MAJOR EVENTS & FESTIVALS 2020

Here are some of the major festivals, events and shows that were scheduled in the South of France in 2020. Due to Covid-19, many of these events are postponed or cancelled. I'll do my best to update this info once France becomes accessible again. But please be sure to double check dates and details before heading out...

Multi Month or Multi Venue Events

*Throughout the Ventoux region of the Vaucluse department from May through September, there will be meals, tastings, concerts, performances, special menus, food festivals, bodegas, picnics, parties...and lots and lots of wine! Organized by the partners of the label Vignobles & Decouvertes for the destination known as Autour du Ventoux. The 2020 schedule will be announced shortly! aoc-ventoux.com

JANUARY

AVIGNON: Cheval Passion, the annual festival of equestrian arts, is Jan 15 to 19, 2020 at the Avignon Parc Expo. It's the 3rd biggest horse show in all of Europe and attracts riders, breeders and horse-lovers from all over the world. Expect 10,000m² of exhibition space, more than 1000 horses, 250-plus exhibitor stands and lots of competitions including Western, Clinic Xtrem cow-boy, cattle sorting, Iberian horses, horse 'n buggy, trick riding and more. The high point of the show is the Crinières d'Or Gala where new talent and confirmed artists outdo each other with dramatic and creative performances. See the website for all details.

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

NICE: 30th Festival Flamenco at the Theatre de Nimes, Jan 9 to 19, 2020. Theatredenimes.com.

PARIS: Maison & Objet Paris is Fri, Jan 17 to Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte. It's considered the leading home-decor fair connecting the international interior design and lifestyle community. Some 90,000 visitors are expected, 50% of them from outside France. The fall expo will be Sept 4 to 8, 2020.  maison-objet.com/en/paris

FEBRUARY 

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

MENTON: 87th Annual Menton Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival), Feb 15 to March 4, 2020. Info here 

NICE: Carnaval! This year the theme is "King of Cinema." Feb 15 to Feb 29, 2020. Info here

MARCH

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

NICE: Paris to Nice Cycling Race, March 8 to 15, 2020. Also known as "Paris-Nice" or the "Race to the Sun," this event traditionally marks the start of the international bike race season. Info here.
APRIL

ALL OVER FRANCE : Les Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art (April 3 to 12, 2020) throws open galleries, studios and workshops across Europe, with exhibitions, installations, open houses, performances and more, enabling you to discover all aspects of the  arts, meet artists and explore the creative process.

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

CARPENTRAS: April 25, 2020, Fete de la Fraise Strawberry Festival. Info from the Tourist Office here.

CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE: The 11th annual Printemps de Chateauneuf wine festival will be April 3 to 5, 2020. Look for more than 100 wine domaines, master classes and more. Read my recent blog story here or go to: lesprintempsdechateauneufdupape.fr.

L’ISLE-SUR-LA-SORGUE: The 53-year-old, twice-a-year antiques fair in pretty Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was formerly known as the Foire Internationale d’Arts et d’Antiquités. It's now called "l’Isle sur la Sorgue Antiques Art & You"...but I trust everyone will just keep calling it “The Big Antiques Fair” as they always have! And very big it is indeed...one of the biggest in Europe, with 100,000 visitors expected at each of two shows. It happens in Spring (usually Easter weekend) and again in late summer. The 2020 dates are April 10 to 23 and August 13 to 16. You'll find roughly 550 vendors selling all over town, including the 300 or stall-holders and shops that normally call Isle-sur-la-Sorgue home. Look for antiques and brocante, ancient books, design decoration, vintage pieces, artistic works and much more. I’m told you’ll also find personal shoppers and restoration specialists on hand, along with decorators and stylists. The April event is themed “Vintage” while the August event’s theme is still to be decided, but will be more universal as it's a more-popular show. The fair is produced by AntiquesArt & You and all the info is on their site here.

ARLES: Easter Festival (Feria du Pacques), April 10 to 13, 2020. Bullfights and bull games in the Arena and lots of other activities around town. For info: 08 91 70 03 70, arenes-arles.com or click here.

HYERES: The Sailing World Cup Hyères (April/May) is the third event in sailing’s premier international Olympic-classes regatta series. Competing at the 2019 edition were 574 sailors from 47 nations, along with the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team representatives in 7 of 10 classes. 
The Semaine Olympique Française de Voile takes place April 18 to 25, 2020 featuring some of the world’s best sailors in the run-up to the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and continuing Hyères’ over five decades’ long tradition of Olympic trials. For info: sailing.org

LOURMARIN April 4 – May 31, 2020. Spring Concert Series. Five classical concerts held in the Salle de Reception of the Chateau de Lourmarin. +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,
chateau-de-lourmarin.com

SAINTES MARIE DE LA MER: A spring edition of the popular holiday fair, this one called Provence Prestige Village, will be held in the heart of the Camargue April 3 to 5, 2020. Decor, decorating, home goods, tableware, kids things, food and more. provenceprestige.com

MAY

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.


LOURMARIN April 4–May 31, 2020. Spring Concert Series. Five classical concerts held in the Salle de Reception of the Chateau de Lourmarin. +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,
chateau-de-lourmarin.com.

NÎMES : Les Grands Jeux Romains (Roman Games), May 1-3, 2020, bring together over 500 volunteer participants and actors to re-enact ancient historical events in Nîmes’ Roman amphitheater, with the Barbarian Kings as this year’s theme. The whole town enters into the fun too, with special events, menus, exhibitions and more – and as the actors remain in costume throughout the weekend, visitors rub shoulders with centurions, gladiators, nobles and peasants around the town. Nimes-tourisme.com

NÎMES: Pentecost Feria, May 27 to June 1, 2020. Held for the first time in 1952, the five-day festival runs from Thursday to Whit Monday. A huge carnival parade (Thurs May 28 at 9:15 pm)  starts festivities, winding its way through the city streets and launching the mass celebrations of the thousands of people who come out to celebrate. The world’s best toreros demonstrate their skills in corridas in the ancient Roman amphitheater, together with courses camarguaises (where the bulls live to see another day), before the streets fill with revellers enjoying the open-air concerts, dance parties and drinking in bodegas that go on throughout the night. nimes-tourisme.fr

MONACO: 78th Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix (May 21-24, 2020). For all the info, click here.

CANNES: The 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival, May 12-23, 2020 was cancelled due to Covid. The n
ext festival will be May 11 to 22, 2021. For the website in English, click here.

JUNE


ALL OVER FRANCE: The 2020 Tour de France, set for June 27 to July 19, 2020, was postponed due to Covid. New dates are August 29 to Sept 20, 2020. For all the info, click here

ALL OVER FRANCE: Fête de la Musique, Sunday, June 21, 2020. Day and night, free music will take over streets, cafes, music venues, historic sites, gardens, parks and churches all over France. For more info, see what I wrote here and check the website here

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

AIX: The 7th Aix en Juin Festival (throughout the month of June, 2020) brings a marvelous schedule of performances to indoor and outdoor venues around the city. Music, dance and more. For info click here.  

AIX: The next Festival d'Aix (Opera) will be July 30 to July 18, 2020. It will be the 73rd annual festival. All details are here.

AIX: Salon Vivre Côté Sud, June 5 to 8, 2020. Find beautiful things for your home and garden in this popular annual fair. Click here for info.

ANTIBES: Voiles d'Antibes, June 3 to 7, 2020. This year is he 25th annual version of the race that marks the opening of the Mediterranean circuit, and is the first stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge or Trophée Panerai. It's a stunning regatta drawing some of the world’s most-spectacular rare, vintage and classic yachts, matching ancient cutters with professional crews against America’s Cup yachts.  And then there are the after-parties, just like you'd expect in a town like Antibes, with many hosted on board the yachts themselves. voilesdantibes.com.


ARLES: The dates for the Rencontres d'Arles, the large international photo expo, are June 29 to Sept 20, 2020. The main events (openings, conferences, special evening parties, talks and tours) almost all happen during opening week. Certain exhibits remain on view until the very end; others come down sooner. For info in English, click hereThe 2020 Rencontres festival is cancelled. Dates for 2021 to be announced.

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

NÎMES: Kicking off with Sting on June 18, 2020, the Festival of Nîmes features concerts in the stunning Roman Arena, throughout June and July 2020. Check back because new artists and concerts are added throughout the spring and early summer. festivaldenimes.com

NÎMES: Pentecost Feria, May 27 to June 1, 2020. Held for the first time in 1952, the five-day festival runs from Thursday to Whit Monday. A huge carnival parade starts festivities, winding its way through the city streets and launching the mass celebrations of the thousands of people who come to celebrate. The world’s best toreros demonstrate their skills in corridas in the ancient Roman amphitheater, together with courses camarguaises (where the bulls live to see another day), before the streets fill with revellers enjoying the open-air concerts, dance parties and drinking in bodegas that go on throughout the night. 
nimes-tourisme.fr

ORANGE: Les Chorégies d’Orange - the oldest festival in France - offers opera, lyrical and symphonic concerts in a stunning Roman amphitheater, a semi-circular space seating 9,000. Go early, get parked, eat nearby and bring cushions! The Chorégies festival is held annually from June through August; this year’s dates are June 19 to August 1, 2020. choregies.fr.

SAINT-REMY: The 36th Annual Transhumance! Monday June 1, 2020. Yep, that's the one with all the sheep. Info is on the site of the Saint-Remy Tourist Office here.

SALON DE PROVENCE: Rendezvous aux Jardins, June 5 to 7, 2020. Click here for info.

VAISON LA ROMAINE: The 25th annual version of the wildly popular modern dance festival called Vaison Danses will be June 19 to July 29, 2020. Tickets are at the box office, by phone, online or FNAC. For all the info, click here or vaison-danses.com

JULY

ALL OVER FRANCE: July 14, Bastille Day. Also called the Fête Nationale. This public holiday commemorates the day that Parisian commoners and peasants stormed the fortress and prison of Bastille, provoking events that would end the monarchy and usher in the age of liberty, fraternity and equality. In Paris, there's a traditional military parade along the Champs Elysées and a festival atmosphere throughout the day, finishing with the city night-sky turned bright by magnificent and noisy fireworks shows. In smaller cities and villages throughout France, you'll find parades, street fairs, live music, fireworks, bals (dances) and much more. Check local listings for specifics.

ALL OVER THE RIVIERA AND COTE D’AZUR: The Soirées Estivales brings 400-plus free performances to numerous villages and towns throughout the summer and early fall. See the schedule here, searching by month, village or type of performance.

AIX: The 73rd Festival d'Aix (Opera) was scheduled for July 30 to July 18, 2020. Instead, there will be four performances online each day, from July 6 to 15, 2020. Watch them on Arte and France Musique, on the Festival website, via a dedicated channel and through the Festival’s social networks. Follow #thediginalstage. All details are here.

ARLES: The dates for the Rencontres d'Arles, the large international photo expo, are June 29 to Sept 20, 2020. The main events (openings, conferences, special evening parties, talks and tours) almost all happen during opening week. Certain exhibits remain on view until the very end; others come down sooner. For info in English, click hereThe 2020 Rencontres festival is cancelled. Dates for 2021 to be announced.

ARLES: 25th Annual "Les Suds à Arles" World Music Festival, July 11 to 18, 2020. A week filled with concerts, master classes, "meet the musician" events and more, in the heart of the historic city. suds-arles.com Cancelled for 2020. Dates for 2021 to be announced.

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

AVIGNON: The Festival d'Avignon (July 3 to 23, 2020) is a huge theater, music and dance festival that takes over the whole city. This year's dates will be confirmed soon. Tickets can be purchased by phone, on the website, or at the ticket office at the Cloitre Saint-Louis (on rue Portail Boquier). A day-by-day "Spectators’ Guide" (with info on readings, films, exhibits, live radio broadcasts and other events) will be available in early July at all venues. You can also get info on all Festival d’Avignon and Off Festival events and activities at the Avignon Tourist Office (41, cours Jean Jaurès). Meanwhile, the festival website is now available in English, making it super easy to get all the current performance and ticketing info. Cancelled for 2020 but see the website for other events and future dates.

AVIGNON: The ''Off Broadway'' or "alternative" version of the Avignon Festival is called the Avignon Off Festival. Dates are July 3 to 26, 2020; in previous years there were as many as 1500 different performances. The festival kicks off with a parade of costumed performers (date TBA but probably July 2), many of them with their instruments, starting at 8 pm. There could be as many as 3000 performers marching up the Rue de la République and performing "au chapeau" (for tips in the hat) around town. It's a fun, festive evening and the perfect way to kick off the Off! For info on Off Festival events and ticket purchasing, see the website or visit the Off Village at the École Thiers, #1, rue des Ecole. You can also buy event tickets at each performance venue. In July, the Avignon Tourist office (41, cours Jean Jaurès) will also have an Off Festival booth in the lobby, where you can get programs by festival discount cards. Note: The 2020 festival schedule will be released on March 25. While the Off Festival website is currently only in French, an English version should be live soon. Once the online program is available, shows appropriate for non-French speakers will be highlighted. avignonleoff.com

DIGNES-LES-BAINS: Love lavender? Dignes-les-Bains has not one but two major lavender events each year. *The Corso de Lavande (July 31 to Aug 4, 2020) celebrates its 74th anniversary this year. It features music, fireworks, a dance, international marching bands, a musical "tattoo" (competition), processions and a night parade on Tues Aug 4. For all the info, call +33 (0)6 34 41 86 29 or click here and here. *The 98th annual Lavender Fair (Foire de la Lavande) is August 19 to 23. Over a five-day period, stroll more than 200 stands offering every possible lavender product plus gourmet fare, decor, gifts and more. For info call +33 (0)4 92 31 05 20 or click here. CANCELLED FOR 2020. DATES FOR 2020 TBA.

FERRASSIERES: The annual Lavender Festival is CANCELLED FOR 2020. The next one will be July 4, 2021. Info here.LAVENDER FESTIVAL

GIGONDAS: The 8th annual Gigondas sur Table happens Monday July 20, 2020. In an idyllic setting on the town square, this sell-out event shines the spotlight on the best local wines and regional cuisine. Four guest chefs, a maître fromager and a maître patissier will be preparing their dishes paired with Gigondas wines, while some 40-50 wine growers and négociants will be pouring their finest. Time: 8 pm – 11pm. Cost: 50€ (adults), 15€ (children under 12). Booking is essential: promotion@gigondas-vin.com or call +33 (0)4 90 37 79 60. Info here. CANCELLED FOR 2020. DATES FOR 2021 TBA.
JUAN LES PINS: The 60th Annual Jazz à Juan Festival will be July 9 to 22, 2020. Also don't miss the Jazz Off ("Fringe") Festival, with some 200 musicians in the streets and on the squares of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, sharing jazz in all its forms. For info, click here or go to: antibesjuanlespins.com or jazzajuan.comGiven the very probable absence of American artists (80% of the programming), the festival has been cancelled for 2020. Look for the 60th edition next year, from July 9 to 25, 2021. 

LE THORONET: Annual Medieval Music Festival at the Abbaye du Thoronet. July, 2020, with exact dates to be fixed in early April. Tickets from 10 to 22€. musique-medievale.fr, +33 (0)4 94 60 10 94.

LOURMARIN: The Summer Music Festival has not been cancelled; the dates are July 20 to Oct 10, 2020. In the Chateau or on its terraces, enjoy concerts of classical music with award-winning artists..and a selection of films. Concerts are indoors, films and otherr events will be outdoors. This is a lovely opportunity to visit a village classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France.” +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,  chateau-de-lourmarin.com or click here.

MONTE CARLO: Monte Carlo Sporting Summer Festival of Live Music, July/August, 2020. For info, click here or sportingsummerfestival.com.

NÎMES: Kicking off with Sting on June 18, 2020, the Festival of Nîmes features concerts in the stunning Roman Arena, throughout June and July 2020. Check back because new artists and concerts are added throughout the spring and early summer.
festivaldenimes.com

ORANGE: Les Chorégies d’Orange - the oldest festival in France - offers opera, lyrical and symphonic concerts in a stunning Roman amphitheater, a semi-circular space seating 9,000. Go early, get parked, eat nearby and bring cushions! The Chorégies festival is held annually from June through August; this year’s dates are June 19 to August 1, 2020. choregies.fr.

PERNES LES FONTAINES: The annual Ceramics Market returns to Pernes on Sunday July 19, 2020, from 9 am to 7 pm. Held on the shaded riverfront Quai de Verdon, this is a wonderful market offering high-quality pottery of all types, from 33 artists from all over the region. For info, click here and here.

ROBION: Every Thursday evening in July and August, the Luberon winery Domaine des Peyre (which also offers overnight stays) hosts Jazz 'N Wine rendezvous. Enjoy wine, food trucks and jazz in the courtyard. domainedespeyre.com

ST. REMY:  Creators Market, every Tuesday evening surround the church, 7 pm to about Midnight, July 7 to September 16. Arts and crafts, jewelry, tableware and more...all locally made. For info, click here.

VAISON LA ROMAINE: The 25th annual version of the wildly popular modern dance festival called Vaison Danses will be June 19 to July 29, 2020. Tickets are at the box office, by phone, online or FNAC. For all the info, click here or vaison-danses.com

VALENSOLE: Always held on the third Sunday of July, the 28th annual Valensole Lavender Festival will be July 19, 2020. In the heart of lavender-growing country, this is definitely the most-famous lavender fair in Provence. The festival includes visits to lavender fields and essential oil distilleries, photo exhibits, films, musical and folk dancing show – and of course a market featuring lavender in its every possible form. Click here or call: +33 04 92 74 90 02.

AUGUST

ALL OVER FRANCE: The 2020 Tour de France, set for June 27 to July 19, 2020, was postponed due to Covid. New dates are August 29 to Sept 20, 2020. For all the info, click here

ARLES: The dates for the Rencontres d'Arles, the large international photo expo, are June 29 to Sept 20, 2020. The main events (openings, conferences, special evening parties, talks and tours) almost all happen during opening week. Certain exhibits remain on view until the very end; others come down sooner. For info in English, click hereThe 2020 Rencontres festival is cancelled. Dates for 2021 to be announced.

AVIGNON: The Vibrations sound and light show has become a super popular annual summer and early fall evening event. The 2020 dates have yet to be announced but last year it ran from mid August to mid October, 2019.  This is a dramatic 30-minute sound-and-light show using the latest videomapping techniques, taking place each evening  in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes. In August, there are two shows each evening at 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm, while September and October feature one performance at 9.30 pm nightly (plus a second show at 10.30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights only in September). For all the info, click here.

AVIGNON: Now in its 29th year, the annual Avignon Jazz Festival (Aug 5 to 9, 2020) held in the picturesque Cloitre des Carmes cloister, continues to promote young jazz musicians in a mix of musical genres through a program blending  informal events, high-profile concerts and what many feel is Europe’s premier jazz competition. tremplinjazzavignon.fr 


AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

DIGNES-LES-BAINS: Love lavender? Dignes-les-Bains has not one but two major lavender events each year. *The Corso de Lavande (July 31 to Aug 4, 2020) celebrates its 74th anniversary this year. It features music, fireworks, a dance, international marching bands, a musical "tattoo" (competition), processions and a night parade on Tues Aug 4. For all the info, call +33 (0)6 34 41 86 29 or click here and here. *The 98th annual Lavender Fair (Foire de la Lavande) is August 19 to 23. Over a five-day period, stroll more than 200 stands offering every possible lavender product plus gourmet fare, decor, gifts and more. For info call +33 (0)4 92 31 05 20 or click hereCANCELLED FOR 2020. DATES FOR 2020 TBA.

L’ISLE-SUR-LA-SORGUE: The 53-year-old, twice-a-year antiques fair in pretty Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was formerly known as the Foire Internationale d’Arts et d’Antiquités. It's now called "l’Isle sur la Sorgue Antiques Art & You"...but I trust everyone will just keep calling it “The Big Antiques Fair” as they always have! And very big it is indeed...one of the biggest in Europe, with 100,000 visitors expected at each of two shows. It happens in Spring (usually Easter weekend) and again in late summer. The 2020 dates are April 10 to 23 and August 13 to 16. You'll find roughly 550 vendors selling all over town, including the 300 or stall-holders and shops that normally call Isle-sur-la-Sorgue home. Look for antiques and brocante, ancient books, design decoration, vintage pieces, artistic works and much more. I’m told you’ll also find personal shoppers and restoration specialists on hand, along with decorators and stylists. The April event is themed “Vintage” while the August event’s theme is still to be decided, but will be more universal as it's a more-popular show. The fair is produced by AntiquesArt & You and all the info is on their site here.

L’ISLE-SUR-LA-SORGUE: The famous Floating Market happens every year on the morning of the first Sunday of August (August 2, 2020). Flat-bottomed boats known as "Nego-Chin" are decorated with flowers and filled with local products; they float down the river and dock along the river banks, with locals in colorful costumes on board. For info, click here.

LACOSTE:  Lacoste's old stone quarries and chateau provide the unique backdrop and exceptional acoustics for this summer festival, presented by Pierre Cardin and now scheduled for August 1 to 22, 2020. The program includes music, theater and dance. €10-120. festivaldelacoste.com, 04 90 75 93 12.


LA ROQUE D’ANTHERON: 40th Annual International Piano Festival. Originally set for July 18 to August 18, 2020, the dates have been changed to August 1 to 21, 2020. Considered by many to be the most important piano festival in the world. Normally the concerts are in multiple outdoor and indoor venues but this year, everything will be held at Le Parc du Château de Florans. festival-piano.com.


LOURMARIN: The Summer Music Festival has not been cancelled; the dates are July 20 to Oct 10, 2020. In the Chateau or on its terraces, enjoy concerts of classical music with award-winning artists..and a selection of films. Concerts are indoors, films and otherr events will be outdoors. This is a lovely opportunity to visit a village classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France.” +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,  chateau-de-lourmarin.com or click here.

MONTE CARLO: Monte Carlo Sporting Summer Festival of Live Music, July/August, 2020. For info, click here or sportingsummerfestival.com.

ORANGE: Les Chorégies d’Orange - the oldest festival in France - offers opera, lyrical and symphonic concerts in a stunning Roman amphitheater, a semi-circular space seating 9,000. Go early, get parked, eat nearby and bring cushions! The Chorégies festival is held annually from June through August; this year’s dates are June 19 to August 1, 2020. choregies.fr.

ROBION: Every Thursday evening in July and August, the Luberon winery Domaine des Peyre (which also offers overnight stays) hosts Jazz 'N Wine rendezvous. Enjoy wine, food trucks and jazz in the courtyard. domainedespeyre.com

SAULT: The famous Fete de la Lavande de Sault (Lavender Festival), one of the biggest in the region, will be August 15, 2020. The full program is here.

VAISON LA ROMAINE: The Choralies de Vaison presents nine days of singing, concerts, workshops and more. The event happens every three years and the next one will be in Aug 2022; exact dates TBA. choralies.org+33 (0)4 72 19 83 40.

VALLABREGUES: The 31st-Annual Basket Making Festival or Fete de la Vannerie will be Sat and Sun Aug 8 and 9, 2020. Basket weaving is traditional and unique to Vallabregues; the close proximity to the Rhone River insured that there were always plenty of willows nearby. Vallabregues was once the biggest basket-producer in France, back when baskets were widely in use for transport and myriad other purposes. Today this annual festival attracts basket-makers from all over Europe, who come to celebrate and perpetuate this fast-disappearing craft with a full weekend's worth of events. Look for 80 exhibitors, a parade, live music throughout the weekend, a paella dinner, fireworks, basket-making workshops, a basket-themed art expo and more. Home-made baskets are displayed in front of houses, shops sell baskets and there's a wonderful museum devoted to the history and handicraft. +33 (0)4 66 59 26 57, info@ot-terredargence.fr or click here or here.

VALREAS: The first weekend in August, Valreas celebrates lavender with a beautiful parade of lavender-bedecked floats, accompanied by Provencal folk music, dance groups and musicians. This year's dates are August 1 to 3, 2020. For info, click here

SEPTEMBER

ALL OVER FRANCE: The 2020 Tour de France, set for June 27 to July 19, 2020, was postponed due to Covid. New dates are August 29 to Sept 20, 2020. For all the info, click here

ALL OVER FRANCE: The next French Heritage Days (Journées du Patrimoine) will be September 19 and 20, 2020. That's when you get free access to historic sites and museums and other wonderful places that are normally closed to the public throw open their doors. See my most recent story here and the website here for this year's details.

ALL OVER FRANCE: 10th Annual Tous au Restaurant promotion, September, 2020, with dates TBA. Get two-for-one deals on special menus in hundreds of restaurants. Chefs prepare a special prix-fixe menu of an appetizer, main course, and dessert. The first guest chooses this menu, and the second guest receives the same menu for free (drinks may be included or not). tousaurestaurant.com/en.

ARLES: The dates for the Rencontres d'Arles, the large international photo expo, are June 29 to Sept 20, 2020. The main events (openings, conferences, special evening parties, talks and tours) almost all happen during opening week. Certain exhibits remain on view until the very end; others come down sooner. For info in English, click hereThe 2020 Rencontres festival is cancelled. Dates for 2021 to be announced.

ARLES: The Feria du Riz (Rice Festival) will be Sept 12 and 13, 2020. The main event is bullfighting, but a horse festival and the popular foodie event Camargue Gourmande are also part of the Feria.  One week before the Feria the Espace Toro is set up in the Gimeaux corral, where you can see the bulls that will be used during the Feria du Riz, learn about  the different types of bullfights and more.  All the info is here.

AVIGNON: The Vibrations sound and light show has become a super popular annual summer and early fall evening event. The 2020 dates have yet to be announced but last year it ran from mid August to mid October, 2019.  This is a dramatic 30-minute sound-and-light show using the latest videomapping techniques, taking place each evening  in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes. In August, there are two shows each evening at 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm, while September and October feature one performance at 9.30 pm nightly (plus a second show at 10.30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights only in September). For all the info, click here.


AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

CASSIS: 11th annual Vendanges Etoilées Festival, September, 2020, dates TBA. Chefs and vineyards offer demos and tastings of the wines of Cassis, which has the oldest registered AOC (designation of origin) in France. Les-vendanges-etoilees.com.


LOURMARIN: The Summer Music Festival has not been cancelled; the dates are July 20 to Oct 10, 2020. In the Chateau or on its terraces, enjoy concerts of classical music with award-winning artists..and a selection of films. Concerts are indoors, films and otherr events will be outdoors. This is a lovely opportunity to visit a village classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France.” +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,  chateau-de-lourmarin.com or click here.

NÎMES: The big Feria des Vendanges (September 16 to 20, 2020)--the second féria of the year in Nîmes and now one of the largest festive events in France--marks the wine harvest and also the end of the temporada (the bullfighting season). This means three days of festivities throughout the city, featuring bullfights, Camargue traditions including bulls driven through the streets, bands, bodegas (pop-up bars), dancing in the streets and a great atmosphere! For all the info, click here. *Note this info is confirmed as of July 6, 2020.

SAINT-REMY: 11th Annual Jazz à Saint-Remy will be in September, 2020 at the Alpilium. Reserve online or at the Tourist Office. jazzasaintremy.fr

SAINT-TROPEZ: Sept 19 to Oct 5, 2020: The 21st edition of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, with a selection of the finest traditional and modern yachts in the world. More than 300 sailboats will gather in this exceptional setting to race in the same zone for a week. Witness traditional yachts that are majestic “works of art” side-by-side with new-generation boats featuring cutting-edge technology. 
Lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

OCTOBER


AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

AVIGNON: The Vibrations sound and light show has become a super popular annual summer and early fall evening event. The 2020 dates have yet to be announced but last year it ran from mid August to mid October, 2019.  This is a dramatic 30-minute sound-and-light show using the latest videomapping techniques, taking place each evening  in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes. In August, there are two shows each evening at 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm, while September and October feature one performance at 9.30 pm nightly (plus a second show at 10.30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights only in September). For all the info, click here.

LOURMARIN: The Summer Music Festival has not been cancelled; the dates are July 20 to Oct 10, 2020. In the Chateau or on its terraces, enjoy concerts of classical music with award-winning artists..and a selection of films. Concerts are indoors, films and otherr events will be outdoors. This is a lovely opportunity to visit a village classified as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France.” +33 (04) 90 68 15 23,  chateau-de-lourmarin.com or click here.

NIMES: Les Grand Jeux Romains – Caesar & the Conquest of Rome. Arènes de Nîmes (October 23 to 25, 2020).  Enjoy an afternoon of excitement and thrills at this unique event, which has become the biggest historical re-enactment of ancient history in Europe, in the world’s finest surviving Roman amphitheatre. Featuring over 500 re-enactors from all over Europe, this year’s theme, ‘Caesar & The Conquest of Rome” traces the epic saga of the power struggle between Caesar and Pompey, including battles, sieges and more – and of course the ever-popular chariot race! For details click here. This event was confirmed as of July 6, 2020.


ST. REMY: À la rencontre des savoir-faire des Alpilles" will be in October 2020, dates TBA. A lovely weekend event designed to celebrate all the artistic craftsmanship and know-how of the Alpilles region, in food, wine, crafts and more. Roughly 30 companies, shops and people are participating. See the full program HERE.

SAINT-TROPEZ: Sept 19 to Oct 5, 2020: The 21st edition of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, with a selection of the finest traditional and modern yachts in the world. More than 300 sailboats will gather in this exceptional setting to race in the same zone for a week. Witness traditional yachts that are majestic “works of art” side-by-side with new-generation boats featuring cutting-edge technology. Lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr

NOVEMBER

ARLES: Provence Prestige is a large and lovely indoor holiday market featuring all-local products: food, wine, sweets, home decor, clothing, arts and crafts, books, Christmas specialties and more. November 2020, dates TBD. Info here


AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

CHATEAURENARD: The Foire de la Toussaint, which heralds back to the Middle Ages, happens every year in November, with 350 or so exhibitors from all over France. In Centre Ville. 04 90 24 35 35.

FONTVIEILLE: 13th Annual Foie Gras Festival, November 2020, dates TBA. Foie gras and other gourmet products galore; stop by Les Halles in the morning to reserve for lunch! Organized by the Le Lions Club Paradou Les Alpilles.
MONTE CARLO: Monte Carlo Jazz Festival, November, 2019. For info, click 
here

NICE: Alpes-Maritimes/Nice-Cannes Marathon: November 8, 2020, marathon06.com

NÎMES: Nimagine: Salon des Createurs. November, 2020, dates TBA. In a large, indoor space, more than 150 exhibitors discuss and sell their work. Handicrafts, art, jewelry, decor and much more. Info here

NÎMES: Salon des Antiquaires. 2020 dates TBA but it's usually in very late Nov or early Dec. Info 
here.

DECEMBER

All OVER THE BOUCHES DU RHONE: The 28th annual Les Chants de Noel presents 63 free Christmas concerts across the region, throughout the month of December, including a number of major concerts in "emblematic" venues. Programs include gospel, jazz flamenco and more. All details are here.

AIX: The city stages a large, very atmospheric Christmas market every year on the Cours Mirabeau. The 2020 dates haven't been announced but they're usually from the third week in November to the end of the year. Aix Tourist Office.

AVIGNON:  Every month, there's a large one-day Antiques Market for Professionals at the Parc des Expositions, organized by Avignon Antiquities. Thousands of professionals from around the world meet to buy and sell. International freight forwarders are on hand to arrange packing, shipping and customs formalities. Access is only to professionals and info on getting credentials is on the site here. The calendar of markets in 2020 is here.

LES BAUX: Throughout December and early January, Les Baux hosts "animations, ateliers, traditions, expositions and observations."  Either just go up and see what's happening or check in with the les Baux Tourist Office for details. lesbauxdeprovence.com.

LYON: The city will be beautifully ablaze with sound and light installations again, during the annual Fete de Lumières. It's not Provence of course but if you haven't seen it, it's a must. Specific dates to be announced, in December 2019. All the info is here.

NICE: Christmas in Nice, Christmas Market and Village. Dates to be announced but it usually runs from Dec 1 to Jan 1. Info is here



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