10 – Calvi On The Rocks
Lineup (2018): IAM, Amelie Lens, Seth Troxler, Tale Of Us, Fakear, Jazz Cartier, Lomepal, L'Impératrice
Indoor and open-air venues bring techno and house A-listers to the beautiful commune of Calvi, on the island of Corsica. It's pretty much the perfect summer combination of location and curation, with a chilled vibe taking you through six days and nights.
When & where: 5 July - 10 July 2019, Corsica
9 – Festival Beauregard
Lineup (2019): Angèle, Supreme NTM, Mogwai, Tears for Fears
Fronted by a fictional but widely adored man by the name of John Beauregard, the festival that shares his surname is a medium-sized affair in the north of France. Set in the grounds of Château Beauregard, this winery provides a backdrop full of character, while big international names regularly light up the main stage.
When & where: 2-5 July 2020, Normandy
8 – Electrobeach Music Festival
Lineup (2019): Above & Beyond, Afrojack, David Guetta, Eric Prydz, REZZ, Steve Aoki
Easily the biggest mainstream electronic music festival in France, Electrobeach floods the country's south-western coastal corner with 40,000 ravers and the kind of DJs you'd expect at Tomorrowland and Ultra Europe. Le Lydia, the landlocked former Australian military ship, forms part of Electrobeach's distinctive beachside arena.
When & where: 12-14 July 2020, Le Barcarès
7 – Main Square Festival
Lineup (2019): DJ Snake, Christine and the Queens, Damso, Macklemore, Martin Garrix, Bring Me The Horizon, Jain, Angèle
About 180km north of Paris, Main Square Festival packs out the (yep, you guessed it) main square of the small provincial town of Arras. In and amongst a strong foundation of rock and indie, mainstream performers of many other genres crop up most years.
When & where: 5-7 July 2019, Arras
6 – La Route du Rock
Lineup (2019): Tame Impala, Hot Chip, Paula Temple, Jon Hopkins, Metronomy, IDLES, Lena Willikens
Now more than 25 years old, La Route du Rock is almost exactly what you'd expect it to be. A generally guitar-heavy lineup does allow a few stray electronic acts in, while the real joker in the pack is the festival's evening venue, the 18th-century fort of Saint-Père.
When & where: 14-17 August 2019, Saint-Malo
5 – Nuits Sonores
Lineup (2019): Bonobo, Peggy Gou, Maceo Plex, Lena Willikens
France's frontline explorer of techno music's finer details, Nuits Sonores shines a light on ambient electronic music, within the confines of some of Lyon's most intimate venues. DJs, visual artists and even the odd live orchestra help create a progressive atmosphere that stands tall on the European scene.
When & where: 29 May – 2 June 2019, Lyon
4 – Les Vieilles Charrues
Lineup (2019): Martin Garrix, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Tears for Fears, The Chainsmokers, MHD, Christine and the Queens, David Guetta
If this list were decided on sheer size alone, Les Vieilles Charrues' 200,000-ish attendance would place it firmly at the top. It pulls in world-famous names by the stage-load, and gives airtime to a diverse array of new and old talent.
When & where: 16-19 July 2020, Carhaix
3 – Rock En Seine
Lineup (2019): The Cure, Major Lazer, Jorja Smith
Just outside the western reaches of the Paris city centre and perched, unsurprisingly, on the banks of the capital's famous river, Rock en Seine is one of France's real festival giants. Think Glastonbury, just a bit further south.
When & where: 22-25 August 2019, Paris
2 – Hellfest Open Air
Lineup (2019): Slayer, KISS, Tool, ZZ Top, Manowar, Gojira, Deff Leppard, Whitesnake
Dripping with every subgenre of heavy metal in existence, Hellfest is grand-scale darkness in a league of its own. The self-proclaimed "extreme music festival" doesn't do anything by halves, including its 100,000+ attendance.
When & where: 19-21 June 2020, Clisson
1 – Les Eurockéennes
Lineup (2019): The Chainsmokers, Christine and the Queens, Jain, Interpol, Slash, Supreme NTM, IDLES, Parkway Drive
25km from the Swiss border and right up there alongside the continent's most important festivals, Les Eurockéennes holds the kind of prestige that only 30 years of consistently high-class events can secure. Expect pioneers – the likes of Iggy Pop, Jack White and The Cure in recent years – as well as stars of the moment and homegrown talent in abundance.
When & where: 4-7 July 2019; Belfort
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