France in August is one of the busiest months of the year as the French go on holiday. So it’s also peak time for events in France in August. While the seaside resorts and popular destinations like the Loire Valley are busy, you can always find peace and quiet in the deep rural countryside. Try the small villages in the south or take in the views, the air, and the space in the mountains of France.  

Lavender field in Haute Provence with pic taken from ground looking along rows of lavender in full bloom with stone shed at end, trees beyond and hillside rising up in background
Lavender in Haute-Provence © Wikimedia/Ziegler 175

In particular, August is the month when Brittany comes into its own with so many festivals celebrating Celtic culture.

And this year, the Paris Olympics 2024 will dominate the capital.

And don’t miss the many vide-greniers fairs held everywhere in August. Half of France is putting on those brocante ‘open-attic’ fairs; the other half is buying old plates, glasses, wooden furniture, old farm implements and more than you could ever imagine.
Brocante, bric-a-brac, vide-greniers and any old tat sales in France.

Check out these top events in France in August 2024.

To Aug 2, 2024: Le Festival du film de Lama, in Corsica takes place in a medieval village. Around 20 feature film premières, programs for children, a short film competition and documentary screenings take place in three different places: the swimming pool (great views of the mountains), Place de l’Umbria and the Mercatu in the village’s centre (cushions and pillows provided).

Festival du film de Lama showing man on stage with bank of computers in front withhim testing
Festival du film de Lama Technical Director

To Aug 4, 2024: Jazz in Marciac, Gers, Occitanie. This great jazz festival attracts over 200,000 people each year to listen to top jazz musicians in a superb south west France setting. There’s also a fringe festival on the main square.

Samara Joy singing on stage at Marciac Jazz photo looking up at her; half figure with mic to mouth
Samara Joy at Marciac Jazz © Laurent Sabathe

To Aug 8: Pablo Casals Festival. Since 1950, world famous soloists, and up and coming young groups, have performed in  Prades in Pyrénées-Orientales. The festival, which takes place in historic religious buildings like the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, focuses on chamber music from Bach to Mozert, as well as contemporary works. Also here: meetings with artists and film screenings.

Abbey de Cuxa, showing mix of buildings of warm stone walls, small windows and red tiled rooves with green fir trees
Abbey de Cuxa © Joachem Jahnke

To Aug 10, 2024Festival Saint-Céré, Saint-Céré, Lot. The delightful town hosts a lyric festival with four alternating shows and 40 events performed in the town and throughout the Lot department. The productions then tour France during the following winter.

Saint-Cere Festival with performers in red on lit stage at night in castle
Saint-Cere Festival ©-Nelly Blaya

From Saint-Céré you can see the towers of the Saint-Laurent-les-Tours castle where the artist Jean Lurçat lived and worked…and during World War II operated a secret radio for the French Resistance. He’s best known as a driving force in the creation of modern French tapestry in the 20th century.

Here’s the Story of Tapestry in France

Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers © Denis Jarvis/CC-BY-SA 2.0

To Aug 11, 2024: The Paris Olympics is the biggest event in France and Europe this year, along with the Paris Paralympics. Paris will see some 15 million visitors to the capital, of which around 500,000 will be British.
Here’s a Guide to the Paris Olympics

Aerial view down on Golf National Paris Olympics 2024 with long shot of greens leading to lake at end and spectatorsonboth sides
Golf National Paris Olympics 2024 ©Paris2024

To Sep 8, 2024: Paris Jazz Festival. 25 free festivals spread over the summer take place in the Parc Floral in  jazz, world music and Afro-American music (soul, blues). Along with the concerts, there are workshops where you can make instruments from salvaged objects, introductions to percussion and conferences as well as a sound discovery area for children in the Botanic Garden. All concerts and activities are free; there’s a charge for admission to the park.

The Leleu brothers at Paris Jazz ©

To Sep 8, 2024: Le Voyage Estival in Nantes has become one of the most exciting, and original, summer events in France. It’s an urban trail with works of art, some of which are new, others are created. 30 or so different works start at the former LU factory by the Canal Saint- Félix, then continue past iconic sites and buildings like the castle of the Dukes of Brittany and the Machines de l’Isle park with its grand elephant. A green line on the ground takes you along the itinerary. Don’t worry if you miss it; there is a permanent Voyage à Nantes through the city.

Miroir des Temps in Voyage a Nantes outdoor sculptures with huge mirror reflecting surrounding vegetation in park
Miroir des Temps, Voyage a Nanates © Matoo Watoo blog.matoo.net

To Sep 22, 2024: Impressionist Destination in Normandy celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Impressionists. Around 150 to 200 events are organised in the main cities celebrating the art: Rouen, Caen, Le Havre, Cherbourg, Giverny, Honfleur, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, Fécamp and Saint Lô and in other smaller towns. The connection between contemporary art and Impressionism is also a theme in the concerts, major Impressionist exhibitions, installations, dance and more, including the exhibition Whistler, the Butterfly Effect at the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum) in Rouen (May 24-Jul 24), and a Gwen John exhibition at the Château-Musée in Dieppe from end June to end September.
Official site of the Impressionist Destination Festival in Normandy
Here’s an overall view of Normandy Impressionism
An Idiot’s Guide to the Great Impressionist Painters

Pierre Bonnard painting of Paris with two figures in front under umbrellas, wet streets and Les Invalides in background of a very busy painting
Pierre Bonnard

To Sept 22, 2024: Rencontres d’Arles is a huge, well established international photo expo, now 50 years old. Over sixty exhibitions take place in heritage locations and most of the exhibits have not been seen before.

Arles |Photography festival showing door of huge church open withpeople in front and poster announcing photographer hanging above door
Arles Photographic Event © Alessandro Mosalini Amande Dionne/CC-BY-SA 4.0

To Nov 3, 2024: International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire château in the Loire Valley is a fabulous, huge Festival, the Chelsea Flower Show of France. The Château and grounds are lovely and the festival of a series of gardens from international designers always delivers some surprises.

Large wicker bowls full of plants at Chaumont Garden Festival
Chaumont-sur-Loire Garden Festival

To Nov 3, 2024: La Gacilly Photo Festival is a wonderful outdoor photo festival. For three months, hundreds of large format photos are displayed in the parks, green maze, squares and streets of the small town in Morbihan, Brittany.

La Gacilly Photo Festival with huge coloured photos of faces on outdoor panels in garden
La Gacilly Festival © JMNIRON

To Jan, 2025: Chartres en lumières sees this wonderful city in the Loire Valley illuminated for its annual festival of light. Chartres was the first city to light up its glorious buildings every night and it’s still one of the best light shows in France. Wander the streets to see monks walking, the theatre resplendent and the cathedral turned into the story of its past. It’s nightly from dusk to 1am so there’s no excuse to miss it. 

Chartres Cathedral illuminated at night with bright different colours on twoers and facade
Chartres Cathedral Illuminated © Chartres Tourisme/Groupement Martino

Events in France starting in August 2024

Aug 2-4, 2024: Festival du Bout du Monde. The annual festival on the Crozon Peninsula, Finistère, Brittany, attracts the crowds for its music and its setting near the sea. International artists, some well known, some new ones, perform on 3 stages.  

Poster for Bout du Monde August 224
Bout du Monde Festival

Aug 2-4, 2024: Relive the past at the Bridiers Historical Festival with 400 actors, cavalry, horse-drawn carriages, pyrotechnics and more on the medieval site. They tell the story of over 6,000 years of history from prehistory to 1945. On the gallop through the past you take in Romans, Bacchus, marriages and exiles, Hermione, Lafayette and the US War of Independence, the trenches of 1917 and World War II. It’s a heady mix in the Creuse in Nouvelle-Aquitaine!

Bridiers Festival from back of audience on tiers of seats towards stage in open air with many actors, coloured lights and screens
Bridiers Festival

Aug 2-4, 2024: Festival d’Arvor, Vannes, Brittany. Traditional Breton culture is celebrated with exhibitions, bagadoù shows (traditional pipe bands), fancy dress parades, concerts and introductions to Breton dancing. Since 1928 the festival has elected a Queen of Pays Vennetais from over 80 towns and villages. At the end there’s a bit firework display on the Vannes ramparts.

FEstival d'Arvor Brittany with a coupld both in elaborate Bereton costumes arm in arm
Festival d’Arvor Brittany

Aug 2-6, 2024: Corso of Lavender in Dignes les Bains is a long standing festival celebrating lavender, an important industry in the past. It opens with music, fireworks and a grand ball on Place General de Gaulle. Floral floats process through the streets during the day and the evening, lavender purses are given out and on Saturday international folk groups perform.

Lavender field in Haute Provence with pic taken from ground looking along rows of lavender in full bloom with stone shed at end, trees beyond and hillside rising up in background
Lavender in Haute-Provence © Wikimedia/Ziegler 175

Aug 3-4, 2024: Font’Arts. Pernes-les-Fontaines, PACA. Free street theatre, juggling and slapstick circus shows in the Provençal village, plus great workshops for children.

Font des Arts festival with ballerine in white tutu performing in street with crowd around and trees
Font des Arts © Philippe Meondon/Font des Arts

Aug 7, 2024: Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival is a sight to behold on the Côte d’Azur. (Also Aug 15 & 24).

Fireworks over Cannes with glorious white stars bursting in air and red and orange glows from light on water
Fireworks over Cannes © Horizon 06/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Aug 7-11, 2024: Festival des Filets Bleus, Concarneau. One of the biggest of the great traditional festivals in Brittany, it began in 1905. It celebrates all aspects of Celtic traditions from costumes and those great headdresses to music and dance, from sea shanties to nautical jousting. Costumed performers take to the streets and the quaysides; most activities are free.

Filets Bleus festival in Saint-Malo Brittany with old walls and tower n background and Breton women in long traditional dresses dancing
Filets Bleus Festival

Aug 10-18, 2024: Festival Interceltique Lorient. Music and culture from the Morbihan Peninsula in Brittany plus the Celtic people of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Ireland and northern Spain (Galicia and Asturias). Over 800,000 festival-goers flock here for 4,500 artists, 120 shows, 11 new creations, all performed on 11 stages. Booksellers line the quays along with the Celtic market. There are processions, fest-noz, traditional Breton games, a race and a dinner concert.

Lorient Breton Festival with men in line with arms on shoulders dancing on map of the world
Lorient Breton Festival

Aug 11-23, 2024: Darc Festival (Dance, art, rhythm, culture) started in 1975 in Châteauroux, Indre, Centre-Val-de-Loire. An international audience of over 65,000 people come for concerts and dance workshops run by famous professionals. Everything here from modern jazz to Argentinian tangle, hip hop to African dance. Trainees take part in a big show at the end.

Aug 12-18, 2024: Confolens Folklore Festival, Confolens, Charente, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. 150,000 visitors go to the international music and dance festival where performers from all 5 continents put on shows that reflect the culture of the world.

Confolens Festival with performer in colourful costume on head and back facing camera
Confolens Festival

Aug 13-18, 2024: Les Cultures du Monde Festival de Montoire, Montoire-sur-le-Loir. It’s the turn for international amateur artists at the World Culture Festival when 300 of them are invited to perform their dances, songs and world music. Plus courses, exhibitions, traditional meals, crafts, street theatre and more. Catch performers from Brazil to Servia.

Poster for festival de Montoire 2024 with exuberant, Latine American performer in skimpy costume with huge fireworks behind
Festival de Montoire, 2024

Aug 14-17, 2024: La Route du Rock, Saint-Malo, Brittany. Beautiful setting and top musicians in Fort Saint-Père in Saint-Père-Marc-en-Poulet, and other venues. There are some pretty diverse groups playing with an emphasis on British bands, from the Irish Fontaines D.C  to Yard Act.

la Route du Rock Fontaines singer on stage singing into upheld microphone
La Route du Rock Fontaines ©Nicolas Joubard

Aug 14-18, 2024: Feria, Dax, Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Dress in red and white and take to the streets to sing and dance with the crowds, and drink copious amounts of alcohol. There are folk music groups, horse shoes, sports events and parades, and bullfights.

Dax Feria with rider in elaborate costume on white horse in arena, with horse pirouetting and audience in background
Dax Feria

Aug 14-18, 2024: Aurillac International Street Theatre Festival, Aurillac, Cantal, Auvergne. This is one of the best street theatre festivals in France taking over the whole town. Around 500 troupes from around the world perform outdoors and in the evenings, there’s a big party helped by some pretty wild percussion sounds. There’s also an event before, Les Préalables, where troupes are welcomed in the local communes.

Aurillac Street Festival with women in long elaborate dress dancing on circular street space with audience around and houses in background
Aurillac Street Festival

Aug 15, 2024: The Cannes Pyrotechnic Festival has the world’s greatest creators making the show. (Also Aug 24).

Dark night with fireworks over the sea at Cannes with one very big round firework bursting into colour
Cannes Fireworks © Dronepicr/CC-BY-SA 2.0

August 15, 2024: Assumption. France takes another public holiday when shops and banks close, but happily not attractions, restaurants and bars.
Public Holidays in France

Aug 15-18, 2024: Le Cabaret Vert, Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes. This unusual, diverse festival takes in a remarkable line-up of musicians from rock to reggae. This year the Chemical Brothers and Dropkick Murphys perform alongside a host of rap, electro, grunge/soul artists. And there are recycling workshops, short films, street art and exhibitions. Particular emphasis is on the environment and eco solutions to the world’s problems. The name Le Cabaret Vert refers to a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, the 19th-century poet who originally came from the town.

Le Cabaret Vertat night in Charleville-Meziers. Festival outside with green lit up sign Le Cabaret Vert i nfront of audience standing with dark sky behind
Le Cabaret Vert © Pamputt/CC-BY-SA 4.0

Aug 16-18, 2024:  Festival de Saint-Loup, Guingamp, Côtes-d’Armor, Brittany. The Festival of music and dance started in the 19th century and is one of Brittany’s oldest. Originally based on a grand pardon, today there are dancing workshops, Breton games of strength, a traditional costume competition, shows with regional pipe bands and the dérobée – a folk dance procession. Since 1957 it has staged the National Championship of Breton Dance.

Saint Loup festival with male and female dancers in traditional costume in streets making extravagant gestures and weird poses
Saint Loup Festival

Aug 20, 2024: International Piano Festival, widely regarded as the most important piano festival in the world takes place in La Roque d’Anthéron, just 25 kms from Aix-en-Provence. Outdoor and indoor concerts.

Nathanael Gouin playing grand piano with top lifted at La Roque d'Antheron with pianist to left and background of tree in daylight
Nathanael Gouin at La Roque d’Anthéron © Christophe Gremiot

Aug 21-23, 2024: La Chaise Dieu classic music festival is set in the glorious abbey church. International and national orchestras perform in the ancient building. I’ve never managed to get to it, though it’s near my house in the Auvergne. It has some of the best classical music you can find and the settings are magical, from the abbey in La Chaise-Dieu where the painted Dance of Death sends shivers down your spine to local medieval churches and the cathedral in Le Puy-en-Velay.

Dance of death detail in La Chaise-Dieu church showing medieval painting against ochre background of skeletons and ordinary people dancing
Dance of Death in La Chaise-Dieu © Jean-Pol Grandmont/Wikimedia CC-BY-SA 3.0

Aug 21-24, 2024: Météo Music Festival in Mulhouse, Alsace. The festival always surprises with contemporary jazz and experimental music. It’s aimed at national and international new names and has been an annual event since 1983.  

The prangers at Mulhouse Music Festival with wild drimmer on stage with lots of hair and other usicians - keyboard and drummer in background
Mulhouse Festival The Prangers © Alicia Gardes

Aug 21-25, 2024: Rock en Seine, Paris, Île-de-France. The last great rock event to be held in France, this is a real crowd drawer. Over 100,000 gather in Saint-Cloud, on the western outskirts of Paris to hear music on four stages. It’s a wonderful setting in grounds designed by the 17th-century garden designer Le Nôtre for great music at the end of the summer from names like Billie Eilash and Florence and the Machine.

Rock-en-Seine Music Festival Paris showing stage litup with performers in white
Rock-en-Seine © Olivier Hoffschir

Aug 22-27, 2024: Saint-Louis patronal festival, Sète, Hérault, Occitanie. It began in 1666 when the port opened. This is no refined rowing or sailing festival but a full-on battle of water jousts between boats on the royal canal. It’s non-stop eating and drinking in between the sports tournaments and fireworks.

St Louis Festival at Sete with boats on water and figures in costumes rowing them as they fight with spectators on shore behind
St Louis Festival at Sète © Sète Tourist Office

Aug 24, 2024: Cannes Pyrotechnic Art Festival is a sight to behold and this one, the last in the series, is magnificent.

Fireworks over Cannes with glorious white stars bursting in air and red and orange glows from light on water
Fireworks over Cannes © Horizon 06/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Aug 31, 2024: The Agen Prune Festival combines gastronomy and culture in that unique way the French manage such events. You can taste the first fruits of the harvest, buy regional products in the gourmet market, play a few sports and glory in the street theatre and music.

Stage with performers and crowds at Agen Featival
Agen Festival © H Lacombe/Ville d’Agen

If you know of other events you think I should include, please do let me know!

Events in France in 2024

Events in France in January 2024
Events in France in February 2024
Events in France in March 2024
Events in France in April 2024
Events in France in May 2024
Events in France in June 2024
Events in France in July 2024
Events in France in September 2024
Events in France in October 2024

I am updating the events in France in 2024 but have left 2023 as many of France’s major events occur each year, usually at the same time of the month.
Events in France in November 2023
Events in France in December 2023

More about great Food Festivals in France
Public holidays in France

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