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Whats On

Throughout the year, there are music and dance festivals, firework displays, fayres, fetes, wine fairs, markets and brocantes to keep you amused,  listed below are a selection  of large annual events which should not be missed! 

To see the entire programme for the year -  have a look at the Local Area page on this website, and click on the links to the tourist offices to see everything this beautiful region has to offer    



Bande dessinee d'Angouleme:    30 January- 2 February    Talks, shows, films & exhibitons relating to comic striip art.


La Fete du Mimosa:  St Trojan les Bains. il d'Oleronne:     14 - 16 February.    A weekend celebrating the arrival of spring and the Mimosa.  Parade,with music,decorated floats and tourist train.


National Open Garden Days:  June.  Regional garden festival with many public and private gardens open for visitors


National day dedicated to live music:    21st June.   All performances are free and typically take place in the open air - streets, squares, parks and national monuments


Bordeaux  Fete du Vin  18 -21 June   Set beside the quayside a 4 day extravaganza of wine workshops, wine tastings, music and firework displays, organised every 2 years, you will need to wait until 2016 for the next extravaganza


Blues Passions:   1 - 5  July.   International music festival which takes over the town of Cognac for a week.  There are numerous music venues with ticketed performances by big names, but in addition most of the  squares, restaurants and bars turn themselves over to free live music performances. In 2012 Tom Jones, Hugh Laurie & Sting were amongst the line up, and in 2014 Imelda May, Lily Allen and Robert Plant performed.   2015 saw Lenny Kravitz on the stage in the park in Cognac, and in  2016  Marianne Faithful, The Cranberries, Michell Polnaroff and Iggy Pop performed throughout the week. 2018 programme included  James Blunt, Beth Ditto & Santana .For 2019 the line up included:  Roger Hodgeson from Supertramp and Toto   So far, Simple Minds & Francis Cabrel have been announced in the line up for 2020


Festi'piano  July   Classical piano recitals every night from 9.00 pm, workshops and art exhibitions on the banks of the river Charente at Domaine d'Essart.

Festival des Saintes  July   Classical concerts performed in and around the atmospheric Abbaye aux Dames, peformed by soloists and ensembles from around Europe


La Roch a Foucauld   July    This costumed fete includes axe throwing, craft workshops, medievel field forge and hog roast.  Five troupes of performers present a medieval procession in the town centre


Bastille Day:  14 July.   The french National Holiday - most towns organise celebrations.  The best in the area is the firework display alongside the river Charente in Jarnac, following which, there is dancing in the town centre 


Bourg Charente  July  Over 100 local volunteers take art in this 2hr long "son et lumiere" that takes place just after sunset and charts the history of Cognac through it's history to the present day


Violons sur le Sable:   25 - 31   July.   Hugely popular classical concerts set on the beach at Royan.  Borrow our seats/rugs and a picnic and enjoy fantastic performances, the evening ends with a firework finale choreographed to the music.


Fete du Cognac:  26- 28 July:  4 nights of live music held on the quayside in Cognac.  You can dine under the stars on locally produced food and drink whilst listening to big stage concers.   


Coupe d'Europe de Montgolfieres    August Aerial demonstrations, spectacles, hotair balloon flights at the European Competition at Mainfonds


Festival International d'art pyrotechnique   July.  St Palais sur Mer is the place to be to watch the annual international festival of pyrotechnics, with competitors from all over the world.  This event attracts crowds  of up to 40,000.   


Abbaye Fontdouce:    July  Classical recitals, Jazz and swing performances set in the cloisters and gardens of this beautiful old abbey. You can buy a picnic on site.


Confolens Dance Festival:   10 - 16 August .   A street fesitival bringing together dancers and musicians  from around the globe offering a scheduled series of shows and parades.


Art & Passion du Bois :  August:  Held every 2 years, this festival promotes and supports the creativity and skills of specialised woodworkers and woodturners,  Watch artistans work with wood and browse the many stalls and exhibitions.


Pyrosymphonique:   August.   Fireworks set to music, as a local fairytale is recounted.  Fireworks are launched from the beach and barges moored at sea to make this a spectacular event


Festi classique 29 August - 22 September   Each year international artists present a series of  classical concerts held in the great Cognac Houses of the area.  Click on the link and switch your speakers on to hear what is on offer


Coupe de Chauffe:  1st weekend  September    A street arts festival that takes over the streets and main park in Cognac, the first weekend in September.  Everything from puppets, stilt walkers, comedians, magicians, dance and circus performers. 


Le Grand Pavois 26 September - 1 October :  La Rochelle Boat Show:     Porte Plaissance de Minimes,  The 5th largest boat show on water, in the world, brings together manufacturers and salesmen from around the world.  Demonstrations, events and fireworks add to the atmosphere throughout the week.


Piano en Valois  October


Cognac Marathon:   November.    Increasing in popularity every year, our local marathon offers competitive, fun and family runs over a variety of distances.  The event also offers a food village,  muscia and a country walk on the Sunday.


Les Gastronomades, Angouleme:    November .    Everything for the foodie.  Set in various locations across the town, there are exhibitions, demonstrations, the sale of local produce, cooking contests and courses.


Bordeaux Christmas Market:  December.   Starting the last Saturday in November, every week until Christmas. Visit the log cabin stalls, selling crafts, specialist food & wine and other goodies. Admire the fantastic christmas lights, and explore the beautiful shops