9 music festivals in France you have to go to this summer
PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:37 22 June 2018
Want to listen to some live music this summer? From classical concerts to rock shows, here are 9 music festivals in France you should visit
Les Eurockéennes, 5-8 July
Belfort, Territoire de Belfort, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Set on the peninsula of Malsaucy surrounded by two lakes just outside Belfort, this is France’s largest rock festival with 61 concerts held over four days and four stages. This year is its 30th anniversary so expect a big show from big names such as Queens of the Stone Age, Liam Gallagher, Texas and Beth Ditto. There will be a few special events marking the 30th anniversary, including an air show from the Patrouille de France and a ferris wheel.
Les Francofolies, 11-15 July
Founded in 1985 by Jean-Louis Foulquier who was passionate about French music – la chanson française – this annual festival aims to bring French artists to the stage for five days. The concerts are held in 10 different locations in town and on the seafront and this year’s attending artists include Jane Birkin (singing Gainsbourg’s songs to a symphony orchestra), Julien Clerc and Charlotte Gainsbourg but also rising stars such as Angèle or Roméo Elvis.
Rootstock, 13-15 July
Château de Pommard, Côte d’Or, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Fancy a party in a private vineyard estate? Head to the renowned Château de Pommard for this very cool three-day music festical held in the grounds of the domaine. The line-up features internationally famed French artists as well as up-and-coming musicians. Being in Burgundy, the festival also offers a number of wine-themed experiences: tastings, a wine bar, pop up gourmet restaurants serving typical Burgundy dishes with wines to match, and a cocktail bar. You can also go on a cycle tour of the estate and browse the craft market.
Festival de Carcassonne, 15-31 July
Held in the exceptional setting of the UNESCO-listed citadel of Carcassonne, this festival puts together hundreds of artistic performances, including a large number of entirely free events within its OFF line-up. You can watch theatre, circus or dance shows but music is, of course, one of the main attractions. From opera and classical concerts to current artists, there is a wide range of genres to suit all tastes.
Nice Jazz Festival, 16-21 July
When this jazz festival began in 1948, Louis Armstrong was the headlining act and the first of many international stars to perform in this event, one of the most important in the Riviera. It is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and you can visit a special exhibition retracing the festival’s history. The concerts are held at the Théâtre de Verdure and the iconic Place Masséna and the line-up includes Gregory Porter, Aloe Blacc and Massive Attack.
Les Vieilles Charrues, 19-22 July
France’s answer to Woodstock and the largest festival in the country is a huge celebration of music of all genres bringing world-famous artists as well as new talents to the stage. This year’s line up includes Depeche Mode, Gorillaz and Kygo as well as French phenomenons such as Bigflo & Oli and Eddy de Pretto plus there will be a traditional Breton Fest Noz.
Menton music festival, 27 July – 11 August
For nearly 60 years, the pretty town of Menton has played host to this exceptional classical music festival, which has grown to become one of the most prestigious in Europe as well as the oldest. Some of the concerts take place on the beautiful Baroque square facing the famous Saint-Michel basilica and its archangel in the Old Town.
Interceltique, 3-12 August
This annual celebration of Celtic music, dancing and food and drinks attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. There are concerts, shows and of course the traditional Celtic dances done in circles. The highlight of the festival is the grand parade of Celtic nations featuring thousands of musicians from around the world. This year’s edition is celebrating Wales and Welsh music and culture.
Rock en Seine, 24-26 August
Domaine National de St Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine, Ile-de-France
Every year, this festival invites the most exciting pop and rock bands of the moment to perform on five stages set in the spacious and green park located just outside the western boundaries of Paris. Justice, Macklemore, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thirty Seconds to Mars…the line-up is exciting and promises to reveal new names too.