What’s on in France - June 2019

Our pick of what to do, where to go and what to see in France. This month, how a village becomes a giant photography gallery, music and art festivals, a medieval re-enactment and more....

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Photography festival, La Gacilly, June 1 - September 30

The village of La Gacilly in the Morbihan turns into a giant photography gallery for the summer. For this 16th edition, up to 1,000 images will be put on display around the commune.

Around 300,000 visitors come every year to see the international event that has also been developed in Baden (Austria).

Snappers from Russia, Poland, and France have worked on the 26 exhibitions on display around town and professionals will be offering photography courses throughout the festival.

For this year, two different themes are running: the Earth, and photography from Eastern European countries, which notably focuses on Soviet culture 30 years after the end of the Soviet Union.

A contest is also organised in association with the company Fisheye, which will provide the three winners with the opportunity to exhibit their pictures during next year’s event.


Alps Bike Festival, La Clusaz, June 14 -16

In the heart of the mountains in Haute-Savoie, the Alps bike festival celebrates biking and outdoor sports over three days.

The programme combines racing, hiking, music, yoga, and a total of 18 tournaments including two electric bike races.

There is also a 27km race called Rando Zic’Mountain, which sees musical groups performing along the way.

An aperitif takes place every night, as well as concerts.

During the day, activities for children and induction sessions are organised and open to everyone.


Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon, June 1 - July 30

Every year, this grand festival lays on 60 different shows, ranging from concerts and drama to circus, dance and opera in the old Roman theatre of Fourvière.

Over the course of two months, artists will entertain an estimated 130,000 visitors, with something to see each night.

This year, Vanessa Paradis and Sting are expected but there will also be a show based on the Jungle Book, as well as orchestras and a horse show.


Feria, Nîmes, June 6 - 10

The traditional feria of Nîmes attracts visitors from around the world over five days as bullfights and races in the Spanish style of corridas take place in the famous Roman arena of Nîmes.

The city’s ancient streets come alive for the annual party which sees visitors walk around the city centre, eat paella from food stalls, or simply watch painters, discover the market and enjoy music.

Another feria is organised for the end of bullfighting season in September.


Festival de Musique de Sully et du Loiret, Sully-sur-Loire, June 6 - 23

From jazz to baroque and classical orchestrations, this event celebrates music in its purest form. Fifteen concerts are organised in different venues such as churches and in various towns around the Loiret department.

From Wednesdays to Sundays over three three weeks, musical groups, orchestras, musicians and singers perform in Sully-sur-Loire, Gien, Montargis and a few other towns.

Before or after every concert, a guided tour of the city is also offered if you have a concert ticket.


Les 24 heures du Mans, Le Mans, June 15 - 16

After the Grand Prix in Monaco, the 24 hours of Le Mans race is a key calendar entry for petrolheads in France.

The race is one of the world’s oldest and is also known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – all of the cars have to run continuously for 24 hours on the circuit without any technical failures.

Trials are held for two days on the 12th and 13th while the race starts the 15th.

On this same day, Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand will perform in the evening, while the lively fan zone will be open to all until Sunday.


Flâneries Musicales de Reims, June 19 - July 11

Showing Reims’ heritage via classical music is the artful goal of this festival.

Fifty concerts take place in amazing venues such as the city’s illustrious cathedral and champagne cellars.

Although you have to book a seat for most of these events, one-third of the concerts are free and some are entirely dedicated to children.

To end the festival, the organiser also lay on a picnic concert in a park on July 20, at which several artists will perform.

The night will end with fireworks.


Fabienne Verdier sur les terres de Cézanne exhibition, Aix-en-Provence, June 21 - October 13

Painter and plastic artist Fabienne Verdier has set up an outdoor studio near Aix-en-Provence to work on this exhibition, which showcases some of her work.

She has a unique way of painting – notably, she learned her techniques from Chinese masters during her studies.

Over 50 pieces will be on display in three different sites in Aix-en-Provence: Granet museum, Pavillon de Vendôme museum and Cité du Livre.

Paintings, drawings, films and installations will be exhibited throughout the summer.


Bordeaux fête le fleuve, Bordeaux, June 20 - 23

Bordeaux fans seeking an unusual city break can enjoy several unique activities – all based on or near the Gironde river.

Boat tours, exhibitions and fireworks attract many visitors but the event also offers abundant wine and food tastings.

The bravest and sportiest among them will be able to swim across the river or take part in a rowing race, while less strenuous is a relaxing look around glorious sailing boats, which will be moored there for the weekend.

Every night, a different concert will take place –two classical concerts plus singers Zazie and Jérémy Frérot on the last day.


Fête de la musique, across France, June 21

France’s national music day takes place in every city and town each year.

All evening long, music can be enjoyed in the street and public places – played by a wide range of groups, musicians and singers from all over the world.

The genres of music are always eclectic and generally change from one street to another.

It is a popular family event although it is also enjoyable with friends.


Fêtes de la Tarasque, Tarascon, June 21 - 24

The Tarasque festival is an old tradition in the village of Tarascon – 30 minutes away from Nîmes.

It has taken place every year since the 12th century in honour of Sainte-Marthe, who is said to have killed the legendary Tarasque monster which was terrorising the population.

Over four days, parades including a fake monster and locals in costume impart an authentic medieval atmosphere.

It is also a good way to discover more about the origins and the secrets of the village.


Ardèche Aluna Festival, Ruoms, June 27 - 29

Dubbed ‘the little French Coachella’ by Le Figaro, this music festival gathers artists from different backgrounds in the gloriously verdant Ardèche countryside for three days.

Stromae, Calogero, Zaz and Lily Allen have performed in previous years while this year Kendji Girac, Ben Harper, Maître Gims and Pascal Obispo will be on the bill.

Aluna festival always manages to mix urban, rock and contemporary music and attracts thousands of visitors every year.


L’art de l’Envol, Annonay, June 8 - 9

In hommage to the first hot-air balloon that took off from Annonay (Ardèche) in 1783 (thanks to the brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier), every year the town organises a colourful festival to celebrate all things ‘up, up and away’.

Over the Pentecost bank holiday weekend, there will be several hot-air balloon take-offs as well as a vibrant market and an exhibition.

Games and craft activities will be organised on the more general theme of aerospace and visitors are invited to get involved.

There is an educational angle too – the event is ideal for discovering how hot-air balloons are built or to enjoy a flight if the weather is good.

On the Saturday night, the Déomas park in which the fair takes place is turned into a dancing area with music, drinks and food trucks – perfect for partying the night away.

Next morning at 11:00 on place des Cordeliers, a full reenactment of the historic first take-off from 1783 will take place.

Professionals will be all dressed up in their 18th century garb for the show.


Les Médiévales de Provins, Provins, June 14 - 16

The 36th medieval fair in Provins opens on Friday night with a free concert of French musicians and contender from The Voice, Luc Arbogast.

Then traditional parades take place over the weekend as well as a ball and a medieval concert on the Saturday night.

A Unesco World Hertiage Site, Provins is just an hour away from central Paris in the Seine-et-Marne, and is well-known for its medieval architecture.

Of particular note are its high ramparts and fortified gates – keep an eye out for Tour César.

This huge annual fair is perhaps the best known of all medieval celebrations in France and now attracts thousands of people.

Wander the town to spot artisans showing off their ancient creative skills, as well as costumed actors ‘in character’, troubadours, parades, dancing sessions, games and even jousting competitions.

Our top tip: dress up in medieval costume and the price of entry is halved. The event is free for children.


The Connexion works with local tourist offices for the information on this page. Due to possible last-minute changes to programmes and event timing we recommend that you always check with individual organisers before making a trip.