From theatre to markets to sound and light shows, southern France caters it all. What more dost you need ? Some music, some merry-making and little bit of that thing you call scenery. Here’s why you must head to France this summer ~
Held in the Gallo-Roman theatres of Fourvière, Les Nuits de Fourviere is a celebration of performing arts. From music to theatre to opera and dance, the festival invites both local and international artists to participate. The festival avoids setting norms or themes believing this would limit the creativity of art. Participants include artists who are lesser known along with artists who are pioneers in their field. What results is a burst of creativity and the best exhibit of all performing arts.
When : 1st June – 31st July
Where : Lyon
When: 15th August
Where: Sault, Provence
This one is a walk in the park. Literally! Well, almost. The French take their ingredients seriously – no complaints here. Held in Provence, known as the lavender capital of the world, this day is about everything lavender. Leave it to the experienced adults to organize a lavender cutting championship. For the others, a walk around along the stalls set up is all one needs to soak in some lavender love. From farm products, to a book fair and even an exhibition of the local village crafts – the day is packed. The children are treated to a pony ride program and an excursion to the bee-hive that produces lavender honey. And as dusk approaches, a closing concert is all you need for that perfect ending – among purple silhouettes and a dark, snug sky.
Lebeaume en Musiques
When: 9th July – 20th August
Where: Ardèche, Labeaume
Music is in the air. It truly is at the Lebeaume en Musiques festival. Featuring a potpourri of music from classical to world, the focus here is on setting of the stage. No elaborate concert halls with grand chandeliers here. None of that balcony setting – well, you get the drift. What makes this event unique is how performances are organized among natural settings – from the Aven d’Orgnac cave to a beach backed setting to even a disused quarry that is touted to serve as a perfect amphitheatre. The idea is to sync performances with an ideal location that will somehow elevate the quality of music. The cave, for instance, allows acoustics to resound in complete harmony.
When: 7th August
Where: Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence
“By the river Sorgue, I leaned in to buy groceries,” – yes, it is a twist on the title of an amazing book. But this fascinating event deserves excuse. Decked colourfully and stocked with local products like wine, olives, fruits and vegetables flat-bottomed boats called Nego-Chin are the event’s show stoppers. This yearly event has fishermen’s families dressed in local attire and carrying along local produce that they set up in stalls by the river. A variety of items make it to the stalls here – from the delectable cheeses to tablecloths to antiques and even soaps.
When: Starts on 10th August
Revel in the the sound and light show designed by Bruno Seillier. The 35 minute grandiose show is an original. Using video production, music and light manipulation the story narrating the history of the building, city and the region is told. The effect created elevates the audience so much that it seems like an alternate reality. At the bank of river Rhone, this annual sound-and-light show is a must watch.
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