This is the 2017 calendar for festivals and events of all kinds in the Charente-Maritime, a coastal destination of note situated in the heart of the French Atlantic coast. From jazz music to the classics, from films to rock concerts, from brass bands to violins, from cognac to water-sports – there are festivals to suit every age, taste and interest.
Pierre Loti Country Music Festival –20th – 27th May 2017
The Pierre Loti Country Music Festival was set up in 2005 by Julien Masmondet to give the people of the Charente quality classical music played in the places Pierre loved most as a young local boy. Loti is a local hero and is often referred to as the “father of eclecticism”. The concerts take place in St.Pierre d’Oléron, St.Georges d’Oléron, Le Château d’Oléron and Marennes.
The 42nd International Film Festival is held in La Rochelle. In 2012, 82,429 spectators watched 389 performances of 142 long films and 61 shorts.
The Francofolies – La Rochelle -12th – 16th July 2017
The 33rd edition of the popular “Francos” will welcome the usual sprinkling of international and national guests including young talent starting out on the road to fame and fortune. This year’s festival will include Julien Doré, DJ Snake, Soprano, Renaud, Black M and much much more.
The classical music Saintes Festival will take place in the Abbaye aux Dames in the centre of Saintes. The concerts feature music from the present day back to the Renaissance.
Abbey of Fontdouce Festival Saint Bris-des-Bois – 17th – 21st July 2016
The Abbey of Fontdouce Festival features classical, piano and jazz music in an astonishing historic venue with some of the biggest names in the business. The setting is exceptional and very beautiful with surrounding vineyards and gardens. An eco-festival has taken place at the same time for the last four years.
After a successful first outing last year, this prestgious and popular brass instrument festival, the Surgères Brass Festival, takes place in the surroundings of the castle.
Violin Sur Le Sable – Royan 21st – 30th July 2017 22.00
One cannot fail to be seduced by the classical music, the sandy beach, the symphony orchestras, the stars, the operatic voices, the dancing – the Violin on the Sand is a unique experience. The audience is seated on the beach facing the ocean under the stars to listen to beautiful music. This al fresco “concert hall”, now in its 30th year, welcomes 50,000 guests every night.
The Summer Sound Festival was voted the third best festival in France in 2015 and the most important electric music festival in the south-west. In the lovely setting of the historic Corderie Royale, there are 32 hours of exceptional concerts taking place featuring both domestic and international talent.
The Motte à Siecq Festival has something for everyone, both young and old. There are shows and workshops taking place in the shadow of the old chestnut tree wood that pays testament to the myths and mysteries of the past. Beautifully decorated and lit this festival has an intimacy and conviviality that makes it quite exceptional.
Fort Boyard Challenge – 16th – 17th September 2017
The 12th edition of the Fort Boyard Challenge, sponsored by the French World Windsurfing Champion, Antoine Albeau, is a long-distance windsurf trek that brings together 200 participants poised to defy the mythical Fort Boyard. Alongside, are contests for paddle boarding and the outrigger canoe.
During winter time, beyond the sleeping vineyards, distilleries start to change wine into brandy. The warmth inside brings out the scent of a future great Cognac. This fundamental moment in the process of the manufacture of Cognac is when many craftsmen choose to open their doors and deliver the secrets of their ancestral know-how. There is an active programme of visits to the vineyards, tours, selling Cognac at the cellar door, restaurants, site exploration – – in other words a diversified approach throughout the Cognac Appellation.
Additional Sports Events 2017
Tour of Ile de Ré – 26th – 28th May 2017
World Championship Beach Ultimate – 18th – 24th June 2017
European Cup of Hot-air Ballooning – 3rd – 5th August 2017
Poitou-Charentes Cycling Tour – 22nd-25th August 2017
La Rochelle Autumn Rally – 3rd – 5th November 2017