Jersey Heritage is holding its first virtual event this weekend, aiming to bring the spirit of its much-loved spring festival, La Fête du R'nouvé, into people’s homes.
The annual boutique festival usually takes place over two days at La Hougue Bie and celebrates the season of renewal. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all of Jersey Heritage’s visitor sites are currently closed to the public. But the charitable organisation is taking every opportunity to continue to share the Island’s history and, rather than cancel the festival completely, it has found a way to still hold it by creating ‘La Fête du R'nouvé Online’.
The virtual event, which is sponsored by Islands, is co-hosted with Jersey Biodiversity Centre and L’Office du Jérriais, and brings together a host of content for people to enjoy. It takes place this Saturday (25th) when the physical event was scheduled to happen, with new content becoming available online at different times between 9am-5pm. As much as possible, it reflects the original festival line-up, including music, performances, stories, crafts, nature activities, poetry, recipes and dance.
Nicky Lucas, Jersey Heritage’s Events Curator, explained that the local groups, organisations and artists who usually take part in the festival at La Hougue Bie were excited to be a part of the virtual version of La Fête du R'nouvé.
She said: “The support and enthusiasm from so many talented local people has been amazing. It’s taken a lot of hard work and pushed us all out of our comfort zones by having to think about how we could share everything online, whether that’s been dancing by the Jersey Lillies, nature activities with Stephen Le Quesne, the creation of Jersey Wonders, or entertainment from Royston South and Sita’s Circus.
“Celebrating springtime at La Hougue Bie will have to wait until next year but, in the meantime, we can still prepare a picnic, put down a rug in the lounge and enjoy some of the talent that our lovely Island has to offer. It’s a pretty fantastic line-up and we really hope people join us on Saturday to be part of La Fête du R'nouvé Online.”
Jim Purkiss, from Islands, which has sponsored La Fête du R'nouvé for the past few years, said: “We have been proud sponsors of Jersey Heritage for a few years now and it delights us to see that even in these crazy times, they are still doing an amazing job and sharing the fantastic Fête du R'nouvé with you all, in a whole new way! This year’s festivities will all be online, keeping the community spirit of Jersey and its amazing history alive, in new and exciting ways. We really wish we could be there in person again this year, but we can’t wait to join you all online to see what fabulous ideas our friends at Jersey Heritage have come up with.”
Content for La Fête du R'nouvé Online will go live on the Heritage at Home hub at www.jerseyheritage.org/athome at regular intervals throughout Saturday and virtual festival-goers can keep track of when it becomes available by following Jersey Heritage on social media. All the content will remain on the website for people to enjoy after the festival.