Summer Festivals in France 2009

Here is a selection of festivals taking place in France this summer, chosen for their interest, variety and fame on the French cultural stage.


  • Vence, Côte d'Azur, Les Nuits du Sud, 10th July to 8th August - 12th edition of this "Music of the World" festival with exhibitions, activities and concerts for free on the 16th and 23rd of July, as well as on the 5th of August. Artists include Grand Corps Malade, Pascale Picard, Amadou et Mariam, Khaled, Kasav, Murray Head...
  • Nice, Côte d'Azur, Nice Jazz Festival, 18th to 25th July - Created in 1948, this is the oldest jazz festival of France. Five concerts are organized in open-air places each evening, in a gorgeous environments. Each visitor can move to another concert at any time, making it easy to all all the artists: Tracy Chapman, Maxime le Forestier, Keziah Jones, Julien Doré.
  • Toulon, Var, Jazz a Toulon, 16th to 26th July - This is the 20th anniversary of this free jazz festival. Artists perform on the French stage for more than 10 days, each evening in a different place of the city. Some of the artists: Keziah Jones, Stéphane Huchard - African Tribut To Art Blakey, Renaud Garcia, Andy Jaffe, Steve Grossman. The festival is composed of three events a day: an exposition/workshop during the day, a concert during the French "apéritif" and a concert afterwards. At the end of the festival, the band that was the most popular will be asked to play again during one last concert.
  • Orange, Vaucluse, Theatre Antique, Les Aut'antiques d'Orange, 7th to 12th August - Beautiful festival with dance presentations, pop rock concerts, popular music, shows, humour are on offer this year.
  • Les Pennes Mirabeau, Bouches du Rhône, Prog'Sud Festival, 20th to 23rd May - 10th edition of the Rock Progressif Festival welcoming international artists who will perform on the French stage for 4 evenings: Hélène Brunet, Saw, Stick Men, Tony Levin pat Mastrelotto, Michael Bernier, Sylbat, D Project, Eclat, etc.
  • Marciac, Gers, Jazz in Marciac, 31st July to 16th August - A worldwide renowned Jazz festival that has been taking place every year since 1978. It welcomed the most famous jazz musicians, such as Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Eddy Louiss, etc. This year, over 40 artists will perform there, amongst them: Sonny Rollins, Charles Lloyd, Omara Portuondo, Ahmad Jamal, Yuri Buenaventura...
  • Vic Fezensac, Gers, Festival Tempo Latino, 23rd to 26th July - Very famous festival amongst salsa lovers. This year will be the 16th edition of this Latin music and dance festival. Some of the best salsa artists attended the Festival in the former editions, such as: Celia Cruz, Los Van Van, Yerba Buena, Manu Chao, Compay Segundo, Sergent Garcia, etc. This year you will follow the rhythm of: Kumar, Cubanismo, Calle Real, La 33 amongst others.


  • Arras, Pas-de-Calais, The Main Square Festival, 2nd to 5th July – This music festival takes place on Arras main square (listed by UNESCO). Both French and international artists perform during 4 days, this year singers such as Coldplay, Amy Macdonald, Lily Allen, Placebo, Lenny Kravitz, Franz Ferdinand, Katty Perry, Moby and Duffy will be on the stage.
  • Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, Solidays, 26th to 28th June – The festival aims at fighting against AIDS. During 3 days, more than 150 artists perform on stage to recall how important it is to fight this disease. In 2008, about 160,000 people attended the numerous concerts of Solidays. French artists such as Manu Chao, Sinsemilia, Les Blérots de R.A.V.E.L, La Grande Sophie and NTM, and international singers and bands such as Digitalism, Groundation and The Ting Ting are awaited this summer.
  • Domaine de Saint-Cloud, Paris, Rock en Seine, 28th to 30th August - Seventh Edition of this festival created in 2003. ‘Rock en Seine’ is a renowned music festival which can definitely not be ignored. It welcomes each year the best artists of international pop-rock music. On the stage this year you will find amongst others Oasis, The Offspring, Amy MacDonald, Yan Tiersen.
  • Grand Palais, Paris, Les étés de la danse, 6th to 25th July - Every year, Paris becomes the kingdom of the classical ballet. This year, the company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is invited.
  • Saint-Quentin, Picardy, Jazz aux Champs Elysées, 28th June to the 6th September 2009 - This festival takes place in Picardy, one Sunday out of two during summer, in the magnificient botanic garden of Saint-Quentin : les Champs-Élysées. This year, a special theme: "black stick and the carrott". All jazz lovers will be seduced by this festival. Every jazz singer will be represented as Olivier Franc, Prez Book Quartet, Claude Tissendier Sextet, Aurélie Tropez, Michel Mardiguian, and, in hommage to Claude Luter, Éric Luter's orchestra and friends. This year, Jimmy Noone, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Sidney Bechet will be honoured.
  • Reims, Champagne Ardennes, Les Flâneries musicales de Reims, 18th June to 22nd July - With a programme of two or three concerts per day during more than one month, the choice is wide for jazz and classical music lovers. Worldwide renowned artists such as Bach, Schuman or Beethoven will be honoured on stage. This festival is absolutely not to be missed!
  • Nancy, Lorraine, Nancyphonies, 6th July to 5th August - This festival offers about 40 highly emotional concerts with great classical music performers. From recital to concerto, this festival has much to offer.
  • Normandy, Les Promenades musicales du Pays d'Auge, 12th July to the 16th August - Since 1995, this event has proposed unusual concerts in areas representing the richness and diversity of the Country of Auge. From classical to tzigane music from the Balkans, going through a capella concerts with artists from all over the world, you will not be disappointed by the wide choice of concerts and originality of this festival.
  • Normandy, Les Musicales de Normandie, 31st July to the 12th September - This festival offers numerous concerts of classical music in wonderful places such as Rouen's cathedral, opera or churches in Dieppe for instance.


  • Carhaix, Brittany, Festival des Vieilles Charues, 16th to 19th July - It is the largest music festival in France and one of the biggest in Europe. Its aim is to mix music styles and to be accessible to everyone. It welcomed Breton artists (Yann Tiersen), as well as French (Noir Desir, Manu Chao, Charles Aznavour) and international ones (Ben Harper, James Brown, The Cure, Muse, etc.). This year you will be able to sing with: Bruce Springsteen, Benabar, Alamo, Leny Kravitz, and many more!
  • Angoulême, Poitou-Charentes, Garden Nef Party Festival, 17th to 18th July - Third edition of the music (mostly Rock) festival. Artists: Vitalic, Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, Etienne de Crecy, Gossip, TV on the radio, John and Jehn, etc.
  • Belle-Ile-En-Mer, Brittany, Belle-Ile-En-Mer Lyrique-en-mer Festival, 17th July to 14th August - Lyrique-en-mer Festival's twelfth season. The Artistic Director has chosen Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale for 2009, to be played at the Citadelle Vauban. Rossini’s La Petite Messe Solennelle will be performed in the Four Churches of the island.
    Chartering five boats will allow to welcome a total of more than one thousand day-tripping spectators from the mainland.
  • Sarlat, Dordogne, Aquitaine, Festival des Jeux du Théâtre, 18th July to 5th August - Theatre & acting festival. Twenty shows amongst which you can attend the first one for free, with lectures and debates. The festival welcomes new talents as well as renowned artists, actors, writers, directors and so on. All the shows are held outside. Ex: ROMEO and JULIET of William Shakespeare, with Patrick Beckers, Lula Bery, Afazali Dewaele, Martine Godart, Fanny Hanciaux, Jean-François Maun, Fabien Robert, Martin Swabey and Luc Van Grunderbeeck. ANTIGONE of Sophocle with Jacques Brücher, Marie Delmarès, Yedwart Ingey, René Loyon, Adrien Popineau and Claire Puygrenier.
  • Saint-Malo, Brittany, La Route du Rock, 14th to 16th August - 19th edition of the rock festival which was attended by 16,500 persons last year. Some of the artists this year include: My Bloody Valentine, Dominique A, the Kills, Grizzly Bear, Tortoise, Simian Mobile Disco live, the Horrors, Peaches with Sweet Machine, Andrew Bird, Bill Callahan, Camera Obscura, Marissa Nadler, Crystal Stilts, Papercuts, etc.
  • Bayonne, Aquitaine, Fêtes de Bayonne, 29th July to 2nd August - These celebrations are part of the most important ones in France with over 1 million visitors each year (amongst which many Spanish tourists). Also called the Feria de Bayonne, the event is worth participating: people wear the traditional Basque clothes. Concerts, races and parades are on offer.


  • Villegusien, Haute-Marne, Festival Chien à Plumes, Concerts, 7th to 9th August - Reggae, Ska, Rock and Electronic musics with some of the most influential artists of the moment: Tremplin, Raj, Orchesta Buena Vista Social Club, Fumuj, Anais, Fatals Picards, etc.
  • Charleville-Mézière, Ardennes, Festival Cabaret Vert, Concerts, 28th to 30th August - The "Cabaret Vert" is a festival created to help the economic development of the region which is suffering from a poor economic and demographic situation. Artists include: Birdy Nam Nam, Ghinzu, Lyre le Temps, Deftones, Raj, Pierre Perret, Debout Sur le Zinc, etc.
  • Aix-les-Bains, Rhône Alpes, Musilac, 10th to 12th July - Around thirty artists in two open air stages in a beautiful natural environment, at the edge of the Geneva Lake. This year will be the eighth edition of this pop-rock festival which brings over 60,000 fans every year. Amongst others you will hear: Jolga, Sinsemilia, Keziah Jones, Gossip, Camille, Franz Ferdinand, Duffy, etc.
  • Vienne, Rhône Alpes, Jazz a Vienne, 27th June to 10th July - The term “mixing” will characterize this 29th edition of the jazz festival. Mix between Jazz and African music, performed by Hank Jones and Cheick Tidiane Seck; mix between classical music and Jazz and Blues, performed by the lyrical singer Barbara Hendricks as well as mix between Modern Jazz, Big Band and rap with MC Solar, and so on.
  • Belfort, Franche-Comté, Eurockéennes de Belfort, 3rd to 5th July - One of the biggest Rock festival in France. In addition to the numerous famous artists who perform there, its popularity is also based on its beautiful natural environment on the Malsaucy peninsula. Some of the artists include: The Prodigy, NTM, the Kills, Olivia Ruiz, Groundation, Phoenix, Laurent Garnierm Charlie Winston, etc.
  • Lyon, Rhône Alpes, Les Nuits de Fourvière, 5th June to 1st August – Big festival which gathers theatre, dance, music and movies. There are three theme nights: the 18th July will be the African night, the 22nd July will be the Folk night and finally, the 29th July is the Cuban night. Then, everyday you will see different performances, such as West Side Story, La Traviata, Cabaret, Hair, Tracy Chapman, Olivia Ruiz, Amadou and Mariam, etc.
  • Grenoble, Rhône Alpes, Cabaret frappé, 20th to 29th July - More than 70,000 people attend the festival every year. It is dedicated to new artists and international artists. You will also find an open air movie theatre, and a day-nursery so that parents can enjoy the festival. Artists for 2009 will be known on the 5th of June, in the meanwhile, here are some artists that performed during the 2008 festival: Mango Gadzi, Barbatuquès, CarmenmariaVega, Pascal Mathieu, Daphné, Poni Hoax, Trompe le Monde, The Heavy, Coming Soon, Tunng, Cocoon and Son of Dave.

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