Important summer festivals

Important summer festivals

All this summer, France is lit up by a thousand and one festivals, which provide the perfect opportunity to combine regional exploration and cultural discovery.

A long list of music festivals, in an astonishing variety of styles, covers the entire summer calendar. Do you love jazz? Then let your ears guide you to the Gers, for the famous Jazz in Marciac festival. Since 1978, this small, rural village has welcomed the biggest stars. Also in the southwest, Jazz à Montauban presents its own tempting program. Another possibility is Jazz à Vienne, in a lovely Gallo-Roman town in the Isère département. In the Cimiez Gardens and Arenas, the Nice Jazz Festival is open to all types of music: jazz, pop, world music, blues, soul... For their part, opera lovers will be sure to attend the traditional Chorégies d'Orange, held in the city's magnificent Roman theatre.

The Francofolies de La Rochelle festival showcases the many varieties of popular French music. If you hurry, you can still take advantage of a 6-evening pass for the Esplanade for only €100. In Brittany, in addition to the  Lorient Interceltic Festival dedicated to Celtic music and culture, the Festival des Vieilles Charrues attracts each year thousands of young people, who generally opt to pitch a tent on the site. The 2006 program will be announced on May 5th, but Placebo and Tracy Chapman have already been confirmed. The city of Belfort hosts a similar festival, the Eurockéennes, this year welcoming Depeche Mode, Muse and The Strokes, among others. A 3-day pass is available for €80.

The 60th Edition of the Festival d'Avignon
For lovers of theatre, dance and, more generally, all forms of contemporary art, the Festival d'Avignon remains a major yearly event. A savoury program is promised for this, its 60th edition. Reservations may be made in mid-June. Take advantage of the festival to visit this charming corner of France, straddling the regions of Provence and Languedoc.

The Festival des Jeux du Théâtre de Sarlat is also ideally located in the heart of another delectable region: the Périgord. Some twenty open-air performances, readings, and public debates are planned. While exploring the verdant, mountainous region of Cantal, don't miss Aurillac International Street Theatre Festival. Finally, dance enthusiasts will head to the Mediterranean for this year's Montpellier Danse.

Jazz in Marciac
From 31 July to 15 August
Tel: + 33 (0)5 62 08 26 60

Jazz à Vienne
From 29 June to 13 July
Tel: + 33 (0)4 92 14 46 46

Nice Jazz Festival
From 18 to 25 July

Jazz à Montauban
From 17 to 22 July
Tel: + 33 (0)5 63 63 56 56

Chorégies d'Orange
From 8 July to 4 August
Tel: + 33 (0)4 90 34 24 24

Francofolies de La Rochelle
From 13 to 18 July
Tel : + 33 (0)5 46 50 55 77

Eurockéennes de Belfort
From 30 June to 2 July
Tel : + 33 (0)3 84 22 46 58

Lorient Interceltic Festival
From 28 July to 6 August
Tel : + 33 (0)2 97 21 24 29

Festival des Vieilles Charrues
From 20 to 23 July

Festival d'Avignon
From 6 to 27 July

Sarlat Theatre Festival
From 17 July to 4 August 2006
Tel : + 33 (0)5 53 31 10 83

Aurillac International Street Theatre Festival
From 16 to 19 August
Tel : + 33 (0)4 71 43 43 88

Montpellier Danse
From 24 June to 7 July

Things to see