmicks to get eye balls. Instead, the real main attraction was the interaction, sense of discovery, anticipation for something new.

Believe me, when I used to hang out at San Francisco art shows, the whole sex freak phenomenon was really big so the more fantastic, outlandish or “offensive” the sex act was, the more “artsy” or “edgy” the presentation was.

Well, you can probably get away with that the first time you do that, but after a while, it becomes routine. In fact, the eight time I went to such an art show, it was boring. People were looking around, seeing the same people wearing leather and whipping each other crazy all yelling out in the public and all this blood and gore splattered all over the place. People were just bored to tears. They basically couldn’t wait to get out of there because they have an appointment to watch the paint peel off the walls in their apartments back home.


So if you are a big art fan, you might want to step away from art shows because until and unless they change the script for a lot of them, things are probably not going to change. It’s never going to be as good as the first time. In many cases, it becomes a really commercial transaction.

The whole point of an art show is to sell art. It really becomes formulae or even manipulative. They try to do something shocking so they can get headlines. It goes year after year and it’s so predictable that you can see it a mile away. There’s almost no value left.

Do yourself a big favor. Focus on festivals instead. Here, people are normal. People don’t freak you out. The real attention grabbing event is the interaction and that’s the real art. That’s something you can always remember.


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