TOP 10: Music Festivals in France

TOP 10: Music Festivals in France

France's music festival scene surges from Rock en Seine, Les Vieilles Charrues, Hellfest Open Air and Main Square Festival all the way to the upbeat dance experience of Electrobeach Music Festival.

From a huge selection of iconic music festivals that are well worth your time, here are 10 that should be at the top of your list. Honourable mentions to Solidays and Garorock too.

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

Calvi On The Rocks 2020 Guide & Mailing List

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

Festicket Guide / Book Festival Beauregard 2020

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

Electrobeach Music Festival 2020 Guide & Mailing List

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

Main Square Festival 2020 Guide & Mailing List

6 – La Route du Rock

: 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

La Route du Rock 2020 Guide & Waiting List

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

Nuits Sonores 2020 Guide & Waiting List

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

Les Vieilles Charrues 2020 Guide & Mailing List

3 – Rock En Seine

: 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

Rock En Seine 2020 Guide & Mailing List

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

Hellfest Open Air 2020 Guide / Book Hellfest Open Air 2020

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

Les Eurockéennes 2020 Guide & Mailing List

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