What’s On

What’s on in Brittany 2016?

Art Rock (Saint-Brieuc) – May/June, the Art Rock festival kicks off the season to a host of Breton festivals that have as many episodes as a hit TV series.

Festival of Brittany: May – Concerts, exhibitions, ‘fest-noz’, markets…Since 2009, the Fête de la Bretagne has more than 300 events organised all over Brittany.

Peuples & Nature (People and Nature) Photo Festival – (La Gacilly) June to September – Whether the shots are in black and white or in colour, green is always a major player at the Peuples & Nature Photo Festival in La Gacilly. Focusing specifically on the environment, this is an arts event that fully intends to become part of the landscape.

Tour de France (Mont St Michel) – Saturday, July 2nd sees the start of this year’s epic bike race from Brittany’s most visited tourist location. Can this be the year that last year’s winner Chris Froome defends his title?

Tall ships (Douarnenez) July – Every two years, hundreds of traditional sailing ships from all over the world converge on Douarnenez for a festival weekend. It’s an amazing sight! Go to Port Rhu to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy concerts on the quayside and sail out to sea on a boat-trip you’ll never forget.

Tall ships (Brest) – July This promises to be one of the largest international tall ships events in 2016. To celebrate a very special relationships between France and the USA, L’Hermione and USCG Barque Eagle will be in attendance among hundreds of other vessels.

L’Art dans les Chapelles (Art in the Chapels) – (Blavet Valley) July to September – A completely unique experience: each summer, contemporary art and religious art come together with thought-provoking results.

Vieilles Charrues – (Carhaix) July– Whilst the line-up at the Vieilles Charrues changes every year, for over 20 years its recipe for success has remained the same with a mix of eclecticism and conviviality, legends, and legends in the making. Five stages, 80 artists and 230,000 spectators…This festival really is a must!

Fêtes Historiques de Vannes – (Vannes) July – With some 272 edifices classified as Historical Monuments, behind its city walls Vannes, the capital of Morbihan, hides a past charged with history. Every year at the Fêtes Historiques, the town proudly re-enacts its long life story.

Festival Le Cornouaille – (Quimper) July – Dedicated to the sheer richness and diversity of Breton culture, the Festival de Cornouaille is a cultural cornucopia, and even though it is now nearly ninety years old, this festival is still as youthful as ever.

Astropolis – (Brest) July – Every summer for nearly 20 years, there’s been a rave-olution in Brest. Astropolis brings together the ultimate in techno, for a festival that parties along at lightning speed.

Les Tombées de la Nuit (Nightfalls) – (Rennes) July – A truly unique festival, Les Tombées de la Nuit (Nightfall) brings street art and performance into the spotlight and offers artists and inhabitants a chance to come face to face in some rather unexpected places. Every year, in early summer, surprise and wonderment take over in the streets of Rennes.

Jazz in Vannes: July/August – What is there to do in Vannes? Sip a Cuba Libre cocktail? Why not, especially when you can take in a jazz concert at the same time.

Sound and light shows at Bon-Repos Abbey, Saint-Gelven – July/August – Every summer for more than 25 years, Bon-Repos abbey has become a stage at nightfall, where you can watch the story of Central Brittany unfold, from Neolithic times to the Chouan uprising at the end of the 18th century – all shown in an amazing ‘son et lumière’ sound and light show. Starts when it gets dark!

Festival Interceltique de Lorient: August – Each summer, around 700,000 people from all over the world invade the Celtic land of Lorient for the Festival Interceltique. From Galicia to Scotland, the cream of Celtic music can be found here, to be enjoyed in a really convivial atmosphere.

Route du Rock (Saint-Malo) August – Every year, pop is in the air around Saint-Malo. The Route du Rock is back, entirely dedicated to American and British rock bands and attracting around 15,000 festival-goers to the pirate city.

Les Filets Bleus (Blue Fishing Nets) – (Concarneau) August – Over a hundred years old, the Filets Bleus festival takes place every August, when it gives the town of Concarneau and its inhabitants an opportunity to go back to their roots. A typically Breton-flavoured costumed parade, with dancing and games that have no need whatsoever for artificial colouring.

“Calvaries illuminations”: August – From Léon to Cornouaille via Morbihan, every year Brittany’s calvaries or roadside crosses, are illuminated to reveal their original colours. Come and see the show.

Festival du Film Britannique (Festival of British Cinema) – Dinard: October – Who will win the Golden Hitchcock award? Every Autumn, the same wave of suspense grips Dinard’s version of La Croisette in Cannes. Caesar can keep his César, the British Film Festival has Hitchcock for a mascot, and this is one festival where you won’t need subtitles!

Quai des Bulles Festival (Saint-Malo) October – This is certainly a date that has been circled in Brittany’s calendar of cultural events. The last weekend in October is when some 400 comic strip artists get together at the Quai des Bulles Festival in Saint-Malo.