Summer is the best time on the French Riviera, as we all well know, but it’s made even better with the great festivals that take place each year.
The French Riviera is synonymous with beautiful summers, blistering heat, days at the beach, and hot summer nights. But another reason for the influx of visitiors to the region is surely thanks to the multitude of festivals and events that take place during the season, catering to all tastes and budgets.
Surely the Big Daddy of all the local festivals, the Nice Jazz Festival has really grown in stature since its move from Cimiez down to centre-ville a couple of years ago. Running over six days, the festival continues to attract the biggest names, not only in the jazz world but also crossing into the realms of pop and rock (remember the memorable performance by Deep Purple last year?).
This year’s festival runs from 7th – 12th July in Place Masséna and Théâtre de Verdure, and features the likes of perennial favourite Jamie Cullum, the fantastic brassheads, Too Many Zooz (see below), Asif Avidan, Ms. Lauren Hill, the ultra-wacky Hiatus Kaiyote, and many, many more! Tickets for all concerts may be reserved online. And of course, do look out for the numerous Jazz Off events happening around Nice — always nice to get something for free!
The 55th edition of the Jazz à Juan festival takes place this July, running from the 11th to 19th in the Pinède Gould in Juan-les-Pins. In keeping with previous years, the 2015 line-up is something quite special. Who could resist the likes of Al Jarreau, Snarky Puppy, Lionel Ritchie, Melody Gardot, Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock, to name but a few of the incredible artists, all playing the intimate surroundings of Jazz à Juan?
Tickets for the festival may be booked online, and once again, there is a great Off festival taking place around Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, including marching bands and midnight concerts in la Petite Pinède.
Festival Pantiero takes place over the weekend of 25th and 26th July and also on 16th August. The festival, now in its 14th year, traditionally strikes a balance between established acts and is a showcase for new and up-and-coming artists.
This year the line-up includes the wonderful Christine & the Queens, Fakear – the new force on the French electro scene, and newcomers Paradise and Holy Two. Tickets for all concerts may be purchased online.
What better way to enjoy some live music than dancing around with the sand between your toes? Les Plages Électroniques in Cannes has proven to be a huge success with clubbers and fans of electro music over the years, and the 10th anniversary this year won’t be any different!
The line-up for 2015 includes The Martinez Brothers, local boy The Avener, Loco Dice, Monkey Safari, and a whole host of other top notch acts. Les Plages Électroniques takes place on 17th July and then on the weekend of 8th and 9th August, and tickets are available online.
The Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival has traditionally attracted the biggest stars on the planet to perform each summer. Maybe viewed in some quarters as a somewhat elitist event – ticket prices have been known to run at around the €600 mark (but you do get your dinner with that!) – the festival features the best of domestic and international performers.
The 2015 festival runs from 4th July to 22nd August, with none other than Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga opening the proceedings on Independence Day. Other acts to look out for include Christine & the Queens, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and Santana.
Hop on the ferry and take yourself off to Corsica for the annual summer bash on the rocks of Calvi. This is party central for the festival’s loyal fans who make the annual pilgrimage to l’Île de Beauté. The festival takes place over 6 days this year, running from the 3rd to 8th July. There are the usual concerts on the beach, but also events in the Théâtre de Verdure and various Aftershows to keep the party going into the small hours.
Another huge line-up of top DJs and artists have been confirmed for the 2015 festival. Tickets may be booked online, but it is up to yourself to look after your own passage to the island!
So, whichever festival takes your fancy, enjoy! And do feel free to post your festival photos on our Facebook wall for all to see!
Lead image © Desi Mendoza