October 2018 Events in France
PUBLISHED: 10:51 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 24 September 2018
It may be nearly Halloween, but from wine harvests to light festivals, there are plenty of ways to have fun in France this month without the fear factor!
Jazz Entre les Deux Tours, La Rochelle
Named after the two medieval towers that guard the entrance to the old port of La Rochelle, the Jazz Entre les Deux Tours festival started in 1998 and has been welcoming hundreds of jazz musicians and music fans ever since. The annual festival takes place in concert venues all across the historic harbour town. Special events include the Apéro Jazz at l’Éspace Bernard Giraudeau.
Paris Motor Show, Paris
The biennial celebration of all things car – the second largest industry show in Europe – returns once more to Paris’s Parc des Expositions, where it’s been held since 1962. Now in its 120th year, there will be plenty of new model launches to marvel at, as well as all the latest advances in automobile technology on display.
If you thought the end of summer meant saying goodbye to the festival season, you were wrong. NAME Festival is an electronic music festival held annually in Lille since 2005. This intimate celebration of house and techno beats features concerts held in various locations around Lille including a former goods station. There are also masterclasses for budding DJs to hone their skills.
Fête de la Crevette et de la Pêche, Honfleur
Fans of seafood, especially prawns, would be sea-riously mad to miss this food festival. For one weekend in this picturesque Normandy town, stalls bulging with fresh produce line the quayside and sea shanties fill the air, making for the ultimate day out for landlubbers of all ages. Don’t miss the Pirate Village or the many tastings!
Nuit Blanche, Paris
From 7pm on 6 October until 7am the next morning, Paris will be transformed into a wonderland of contemporary art that will allow you to see the city in a new way. Be entranced by exhibitions and concerts in every corner of the city. Public transport remains open all night, so no need to worry about how to get home afterwards.
Fête du Gâteau Basque, Cambo-les-Bains, Pyrénées-Atlantique
If the Great British Bake Off has whet your appetite, head to the spa town of Cambo-les-Bains. Here the best of the Basque’s bakers will go head to head in a culinary competition to create the best Gâteau Basque, a delicious wheat flour based cake filled with either black cherry jam, or almond or vanilla pastry cream.
Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
Europe’s most prestigious horse race – and arguably the world’s most important flat race – sees racing enthusiasts from every part of the globe descend on Paris. This year the event returns to the newly redeveloped ParisLongchamp racecourse, having been held at Chantilly Racecourse for the past two years.
25e Heure du Livre, Le Mans
Le Mans may be well-known for its racing, but it’s also a mecca for bibliophiles during this renowned literary festival; around 30,000 enthusiasts, 200 authors and 80 publishers are drawn to the city. While there is an emphasis on Francophone literature, international guests are also welcomed and every genre is celebration, from bande-dessinées to sci-fi.
Nancy Jazz Pulsations
Jazz fever hits Nancy for ten days of musical madness every autumn. Over the years performers have included industry legends like Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and Gregory Porter; this year’s headliners include Eddy de Pretto and Jeanne Added. A must-visit for all fans of the genre.
Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, Paris
The Montmartre wine harvest has been a staple of the 18th arrondissement’s cultural calendar since the 1930s. More than 40 bars and restaurants take part in the event, featuring many degustation opportunities as well as dances, walks and concerts.
Festival Lumière, Lyon
Now in its 10th year, this celebration of all things classic cinema boasts screenings of old and restored films, retrospectives and tributes to giants of the cinema world, plus masterclasses and exhibitions. This year screenings of silent films such as Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid will be shown alongside more modern cinema events such as The Lord of the Rings.
Fête du Cidre, Beuvron-en-Auge, Normandy
With all those lovely harvested apples from the orchard, autumn seems like the time to be drinking cider. What better excuse then, to go to the Fête du Cidre in the picturesque village of Beuvron-en-Auge in Calvados? Visitors can browse market stalls selling local Normandy specialities, enjoy live folk music and see how the local brew is made. Of course, there is a variety of cider to taste, and you can always buy a few bottles to take home with you.
Comic Con, Paris
Beginning life as Kultima in 2007, this festival of all things pop culture is held at Paris’s Grand Halle de la Villette. Why not don your best character costume and take part in the Cosplay contest? There are also lots of meet-and-greet opportunities with stars of the genre; this year’s guests include Doctor Who’s former assistant, Jenna Coleman and Superman actor Dean Cain.
Fête du Piment, Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Taking place in the Basque region of France, this 40-year-old gourmet pepper festival welcomes over 20,000 visitors. Daytimes see dancing displays and market stalls groaning with peppers and other local produce, while by night restaurants serve special menus centred around the famous pepper and concerts are given in the village church.