With twenty-five concert halls, seven café-concert venues, an open-air theatre and plenty of bands and festivals that promote all types of music (from traditional to electronic), Réunion bubbles with cultural events. So much so that you will soon abandon your hotel room to go bat’ carré (walk around) in search of the rhythm of the island
Naturally, there’s the sky, the sun and the sea... but when the sun sets, there’s no question of following its example! In Réunion, the cultural life is intense, multi-faceted, plural, fuelled by traditions (especially from a musical perspective with the heritage of the Maloya and the Séga). It relentlessly draws on the past to invent the future of the people from Reunion, through theatrical creations and festivals, or on stage in cafés.
About those cafés... In Saint-Leu, La Rondavelle (a “rondavelle” is a small circular structure resembling a closed newspaper kiosk), also called La Ronda chez Jean-Paul, opens its stage on weekends. All genres are welcome and the lively atmosphere is guaranteed by an unstoppable combo: seaside, sunset and local beer. Not to be missed !
Local music in Réunion
Alternative music and cultural hybridity are at the forefront in Palaxa, Saint-Denis, with its world music (from Gnawa to Afro-Maloya) and in Kerveguen, in Saint-Pierre. In Saint-Denis (Téat Champ Fleuri) and Saint-Gilles-les-Bains (Téat Plein Air, unforgettable), the programme is a diverse one, comprising both shows that are creating a buzz in the metropolis and local artists. In the city of Le Port, the auditorium and the Kabardock together form a cultural entity with an eclectic programme that supports the creation of local music in Réunion. Again in Le Port, the aptly named Théâtre sous les Arbres (Theatre under the Trees, with three real trees in the middle of the open-air stage) has an ambitious programme: creation by the resident company, shows for young people, lontan shows promoting the Réunion of old, and kabar (traditional evening of dance and music).
In the cities of Le Port, Saint-Paul, Trois-Bassins, La Possession and Saint-Leu, the Danse Péi festival opens its stages and neighbourhoods to theatrical companies in May every year: traditional or contemporary dance – all styles are welcome! Another major festival is Les Electropicales in Saint-Denis, showcasing electronic music and the visual arts of Réunion, which will allow you to discover Reunion Island Touch 3.0, and even the Sakifo festival in Saint-Pierre, a successful combination of the local scene and leading metropolitan and international figures with unforgettable guest appearances !
Lastly, the Grand Boucan in Saint-Gilles is absolutely key: it is THE carnival of the island! Costumes, colours, parades, floats, dance, music, and more... At sunset, on the beach, join in the joyous cremation of King Dodo !
Clubbers won’t be disappointed: the island has a dozen nightclubs in the capital and coastal towns. One last tip: to organise your stay around the events and see the island’s cultural and festive offers with one glance, the agenda section is just for you !