Glorious events take place in France in July 2022 and so varied you’re bound to find something you like. Music outdoors from classical to electronic to jazz. Film festivals take over many of the big cities; try the famous garlic and basil, linen and flax fairs. The big events in France in July 2022 are the famous Tour de France, and of course, Bastille Day.

Tour de France 2020 with cyclists in front on road and few spectators behind, cyclists going away from camera
Tour de France 2020 © Chabe/Wikimedia

Check out the events in France in June 2022 to help plan your visit in advance.

To Jul 3, 2022: Main Square Festival, Arras, Pas de Calais. The fabulous main square of Arras offers great music from rock to hip-hop, electronic to rap and more. The line up includes the Black Eyed Peas, Sting, Declan McKenna and a whole lot of French musicians you might not have heard of but will be very pleased to discover them.  

Main Square Festival, Arras, from side of stage and back of crowd of onlookers with lights showing on stage
Main Square Festival © Guillaume 62000/CC-BY-SA 2.0

To Jul 3, 2022: The Anjou Festival now in its 72nd season has become the second biggest outdoor theatre event in France. The festival presents a varied programme in historic venues throughout Anjou.  

Anjou Festival group of dancers in centre stage of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Ballet of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme at Anjou Festival © Pascal Victor / ArtComArt

To Jul 3, 2022: Saint-Denis Festival, Paris. This great festival started in 1970. Performances are in the basilica of Saint-Denis and the House of Education of the Legion d’Honneur. French and international orchestras bring Mozart, Schubert plus modern works to life. Some concerts are broadcast on a giant screen in front of the basilica.

Saint-Denis Festival with audience on seats in front of Saint Denis basilica watching the concert inside on a giant screen
Saint-Denis Festival

To Jul 3, 2022: Montpellier Dance. Since 1981 the city of Montpellier has put on a contemporary dance festival with over 50 shows. It takes place in different buildings around the city. Most are at the Agora, a building devoted to dance. The programme also includes film screenings, round table talks, exhibitions and meetings with the artists.

Montpellier Dance ‘Crows’

To Jul 13, 2022Jazz à Vienne, Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Great names lined up for this annual popular jazz festival in the Alps. Jamie Cullum, Ibrahim Maalouf, Anne Paceo and many more are on the billing. Over 200,000 people descend on the city to see the performances on four stages. Isère is a fabulous place to visit (there’s more on Isère here).

Jazz festival in Vienne in a huge amphitheatre looking down from back to toptier of seats to huge stage with performers
Jazz in Vienne © Daniel Culson/CC-BY-SA 3.0

To Jul 20, 2021: Summer Sales throughout France. Read more about Discount shopping, malls, bargains and sales in France.

And…Flea markets and brocante fairs are always great entertainment.

Two girls walking away with backs to us with long hair, blue jeans and carrying many shopping carrier bags
Shopping in Boulevard Hasussmann, Paris Boulevard Haussmann © Paris Tourist Office/Amélie Dupont

To Jul 24, 2022: Festival de Nîmes in Occitanie. Music festival with a big line up includes Deep Purple, Sting, Nightwish and many more. It’s been happening since 1997.

Poster of Deep Purple in concert
Deep Purple

To July 30, 2022: Les Nuits de Fourvière in the Gallo-Roman theatres of Lyon is a magical feast of theatre, music, dance, opera and circus. Around 60 performances are watched by over 130,000 spectators.

Overall view of the roman amphitheatre in Lyon
Lyon Roman amphitheatre where the Nuits de Fourvières Festival takes place

To Jul 31, 2022Saint-Etienne Design Festival. Since 1998, the city of Saint-Étienne in the Auvergne has hosted the International Design Biennial. Organised by the Saint-Étienne Regional School of Fine Arts in this interesting industrial city, it promotes contemporary design through seven exhibitions and events. The theme this year is ‘Bifurcation’. Saint-Etienne is the only French city designated as a UNESCO-listed Creative City of Design, joining Berlin, Bilbao, Montreal and Beijing. Exhibitions throughout the city, workshops, conferences and meetings with design professionals make up an exciting programme.

Aerial view looking down onto old Arms Manufacture in Saint-Etienne now with Cite de Deisng, a long modern building in front
Cité de Design Saint-Étienne ©ville-de-St-Etienne

To Aug 6, 2022:  Chorégies d’Orange started in 1869, making it the oldest festival in France. It’s held in the magnificent Roman Théâtre Antique, which seats 8,600 people, has superb acoustics and puts on popular operas and classical music.

Full view of the stage at the Roman Theatre in Orange with its stage and stone backdrop with statues carved and freestanding. Steps onto stage
Roman Theatre in Orange © Jean-Louis Zimmermann OT Orange

To Sept 7, 2022: Paris Jazz Festival. 31 free concerts spread over weekends and outdoors in the Floral Park in Paris attract around 110,000 spectators. The programme includes classical music but focuses on line-up focuses on jazz, world music, soul, blues and more.

Quick Guide to Paris

Floral Park, Paris with flower beds in full bloom around lake with boat on it and park stretching into distance
Floral Park, Paris © Alexandre Vialle/CC-BY-SA 2.0

To Sept 30, 2022:  Visions d’Orient. La Gacilly Photo Festival has been delighting and astonishing visitors to this small town in Morbihan, Brittany since 2004. For three months, between May and September, the festival showcases hundreds of large format photographs in the parks, green maze, squares and flowery streets of the small town. Each new edition celebrates a guest country and revolves around a theme related to the social and environmental concerns of our society.

La Gacilly Photo outdoor festival with photos hung along path, lawn in middle and people looking on aerial shot
La Gacilly Festival © J M Niron

To Nov 6, 2022: International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire château in the Loire Valley celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. This equivalent in prestige to the Chelsea Flower Show is fabulous. The château and grounds are lovely and the festival shows off a series of gardens from international designers. The theme this year is the Ideal Garden: designers have created gardens which aim to satisfy the following criteria. they must be beautiful, good, organic, healing, comforting, innovative, and water and energy efficient all at the same time. In addition they must glorify harmony and taste, and generate wellbeing and happiness.

Chateau de chamont-sur-Loire with gardens in front with lawns, plants and hedges and turrets of the chateau peeking over the top in back
Château-sur-Loire © Miralolotte23/CC BY-SA 3.0

To Jan 14, 2023: Chartres en lumières sees this wonderful city illuminated for its annual festival of light. It’s nightly so there’s no excuse to miss it.  

Chartres lit up with multi coloured lights on the cathedral
Chartres lit up © Chartres Tourist Office

Events starting in July 2022

July 1-24, 2022: Tour de France. It started in 1903; today it’s one of the most important and well known sports event in the world. For three weeks, 22 teams battle it out in the mountains and on the flat over a total distance of more than 3328 kms/2067 miles. The 2022 tour starts in Copenhagen and takes in 3 stages before reaching France. Here it starts in Dunkirk on July 5th and finishes along the Champs Élysées on Jul 24.

Tour de France 2020 teams sweeping around a corner with the Arc de Triomphe behind
Tour de France last day in Paris 2020 © A.S.O/Pauline Ballet

Jul 2-Sept 11, 2022Le Voyage à Nantes is a spectacular urban trail through this gorgeous west France city past more than 100 works of art. Some of the works are odd; others more conventional but all are always interesting. They’re on the streets, in the squares, small streets and in places you don’t expect. The trail, a green line painted on the ground, starts at the former LU factory by the Canal Saint-Félix. It takes in the Chantiers Park and the Great Elephant, the castle of the Dukes of Brittany and much more.  

Serpant of metal in water standing on stilts with head towards camera in Nantes Estuary with clouds in sky
Huang Yong Ping, Serpent d’océan, Saint-Brévin-les-Pins on the Estuaary © Franck Tomps / LVAN

Jul 1-3, 2022: Le Barrière Enghien Jazz Festival, Enghien-les-Bains, Paris. For 3 days take in some great international names ending with a free concert from George Benson on the lake.

Lake at Enghien les Bains, suburb of Paris. Woman standing near ornate pillar with three lights on top looking out at blue lake with buildings in distance
Enghien-les-Bains lake © Moonik/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Jul 1-10, 2022: La Rochelle Film Festival, Charente-Maritime, Nouvelle Aquitaine. Around 250 films, both historic and contemporary make up the programme for this unusual festival which explores the cinematographic world. See foreign films, forgotten and little-known films, all with French subtitles.

It’s a prestigious festival; this year it pays tribute to Alain Delon, part of the gold age of French and Italian cinema from the 1960s to the 1980s. 21 films are shown from Christine in 1958 when he met Romy Schneider and began their famous love affair. Many of the films have been expertly restored.

Moody photo in black and white of Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Jean Marais, Lucilla_Morlacchi and Renato Salvatori in the 1960s
Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Jean Marais, Lucilla_Morlacchi and Renato Salvatori. Public domain

July 4-Sept 25, 2022: Rencontres d’Arles is a huge international photo expo, now 50 years old. Most of the events take place in the opening week, but the exhibits generally remain on view to the end of the show.

Rencontres d'Arles in gallery with couple looking at pictures on
Rencontres d’Arles

Jul 5-11, 2022: Marseille Film Festival, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône. Marseille International Film Festival, also known as FID Marseille, shows over 200 films from around thirty different countries. Documentaries, art and fiction films compete in three competitions. Screenings are open to professionals (around 500) and the public (around 20,000) throughout the city.

Couples at tables in bar at night looking over the old port in Marseille with Basilica on hill opposie
Bar overlooking the old port © Atout France/Matthieu Colin

Jul 5-31, 2022: The Festival of Carcassonne takes place in this magical UNESCO city in Languedoc. 120 shows (80 of them free) are staged at different venues including the Château Comtal. Performers include James Blunt, Deep Purple, John Legend and classical opera and ballet companies. It attracts over 250,000 spectators making it one of France’s biggest festivals. A glorious setting and great technology make this a must-see event.

Carcassone Festival ballet with two igures, male supporting tutu-clad ballerina in full stretch pose on one toe
Carcassone Festival © Julien Benhamou

Jul 6-10, 2022: Cognac Blues Passions. Taking the blues as its starting inspiration, the festival brings an eclectic mix each year. In 2022, artists include Fred Chapellier, Vicious Steel Fuel Band, Simple Minds, Liam Gallagher and more. The main stage is in the public park; other musicians perform on the banks of the Charente River.

Cognac from the river charente showing old walls and gateway and quay along the river
Cognac on the banks of the Charente River © Jack ma/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Jul 6-19, 2022: The 61st Annual Jazz à Juan Festival takes place in a stunning setting overlooking the Mediterranean in Juan-les-Pins on the Cote d’Azur. Lots of great Jazz Off free events throughout Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. This jazz festival, the oldest in France, is one of my favorites offering great performances and the sea as a background. This year includes Paul Anka and Van Morrison.  If you’re there on Bastille Day, you’ll see some of the great firework displays over nearby Cannes.
Find great budget places to stay in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins.

View of stage at Juan les Pins jazz festival with sea in background
Juan-les-Pins Jazz

Jul 7-26, 2022: The 76th Festival d’Avignon, an important wide-ranging, theater, music and dance festival takes place throughout the city. Around forty shows, readings, exhibitions, films and discussions are on offer. The Off Festival d’Avignon starts with a parade of performers in costume from 8pm. They march up the Rue de la République and then perform au chapeau (for tips in the hat) around the town. For information and tickets, check out the website or visit the off Village at the École Thiers, #1, rue des Ecole. 

You can get a day by day Spectators’ Guide at all venues in early July, and information on the Festival and Off Festival events at the Avignon Tourist Office.

Avignon Festival with dark image of sand, spray and dark figures in the sea
Avignon Festival Iphigénie, Anne Théron, 2022 © Barbara Kraft

Jul 8-10, 2022: Festival du Lin at Le Bourg-Dun, Normandy. The Flax and Needle Festival involves nine communes in the Caux area which have around twenty exhibitions of contemporary or traditional textile art, a linen fabric fair, fashion shows, tours of the Terre de Lin factory and workshops. 

flax field in Normany with path beside purple flowering flax, made into linen
Flax field in Normandy. Public domain via Wikimedia

Jul 8-12, 2022: Calvi on the Rocks, Calvi, Corsica. Electronic music, performances and Corsican traditions combine to make this a great festival. Calvi’s beaches provide the setting for the local DJs. A shuttle or walk takes you to the beach which has Villa Schweppes’ summer residence where you can try a mojito, eat Corsican specialities and snooze afterwards. In the evenings see concerts at the Théâtre de Verdure outdoor venue or relax in the chill-out room at the harbour.

Calvi on the Rocks poster for July 2022 by Californian artist Steve Harrington
Calvi on the Rocks poster by Californian pop artist Steve Harrington

Jul 10-14, 2022: Fêtes Maritimes de Brest. Since 1992, the port of Brest in Brittany has gathered over 1,000 boats from around the world for the Maritime Festival. Graceful tall ships, historical replicas, superb yachts and plain old working boats fill the dockside. Live music on a stage every night, sailboat visits, street performances, nightly parades of boats, a military procession and more for sea lovers. Bastille Day fireworks are spectacular.

The Festival was cancelled in 2020 due to covid so this is the replacement. The next Maritime Brest Festival is back on track for Jul 12-17, 2024.

Fetes Maritimes de Brest with old schooners in water, one with sails unfurled, one with sails unfurled
Fêtes Maritimes de Brest © Yann Gwilhoù/CC-BY-SA 4.0

July & Aug, 2022: Paris Plage fills up the banks of the Seine with imported sand and a beach vibe.

PLEASE NOTE: There are no date set for this yet but last year it was Jul 10 to Aug 22.

Paris Plages with two people on deckchairs withback facing saying Paris Plages under two blue umbrellas with sand in front
Paris Plages© Paris Tourist Office/ Marc Bertrand

Jul 14, 2022: Bastille Day is France’s greatest holiday with celebrations throughout the country. Watch out for local events and fireworks. And also start watching out for traffic jams; it’s traditionally the start of France’s national one-month long summer vacation. Of all the events in July and throughout the year, this is the best known.

French public holidays

Fireworks over the Eiffel Tower
Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons Yann Caradec

Jul 14-16, 2022: Electrobeach Festival of electronic music in Port-Barcarès, a former fishing village in Pyrénées-Orientales. Concerts on the beach and in the unusual setting of the gardens of the Lydia, once an ocean liner from the 1930s and now anchored in the sand as a museum. One of Europe’s biggest electronic music festivals attracts an audience of around 150,000.

Electrobeach Festival with large ship to right, people on beach beside it and view from behind DJ looking down from stage at boat and them
Electrobeach Festival

Jul 14, 21, 30; Aug 8, 15, 24, 2022: The Cannes Pyrotechnic Festival has the world’s greatest creators making the show. Fireworks over the sea at Cannes, but not just any old fireworks…

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

Jul 15-19, 2022: Nice Jazz Festival. This has always been one of the greats since it started in 1948. Two stages with simultaneous eventsare set up  just off the Promenade des Anglais. Expect big stars and this year Lady Blackbird; Curtis Harding; Ibrahim Malouf and many more are performing.

Crowd sitting in Place Massena at Nice off Jazz Festival
Nice Jazz Off festival in Place Massena Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Jul 18, 2022: Gigondas sur Table is a spectacular meal cooked by five Provence guest chefs paired with top local wines from 40 growers. It takes place in the shaded square of Gigondas from 8-11pm. This year, Gigondas is celebrating its 50th anniversary so there are events throughout the year. Book on the website.

Bottle of Gigondas wine in background and many different cheeses on plateau
Gigondas wine and plate of cheeses © Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Jul 18-Aug 20, 2022: International Piano Festival, widely regarded as one of the most important piano festivals 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

Jul 19-24, 2022: Equistria, Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrénées. The National Stud Farm in Tarbes puts on this exceptional equestrian show every year.  Over 400 horses and 500 performers from the arts and the equestrian world to put on a show of newly created choreographed movements in the different rings and avenues. There are some pretty stunning tricks to see.

Equestria trick woman rider on galloping horse with her hanging out of saddle by one foot close to ground

Jul 21-24, 2022: Cornwall Festival, Quimper, Brittany. This is for anyone interested in Breton culture as well as other Celtic traditions. Over 200 shows and events, most of them free, showcase the trades of the past, bell-ringers and more. There’s an antique markets and booksellers along the quay.

Cornwall Festival – Pat O’May et le Bagdad de Concarneau

Jul 22-Aug 6, 2022: Jazz in Marciac, Gers, Occitanie. This great jazz festival attracts over 200,000 people each year to listen to the likes of Melody Gardot and Jeff Beck, Anthony Strong and the Barcelona Jazz Orchestra, James Blunt, Gogo Penguin and Jamie Cullum and Wynton Marsalis. There’s also a fringe festival on the main square.

Gilberto Gil on stage at Marciac Jaz Festival playing a guitar, seated, and singing into microphone
Gilberto Gil at Marciac Jazz Festival © R Laurent Sabatheu

Jul 23-29, 2022: Cordes-sur-Ciel Music Festival, Cordes, Tarn. A feast of chamber music, Romantic, Baroque and contemporary music in this most magical of small towns in the Tarn.

If you’re in the Tarn check out Toulouse-Lautrec and the Tarn. And don’t miss a visit to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi. And for a surprise, read about Toulouse-Lautrec’s recipe book, Art du Cuisine; the artist was quite a chef.

Cordes-sur-Ciel aerial view showing red roofs and narrow streets and church at top
Cordes-sur-Ciel © Clement Gruin/CC-BY-SA-4.0/Wikimedia

Jul 26, 2022: Garlic and Basilic Fair in the main square of Tours in the Loire Valley is a site to behold (and to smell). If you think you know your garlic, think again.

Garlic and Basil Fair with man in hat with moustache and apron pointing to huge bunchesof garlic hung up on his stall
Garlic and Basil Fair in Tours

Jul 28-30, 2022: Cognac Festival, Cognac, Charente. This popular event (there’s a surprise!), takes place on the quays of the marina in 7 specially converted fishermen’s huts. During the day, sample regional products along with a glass of pineau des Charentes or local Charente wines, local food and Marennes oysters. Finish with a glass or two of Cognac.

At night, take in concerts by top musicians from Matmatah to Gregory Porter.

Cognac Festival at sunset with large covered stage in background in open air, and crowds in front
Cognac Festival @Albane-Photographe

Jul 29-31, 2022: Les Escales World Music Festival, Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique. Down in the town’s harbour, Les Escales is a feast of traditional and contemporary multi-cultural music. Around 40,000 people gather for around 50 concerts on 5 stages. Hip-Hop, Rock, Globe-Trotter, Rap, Techno-Disco…you name it you’ll find it here. 

Les Escales venue ion Saint-Nazaire showing park with flower beds with green and red flowers, trees in grass on other side and sea in distance
Les Escales in Saint-Nazaire

Jul 29-Aug 12, 2022: Festival 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. For something special book at Castelnau Bretenoux Castle which hosts La Dame Blanche opera by François-Adrien Boieldieu, created in 1825 inspired by two Walter Scott novels.

Saint-Cere Festival at night in the Castelnau Bretenoux Castle with lit stage in front of huge castle towers and audience to right
Saint-Céré Festival at the Castelnau Bretenoux Castle

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

Jean Lurcat Museum in the Lot with old medieval long room with wooden beamed ceiling and his tapestries along walls
Jean Lurçat Museum © Atelier-Musée Jean Lurçat – Nelly Blaya – Conseil Général du Lot

Jul 29-Aug 13, 2022: Menton Classical Music Festival, Menton Great classical musicians and others less well known, perform in this glorious Mediterranean town. Concerts take place in the Parvis, outside the Basilica of St Michael and on the Promenade du Soleil.

Colourful poster of Menton Music Festival 2022
Menton Music Festival 2022

Jul 30-Aug 5, 2022: Le Festival du film de Lama, in Corsica takes place in a medieval village. It shows around 20 feature film premières, programs for children, a short film competition and documentary screenings that take the theme of the rural world in France and abroad. The festival is at 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).

Poster of Lama, Corsica film festival with yellow background and stylisted picture of man on one leg holding the other with a cane and a camera for his head
Lama Film Festival 2022

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

Events in France in 2022
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Events in France in February 2022
Events in France in March 2022
Events in France in April 2022
Events in France in May 2022
Events in France in June 2022
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Events in France in September 2022
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