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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    

 2022

 

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

 

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.  www.lafetedumimosa.com

 

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  23 - 26 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  www.bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com

 

Blues Passions:   6 - 10  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. Over the years we have enjoyed performances from  Status Quo,  Tom Jones, Hugh Laurie,  Sting,  Imelda May, Lily Allen,  Robert Plant, Lenny Kravitz   Marianne Faithful, The Cranberries, Michell Polnaroff,  Iggy Pop, James Blunt,  Roger Hodgeson from Supertramp and Toto 

 www.bluespassions.com   In  2022  enjoy a line up featuring Blues, Jazz, Lindy Hop and Swing  plus headliners Simple Minds ,  Liam Gallagher & Francis Cabrel  Click on the link for details of the programme and view the individual music videos for the artists who will be performing 

 

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   www.larochefoucauld.fr

 

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 14 - 16 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:   23, 26  & 29 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.   www.violonsurlesable.com

 

La Croix Montamette Fun Fair   24 -27 July  culminates in fantastic firework display on the last evening

 

Fete du Cognac:  28- 30 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.     www.lafeteducognac.fr   

 

Coupe d'Europe de Montgolfieres  4-7  August Aerial demonstrations, spectacles, 60 hot air balloons will participate in  the European Competition at Mainfonds.  In addition on Sunday 7 August an air show inlcuding the Patrouille will take place   www.mainfonds.com

 

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:   10-11 August  Classical recitals, Jazz and swing performances set in the cloisters and gardens of this beautiful old abbey. You can buy a picnic on site. www.fontdouce.com

 

Confolens Dance Festival:   9 - 15 August .   A street fesitival bringing together dancers and musicians  from around the globe offering a scheduled series of shows and parades.  www.festivaldeconfolens.com

 

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.   www.art-bois-breville.com

 

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  www.royan-tourisme.com

 

Festi classique 27 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 www.festi-classique.com

 

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 27 September - 2 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. www.grand-pavois.com

 

Piano en Valois  October     www.piano-en-valois.fr

 

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.  www.marathonducognac.net

 

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.  www.gastronomades.fr

 

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   www.bordeaux-tourisme.com