Festivals in France: The 20 Best French Music Festivals

I was actually very surprised at the sheer volume of festivals in France. Like, there are TONS. There are lots of French music festivals that are extremely international, and there are also lots that are extremely, well… French. No matter what kind you are looking for or what genre you like, there will be something in this list of music festivals in France for you. There are lots of different genres, sizes, locations, and french-ness of these french festivals  (:P) see which is right for you!

But wait – how did I manage to rank them into a top 20 list? Well, Festicket actually shared with me their data for the top revenue-generating festivals (aka the most popular festivals among the general population) and I ranked them that way. So it doesn’t necessarily reflect my personal opinion or many underground-type festies, but rather the most generally popular ones. I’ve researched each one and let you know all the info you will need about these 20 top festivals in France.

1. Lollapalooza Paris

A global favorite in the festival scene, Lollapalooza has made its mark in France over the past two years… so much so, that it’s one of the most popular festivals in France! Similar to and other edition of ‘Lolla’ as many call it, Lollapalooza Paris will bring in big names from a vast range of genres and many up-and-coming’s as well. The festival has a wide range of other experiences as well as famously great food.

The past two editions of Lollapalooza Paris have brought giants like The Gorillaz, The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana del Rey, Depeche Mode, Travis Scott, Diplo, Imagine Dragons, Kasabian, Parov Stelar, Lil Pump, Rag’n’Bone Man, and DJ Snake. With names like that it’s no surprise it has risen quickly to the top of French music festivals.

Location

Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, France

Dates

20-21 July

Genre

Multi Genre – Rock, Pop, Electronic

 

2. Garorock Festival

Garorock is one of the veteran music festivals in France, and has been going since 1997. This festival welcomes tons of different musical genres to the vine-laden countryside outside of Marmonde each year. From techno to rock to indie to house music, Garorock has everyone covered. There are also famously lots of other activities to do at the festival, from workshops to group games and sports to carnival rides.

Christine and the Queens, Paul Kalkbrenner, Aya Nakamura, Macklemore, Sum 41, and Beirut are confirmed for next year, while in the past there have been names such as Indochine, Marilyn Manson, DJ Snake, Odesza, Polo & Pan, Black Coffee, Muse, Amelie Lens, Alt-J, Purple Disco Machine, Parcels, and Disclosure. Sounds good to, well, basically anyone who likes any kind of music!

Location

Countryside of Marmonde, France

Dates

27-30 June

Genre

Multi – basically everything!

3. We Love Green Festival

As it’s name quite clearly suggests, We Love Green is an ecologically-focused music festival that takes place in Paris’s largest public park each June. Along with amazing headliners, the festival has a massive focus on sustainability, eco-friendly living, and locally sourced organic/vegan food. There are panels and discussions about science and innovation during the day, but at night the lasers are turned on over a sea of eco-conscious music lovers.

In the past, We Love Green festival has hosted headliners such as Foals, Anderson.Paak, Diplo, Nicolas Jaar, Hot Chip, Lorde, LCD Soundsystem, Solange, Mura Masa, Ame, Angèle, and Christine & The Queens. As you can tell just by that short list, there are loads of genres and nationalities represented at one of the most eco-friendly French music festivals, and there will be a bit of something for everyone.

Location

Bois de Vincennes Park, Paris, France

Dates

2-3 June

Genre

Multi: Hip Hop, Urban, Electronic, Rock

4. Download Festival Paris

Download Festival Paris is the satellite version of the world-renowned Download Festival in the United Kingdom. It’s a bit smaller than its giant counterpart but there are no shortcuts taken on the amazing lineups, sound, and stage production at one of the biggest rock/punk festivals in France. Download is sure to bring in the biggest names in rock, as well as tons of smaller talent across its multiple stages at an air force base.

Ozzy Osborne, The Offspring, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters, System of a Down, Blink 182, Marilyn Manson, Guns’N’Roses, and Green Day have headlined in the past. If that lineup doesn’t blow your mind and get you itching for some good headbanging, then maybe you aren’t a true fan of rock! ????

Location

Base Aérienne 217 Air Force Base, (south of) Paris

Dates

14-16 June

Genre

Rock, Metal, Punk

5. Main Square Festival

Main Square is one of the most unique music festivals in France and perhaps all of Europe, taking place in a 1600’s UNESCO protected citadel. I don’t know what it is with Europe and making party venues out of ancient landmarks, but I’m not mad about it. As it’s name suggests, Main Square Festival indeed does take plce in the main square of the Arras Citadel, with one stage delivering the heat the entire time.

This year some headliners have already been announced, such as DJ Snake, Christine and the Queens, Cyprus Hill, Martix Garrix, Macklemore, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, and more. In the past, the square has welcomed the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Jamiroquai, Liam Gallagher, Justice, Coldplay, Above & Beyond, Die Antwoord, Iron Maiden Portugal. the Man, X Ambassadors, Paul Kalkbrenner, and well.. you get the point, I hope.

Location

Arras Citadel (UNESCO World Heritage Citadel), Arras, France

Dates

5-7 July

Genre

Multi: Rock, pop, house, electronic

6. Les Francofolies de La Rochelle Festival

Les Francofolies de La Rochelle is quite possibly the longest-running and most scene-shaping French music festival. Taking place in a scenic seaport on the west coast, this festival really takes over the town of La Rochelle and makes it come alive with music and art. There is a main stage, but also smaller activities, workshops, games, theater, and other events going on all over the city. The festival sells tickets to certain performances and also to full experiences.

This year’s edition already has a big lineup of both French and international artists – with a focus on French. The current names announced include -M-,The Blaze, Christine and the Queens,Patrick Bruel, Soprano, Angèle, and Boulevard des Airs. In the past, people like Vianney, Julien Doré, DJ Snake,Michel Jonasz, and Renaud have performed.

Location

Esplanade Saint-Jean d’Acre Seaport + surrounding venues, La Rochelle, France

Dates

10 – 14 July

Genre

Multi – Rock, pop, electronic, acoustic, everything!

7. Solidays Festival

Solidays is an incredible annual festival with a primary aim to raise money for an HIV and AIDS charity. Each performer helps in this effort by accepting reduced pay for a good cause. Across three days, dozens of acts perform inside the famous horse racing course Hippodrome de Longchamp, across tons of different genres. The festival has raised tons of money over the past years, so if you want to party for a good cause, this is your chance!

In the past, Solidays has hosted Shaka Ponk, Two Door Cinema Club, Diplo, Juliette Armanet, DJ Snake, David Guetta, Nekfeu, IAM, The Prodigy, and Kungs, and you can expect similarly genre-spanning artists at the next year’s edition too.

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Location

Hippodrome de Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France

Dates

21-23 June

Genre

Multi – Electronic, Rock, Pop

8. Reggae Sun Ska Festival

Reggae Sun Ska Festival is best described in its own name. One of the best reggae music festivals in France and quite possibly Europe itself, this festival is indeed full of Reggae, sun, and ska – but also much more than that. It’s been going for over 20 years, and is known for bringing in the genre’s best dj’s, live acts, MC’s, and more.

SOJA, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Damiam Marley, Naâman, Groundation, Alpha Blondy, and more have headlined in the past, and you can be confident there will always be great music and vibes all around.

Location

Vertheuil

Dates

2-4 August

Genre

Reggae – Roots, Dancehall, Ska, etc.

9. Insane Festival

Insane Festival is an electronic genre-diverse festival taking place on the bank of a lake in the small town of Apt, France. It was previously held in large indoor venues, but has now moved to an outdoor space to make room for more avid festival-goers. Insane Festival prides itself on involving ALL different aspects of the electronic music umbrella, and bringing fans together through their passion for it. You can always expect top-of-the-line production here as well.

To give you a taste of how diverse the electronic music is at this festival, past headliners have included Stephan Bodzin, Pendulum, Angerfist, Rodhad, Nastia, Patrick Topping, Ace Ventura, Astrix, Rodriguez Jr, Vini Vici, and Matador. Sounds like something for everyone within the electronic world!

Location

Lakeside in Apt, France

Dates

9 – 11 August

Genre

Blend of All Electronic

10. Les Nuits Secrètes Festival

Taking place in the northeastern countryside, Les Nuits Secretes is another of the multi-genre and long-running French music festivals. Taking place out in the countryside of Aulnoye-Aymeries, you can find smaller stages in the trees or bigger main stages out in bigger fields.

Jungle, Boris Brejcha, Shaka Ponk, Alt-J, Jain, Julian Dore, Petit Biscuit, Angele, Tale of Us, Mind Against, Cigarettes After Sex, Amelie Lens, and more have headlined in the past – which is CRAZY diverse. You can techno to your heart’s content, headbang to some bona fide rock, or sway to some acoustic artists – it’s totally up to you!

Location

Cuntryside of Aulnoye-Aymeries, northeastern France

Dates

26-28 July

Genre

A Bit of Everything!

11. Marsatac Festival

Marsatac has been in Marseille for over 20 years now – changing locations a lot but always bringing an epic production value and party. In its recent editions it has spend two days at Parc Chanot before moving to the beach of Plage du petit Roucas on the third day, making the previously two-day event into three. Interesting indeed! Marsatac bring in crowd-loved favorites in both rap and electronic music, with hip hop stars and also techno bangers taking the stages.

Paul Kalklbrenner, IAM, Bicep,Petit Biscuit, Nina Kraviz, Nekfleu, Nicolas Jaar, and De La Soul have headlined in the past, and this yuear they have already announced the likes of Jon Hopkins, Caballero & JeanJass, Orelsan, and more.

Location

Parc Chanot Exhibition Center + Plage du petit Roucas, Marseille, France

Dates

14-16 June

Genre

Hip Hop, Rap, Electronic

12. Les Eurockéennes Festival

Les Eurockéennes is another of the amazing multi-genre music festivals in France, but this one is especially scenic taking place on a forested peninsula in Belfort. There are big lakes on either side of the festival site, leaving a beautiful scene to listen to any kind of music your heart could dream up. You can also view some amazing art and different dance and other performances in between big acts.

Queens of the Stone Age, Alice In Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Richi Hawtin, Macklemore, ZZ Top, Liam Gallagher, The Black Madonna, Arcade Fire, Rick Ross, and Disclosure. If you thought that French music festivals couldnt get more genre-diverse… think again!

Location

Lac du Malsaucy peninsula, Belfort, France

Dates

5 -7 July

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Genre

Rock, Metal, Pop, Hip Hop, House – literally everything

13. Touquet Music Beach Festival

Touquet is one of the relatively new French music festivals, and it has done very well since its 2016 debut. This could easily be attributed to its amazing location – it really does take place right on the beach in Le Touquet. Not only are there amazing headliners in the electronic and alternative genres, but there is a LOT to do in the area, too! Festivalgoers are encouraged to take part in lots of adventure activities and watersports in the area, such as surfing (it’s on the north coast, so there are waves!), sailing, windsurfing, and paddle boarding.

This festival has a lot of different electronic/disco music and also some alternative. In the past few years, the headliners have been Phoenix, Kungs, Martin Solveig, Todd Terje, The Avener, Juliette Armanet, Breakpot, Boys Noize, Malaa, andPurple Disco Machine. So, a pretty good variety!

Location

Le Touquet Beach, France

Dates

23 – 25 Augustr

Genre

Electronic, disco, alternative

14. Les Plages Électroniques Festival

Taking place at the same beachside venue as the famous Cannes Film Festival, Les Plages Électroniques takes over the venue for a very different reason. Known for bringing in tons of different genres within the electronic music umbrella, and is one of the great electronic music festivals in France. From EDM to minimal techno. What is more, it takes place right next to the Mediterranean where a relax on the beach or a dip in the warm clear water is just minuted away at any moment.

To give you an idea of how diverse this electronic festival is, the past headliners have been Kygo, Amelie Lens, Damian Lazarus, Zeds Dead, Netsky, Satori, Kolsch, The Avener, Agoria, Shy FX, Carl Craig, Tale of Us, and more. Check info below to see who might be headlining next.

Location

Palais des Festivals, Cannes (near/on the beach)

Dates

9 – 11 August

Genre

Electronic, house, techno

15. Le Printemps de Bourges Festival

Le Printemps de Bourges is a weeklong festival held across many different venues in Bourges, France. The whole city comes alive during the festival week with various headliners playing in different places and most venues putting on their own events for the week too. There will be something going on everywhere, and it’s a perfect time to explore the city and check out some amazing artists.

Étienne de Crécy, Orelsan, Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Paganini, Paul Kalkbrenner, KOMPROMAT, Nina Kraviz, Shaka Ponk, Boris Brejcha, and Damso have headlined this festival in the past. However, Le Printemps de Bourges has historically been a festival for rising stars and to showcase up and coming talent across the city, so make sure to branch out a bit because you never know if you’ll see the next big act. 

Location

Various Venues in Bourges, France

Dates

16 – 21 April

Genre

Electronic, Pop, Alternative, Rock

16. AFROPUNK FEST Paris

Originally started in Johannesburg, Afropunk is an amazing music festival celebrating art, fashion, film, and music produced by black artists. The festival has a few satellite versions that have piggybacked off the original’s success, one of which has become one of the top festivals in France. Taking place in Paris, Afropunk Fest presents an inclusive and tolerant environment for all kinds of African expression – nearly a movement in itself.

You can find all kinds of music at Afropunki, from reggae and rap to pop and rock. Some past headliners have included SZA, D’Angelo, Faada Freddy, Wizkid, Damian Marley, Lion Babe, GoldLink, and Willow Smith. No matter what the genre you can expect everyone coming together over the talent and community of people of African descent.

Location

Parc de la Villette, Paris, France

Dates

13-14 July

Genre

Reggaeu, Pop, Punk, Rock, Hip Hop, Soul, etc

17. Delta Festival

Taking place right on the coast of Marseille, Delta Festival brings much more than just music to fans each summer. Look for obstacle courses, water spots, and tons of extra stuff to do next to four sun-soaked stages on the south coast of France each summer. You can split your time between relaxing on the beach, taking part in amazing games, reveling at art acattered through the venue, and of course dancing the night away to the many different electronic acts.

Delta is another of many mixed electronic music festivals in France. Past headliners have included Angerfist, Putple Disco Machine, Stephan Bodzin, Feder, Bakermat, and Etienne de Crecy. You can jump around to some hardstyle or sway to melodic/tropical house – whatever you prefer!
Location

Plage de la Vieille Chapelle Beach, Marseille, France

Dates

6-7 July

Genre

Mixed Electronic

18. Snowattack Festival

Snowattack is one of the more unique French music festivals, taking place over a whole week at a skit resort in Les Orres, eastern France. Along with being able to shred up over 100kno of ski slopes, you can catch some massive names in the electronic scene along some main stages and some smaller events and artists along all the town’s bars and clubs. The whole area comes alive with a party vibe each January, where you can fulfill your festival itch even in the winter.

Rudimental, Sub Focus, Pendulum, Dimitiri Vegas & Like Mike, Lost Frequencies, Henry Saiz, Netsky, James Zabiela, and Borgore have headlined in the past. The festival brings in all kinds of electronic music, from deep house to EDM to drum & bass.

Location

Les Orres Ski Resort, France

Dates

26 January – 2 February

Genre

Electronic: EDM, Drum & Bass, House,

19. Rock en Seine Festival

Rock en Seine has risen to be one of the biggest music festivals in France over the last 15 or so years in the country’s capital. It does cover a lot of rock music as its name suggests, but does however have TONS of other music wrapped up into the package as well. Over three days you can see tons of both massive and up-and-coming artists perform at the stunning estate/gardens at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, with Paris not too far away at all.

Rock en Seine regularly brings in giants in both the rock scene and other genres. Past headliners have included Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Foals, the XX, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Flume, MØ, If that wasn’t convincing enough, The Cure have already been announced for 2019. Sounds like a plan to me!

Location

Domaine National de Saint-Cloud Parkland, Paris, France

Dates

23-25 August

Genre

Rock, Pop, Indie, Electronic

20. Calvi On the Rocks Festival

Calvi On the Rocks probably has the coolest venue of all festivals in France – a mediterranean island! Who could say no to 5 days of dancing at stages directly on the sand and actually swimming in the Mediterranean to the beats of your favorite artist?! I know I couldn’t – which is why this French music festival is high on my list. There are various indoor and outdoor venues at this festival, but all are right near the water. Some festivalgoers even bring their yachts right up into the bay, which seems like an extremely ideal idea.

Primarily showcasing the house and techno branch of electronic music, Calvi on the Rocks is truly an underground party right on the sand. Past headliners have included Seth Troxler, IAM, Nina Kraviz, Mark Ronson, Kerri Chandler, Amelie Lens, Black Coffee, Tale of Us, Crazy P, and Étienne de Crécy – branching also out into the funk + soul category occasionally as well.

Location

Corsica Island, France

Dates

5 – 10 July

Genre

Electronic – House, Techno, Disco

Author: Anna Johnson

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