In a previous article, I wrote a little introduction to ‘Le Gazette Café’, one of my favourite cafés I have found since coming to learn French in Montpellier. I have found I can go there to drink coffee and work, eat and relax or drink wine and dance, it has something to offer you no matter what mood you’re in. I have got so much of my work done for my French immersion course here and got to know so many of the other people doing language stays Montpellier that Gazette has become my second home in Montpellier. In this article, I would like to discuss the great events that Gazette puts on and I hope I can find something to encourage you to discover this wonderful café.
Great Music and Art To Enjoy Whilst Learning French
First and foremost, the performances at Gazette are brilliant and were the first things that drew me there. The variety of performances that they put on is quite impressive. They have some specialities, for instance right now they are running a regular swing night on Wednesdays; you can come a little bit before things get lively and learn some basics behind the music and the dancing and then things really get going and the regulars start filing in. Don’t be intimidated though there are always other first timers and they are welcomed with open arms and everyone is very friendly and constantly smiling and laughing. This theme carries through for several other types of dance evenings as well such as tango and swing. You can come with a partner or just turn up as lots of people are ready and willing to get in the mix and if you come to the preamble you are bound to get chatting to some people.
On top of that blues is a big thing here and the regular playlists humming through the café throughout the day are very blues orientated. The artists that come to perform here are very talented and are perfectly suited to the ambience as you can enjoy them in the background or really take it in.
As French students though you will be pleased to know that French music is also represented heavily here with many evenings dedicated to French artists or popular French genres. That doesn’t stop at music either as there are plenty other art forms showcased here to keep things fresh: poetry nights and cinema nights are common and are amazing for putting your French skills to the test. They run expositions every week with photos and paintings from many different movements and styles and the subjects are often fascinating. They recently put on a photography and painting exposition on the experiences of refugees with guest speakers with all sorts of different connections to the field.
Stimulate Your Mind Here in Montpellier
If you are feeling ambitious another thing that the Gazette runs a lot of are conferences, on all subjects and fields. There is a huge variety that ranges from the light hearted and funny to the deep and serious conversations about debates at the edge of modern life. Obviously, some are a little easier to follow than others but they pose a fantastic challenge for those of us who are learning French in France and they run constantly several times a week. Some of the more specialist conferences are ticketed events but a lot of them are for free so you can come and have a go at following it without investing anything.
The impressive thing about Gazette is how it is a hub for people from all walks of life and they all come here for either there, musical, artistic or intellectual fix. As I have camped out in this café pretty much daily for several weeks working towards my French Intensive course for adults I have seen just how big the breadth of variety is and I have been very impressed. It’s great for French locals and great for students doing language stays in Montpellier. Definitely put it on your list of places to check out. See you there!