Summer is just around the corner, and for the more musically minded amongst us, that can only mean the start of the upcoming live festival season.

The French Riviera is a great place to be during the summer months, albeit somewhat overcrowded. One of the great attractions for visitor and local alike is the myriad music festivals that take place around the region. Whatever your taste, you will be well catered for — jazz, electronic, rock, we have it all, and then some!

So, here are our top picks for the upcoming festivals, listed in chronological order. All that you have to do is get your rock on!

Fête de la Musique 2016

21st June, 2016

OK, not necessarily a music festival in the truest sense, but this is the best night for live music anywhere in France. What a way to celebrate the Summer Solstice! Grab your guitar, your drums, your piano, whatever instrument you want, and get out in the streets and strut your stuff! Every town and city on the coast will be celebrating this great night, and best of all, it’s totally free!

Festival Nuits du Sud in Vence poster

7th to 23rd July, 2016

The two week long Festival Nuits du Sud in Vence is always an occasion to look forward to, and this year will be no exception. They have some big names performing this year including Bob Sinclar and Zaz. Also, do check out Massilia Sound System, El Gato Negro, and Faada Freddy.

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8th to 13th July, 2016

What better way to enjoy the superb Île de Beauté than combining your visit with a weekend of the best electronic music? The annual Calvi on the Rocks festival is a mecca for lovers of electronic music, and there is always a great vibe. Keep checking back on their website for details of this year’s festival and ticketing information, or you can also sign up to their newsletter.

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Nice Music Live 2016

13th to 26th July, 2016

Run under the auspices of the Nice Jazz Festival, Nice Music Live this year features the fantastic Rodrigo Y Gabriela, The Avener, Maître Gims, Broken Back, and Julian Perretta, amongst others. The concerts take place at Jardins Albert I  (Place Masséna) and Théâtre de Verdure.

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14th to 24th July, 2016

Now in its 56th year, the Jazz à Juan festival is back at La Pinède in Juan-les-Pins this July. Featuring an amazing programme, look out for some of the greats, including Buddy Guy, Earth, Wind and Fire, Diana Krall, Marcus Miller, and the Eddy Mitchell Big Band. For the ultimate experience, why not try out one of the VIP Evenings?

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16th to 20th July, 2016

The perennial favourite of jazz enthusiasts and aficionados, the festival has been on the go since 1948. This year, the lineup once again is a crowd pleaser, with acts like Melody Gardot, the Avishai Cohen Quartet feat. Bill McHenry, George Clinton, Snarky Puppy, and even Massive Attack all taking to the Masséna and Théâtre de Verdure stages.

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4th to 6th August, 2016

Les Plages Électroniques is quite possibly the hippest festival on the Côte d’Azur — come on, where else can you groove out with the feeling of sand between your toes? Acts appearing this summer include Apollonia, Carl Craig, DJ Snake, and Nina Kraviz, amongst many others. And if you would like to volunteer to help out at the event, just fill out the application form.

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There are a number of other festivals taking place during the summer, including Les Nuits Carrées in Antibes on the 23rd and 24th June, Les Nuits Guitares in Beaulieu-sur-Mer (21st to 23rd July), and, of course, the Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival, running from 2nd July to 20th August.

If music be the food of love…


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Lead image courtesy Les Plages Électroniques


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