Friday, 17th January, 2014
Launched in 1976, during the George Sand centenary, over the years the Festival has become the essential rendezvous for instrument makers and fans of traditional music and dance.
Le salon de lutherie, with more than a hundred instrument makers from all over Europe, has been an original and diverse showcase for traditional musical instruments, and which has led to a genuine revival of instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes: the installation and management of many luthiers and the creation of a violin-making department in the La Chatre Lycée George Sand give credence to this fact.
Many young talents have been nurtured in Saint-Chartier, generating many groups here and elsewhere, thus contributing to the dissemination of this music.
On 6th January 2014, following the liquidation ordered by the Châteauroux Tribunal de Grande Instance, the George Sand Committee, organiser of the Rencontres Internationales de Luthiers and Maîtres Sonneurs, has ceased operations.
A combination of factors such as more and more available traditional music events and the technical constraints related to the organisation of such a festival, have led to chronic financial difficulties that generated, by the end of 2013, an accumulated deficit of € 120,000.
With a few exceptions, since 2000 the festival has experienced a steady decline in revenue and attendance. In spite of attempts to reverse the trend (a new business model, service changes, reflections on pricing, reduction of budget, meetings with elected officials and funders), the George Sand Committee was unable to redress the balance. The association has therefore no legal existence.
On Friday 24th January, the George Sand Committee, its members and volunteers as well as luthiers, will meet for the last time to wind up the Association.
On Saturday 25th January at 14h in the chapel of the old hospital of La Chatre, rue Jean Pacton, Michele Fromenteau and Maurice Bourg, co-founders of the festival, invite all those wishing to be involved in the future of this event.
The Board of Directors — George Sand Committee.