The 18 best music festivals to go to in France this summer

The Local France
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The 18 best music festivals to go to in France this summer
Photo: AFP

Forget Glastonbury, France is home to some of the best and most eclectic music festivals on offer this summer. We take a look at 18 that are well worth going to.


1.      Fête de la Musique, throughout France: 21st June 2017


Launched in 1982, this carnival-like festivity is a celebration of music in all its forms, from jazz to rock, electro to indie. Also called World Music Day around the globe, it is held on the longest day of the year. In Paris the streets, squares and parks are full of musicians performing, and there are free concerts at landmarks, such as the Jardin du Luxembourg.

2.      Solidays, Paris: 23rd - 25th June 2017


A festival with a conscience; Solidays raises money for the HIV and AIDS charity, Solidarité Sida. In recent years the festival has raised millions of euros. Located on the famous Longchamp racecourse, the festival unites musicians from all different genres, so expect to hear a little bit of everything; indie, rock, pop, hip hop and electronic.

3.      Main Square Festival, Arras: 30th June-2nd July 2017

The historic Citadelle of Arras in northern France sees thousands of people fill its walls for this rock and pop festival each summer. The lineup combines international stars with France’s brightest new talents. This year’s headline acts include Major Lazor, Radiohead and System Of A Down.

4.      Calvi On The Rocks, Corsica: 30th June – 5th July 2017


As far as settings for music festivals go, Corsica has to be up there. Calvi On The Rocks is an electronic music festival set on the islands stunning coastline and plays host to some of the top artists of house, techno and alternative music over six days. Festival-goers can soak up the rays in the day and party all night long, making this a festival to remember.

5.      Worldwide Festival, Sète: 3rd - 9th July 2017


Based in a normally sleepy Mediterranean fishing town, next to Montpellier, Worldwide Festival  transforms Sete into a sun-soaked party haven for one week, and has been doing so for the last 11 years. The brain child of Franglish BBC radio 2 jockey Gilles Peterson, it's artists are a mix of live bands and DJs who play an array of styles from Afrobeat to Trance, insuring partying till the early hours. With beach parties during the day and evening concerts taking place in the unique setting of 'Theatre de la mer' this festival is not to be missed.

6.      Peacock Society Festival, Paris: 7th - 8th July 2017


This ' Festival des cultures électroniques' is hidden in the heart of Paris's biggest wood and has been since 2013. The two day festival takes place inside two huge warehouses designed by the famed architect Victor Baltard. Artists such as Laurent Garnier, Four-tet , Nina Kraviz, often grace the stage and keep people on their feet until 7am. Outside of the Warehouses there are smaller concerts, chill out rooms and a "street" with bars and food trucks to recharge.

7.      Jazz Festival, Tourrettes: 7th – 8th July 2017

The Provençal hill-top town of Tourrettes hosts an annual jazz festival each year - picture an intimate gathering in its main square, Place du Château du Puy, with local artists performing. It may be small but the chilled atmosphere is brilliant.

8.      Beauregard, Normandy: 7th -9th July 2017

(Marie de Gouville/Flickr)

A rock, pop, and indie festival set in the grounds of the beautiful Château de Beauregard in Normandy. It is one of the leading alternative festivals in Europe with previous headliners including Lenny Kravitz and Florence + The Machine.

9. Garorock, Marmande: 30th June – 2nd July 2017

This rock, urban and electronic festival is set in the lush rural landscape of Marmande, southwest France. This year the line-up includes Foals, French Fuse, M.I.A, London Grammar, Beth Ditto and many more. There’s also something for the young ones too - Garokids – a mini festival for children aged 6 – 12, with team games and creative workshops. A fun time for the whole family.

10. Electrobeach, Le Barcarès: 13th – 15th July 2017

The biggest electronic festival in France will hit the south coast resort of Barcarès this summer. Global stars of house, EDM, and trance will play to over 100,000 festival-goers on the shores of the Mediterranean. David Guetta, Don Diablo, and Afrojack are just a few of the many musicians who will be producing the beats.

11. Lollapalooza, Paris: 22nd – 23rd July 2017

An export from the USA, which launched in the early 1990s by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell during the US boom of alternative music. The festival has since expanded to Latin America, with versions in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as Europe which began with a 2015 edition in Berlin. This year head over to the Hippodrome de Longchamp and watch Imagine Dragons, The Weekend, Lana Del Ray and Red Hot Chili Peppers, take to the stage.

12.      The Chopin Festival, Paris: 17th June – 14th July 2017



It is the 34th edition of this festival, which pays tribute to the Polish composer and pianist through interpretations of his work by young musicians. The Orangerie within the Parc de Bagatelle is the grand setting, so after hearing The Nocturne festival-goers can stroll through the botanical gardens.à-Paris

13.      Musilac, Aix-les-Bains: 13th – 15th July 2017


What do you get when you mix a beautiful lake in the foothills of the Alps, top-range musicians and thousands of people? Musilac is the answer. The biggest pop rock event of the Rhône-Alpes region is certainly one of the most breath-taking settings to enjoy some live music. The tunes floating through the air this year will be by Two Door Cinema Club, The Lumineers, Vianney and Sting.

14.      Les Vieilles Charrues, Carhaix: 13th-16th July 2017

With a wood camp, firework display and Fest Noz (a Breton tradition of dancing and musicians playing acoustic instruments), it’s no surprise that this festival attracts around 200,000 people every year. M.I.A, Royal Blood, Phoenix and Seasick Steve are all set to make an appearance.

15.      Les Nuits des Fourvière, Lyon: 1st june - 8th August 2017

(Photo: AFP)

Based in Lyon, Les Nuits de Fourvière is devoted to the arts of the stage, and has brought a variety of disciplines together since 1946: theatre, music, dance, opera, circus, cinema, etc. Every summer, in June and July, the festival puts on around 60 performances in the spectacular Gallo-Roman theatre of Fourvière for over 130,000 spectators. The festival is dedicated to not only building loyalty with internationally reputed artists but also giving opportunity to up and coming names.

16.      La Route du Rock, Saint-Malo: 17th-20th August

Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the sea, this rock festival in Brittany is sure to be a stunner. The evening venue is the 18th century fort of Saint-Père, which will host musical acts such as PJ Harvey, Tale of Us, and Angel Olsen.

17.      Cabaret Vert, Charleville-Mézières: 24th – 27th August 2017

‘The head in the stars, the feet in the Ardennes’, is the tagline for this arty festival in the Champagne region of France. Expect theatre performances, art workshops and film screenings, alongside performances by Kate Tempest, London Grammar, Franz Ferdinand, and Flume.

18.      Rock En Seine, Paris: 25th – 27th August 2017

Celebrating its 15th birthday this summer, this multi-genre festival is one of Europe’s most loved. Located in a park designed by André Le Nôtre (who designed the Park at the Palace of Versailles) just outside Paris. Big and small names share the stage, from The XX to George Ezra, Jain to The Kills.



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