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: 2-4 July 2020; Belfort
Hellfest Open Air
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
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
We Love Green
Set in the picturesque setting of leafy woodland and possessing an eco-friendly ethos and an impressively eclectic lineup, We Love Green sets the bar high for other festivals. Beyond the music, the program offers a range of insightful activities including discussions and workshops on sustainable living.
When & where: 6-7 June 2020, Paris
Main Square Festival
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: 3-5 July 2020, Arras
La Route du Rock
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: 19-22 August 2020, Saint-Malo
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: 19 May-24 May 2020, Lyon
Like all festivals under the Lollapalooza brand, the Paris festival does not conform to one genre or sound, locking in some of the world's greatest pop, rock, rap, and electronic artists. Now in its fourth edition, Lollapalooza is continuing to grow into one of Paris' biggest festivals.
When & where: 18-19 July 2020, Paris
Rock En Seine
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: 20-23 August 2020, Paris
Calvi On The Rocks
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: 3-7 July 2020, Corsica
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