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 more info on everything this beautiful region has to offer, please have a look at the Local Area page which has links to the Tourist Offices.
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 27 - 230 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: 2 - 6 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, The Cranberries, Iggy Pop, James Blunt, Roger Hodgeson from Supertramp, Toto and Chris Isaak.
In 2024 headline acts will include Gloraia Gaynor, The Pretenders and Deep Purple. Please click on the link for details of the full programme www.bluespassions.com
Festival des Saintes: 13 – 20 July Classical concerts performed in and around the atmospheric Abbaye aux Dames, peformed by soloists and ensembles from around Europe. www.abbayeauxdames.org
Francofolies de la Rochelle 10 – 14 July Popular music festival, headliners for 2024 include Sting, Jean Michel Jarre and Patrick Bruel www.francofolies.fr
Medieval Fete at La Roch a Foucauld 29 - 21st 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.larocheafoucauld.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
Son et Lumiere Bourg Charente 11, 12, 13 July Over 100 local volunteers take art in this amazing 2hr long "son et lumiere" spectacle that takes place just after sunset and charts the history of Cognac through it's history to the present day www.son-lumiere-bourg-charente.com
Violons sur le Sable: 22, 25 & 28 July 2024 dates to be confirmed. Hugely popular annual 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, Cognac Takes place the 3rd weekend in July. Since 1909, Cognac welcomes a large funfair for several days, known today for the range of attractions and fireworks display. There are more than 80 attractions for young and old – and for thrill-seekers. On the Monday there is a traditional fireworks display that closes the festival.
Fete du Cognac: 25 - 27 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 concerts. www.lafeteducognac.fr
Coupe d'Europe de Montgolfieres 1 - 4 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
Le Festival Fontdouce at Abbaye Fontdouce: August Each year 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 International Folk Dance Music Festival: 12 - 18 August A street fesitival bringing together dancers and musicians in traditional costume from around the globe offering a scheduled series of shows and parades in the roads and halls of Confolen. Each year 400 artists around the world share their talent and culture. 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
Circuit des Remparts, Angouleme: 13 – 15 September Vintage car races around the Remparts, exhibitions, concours events and a 200km rally through the Charente countryside.
Festi classique: August - 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.fr
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 Each year, international classical artists perform in various locations in and around Cognac and Angouleme www.piano-en-valois.fr