From a slumbering giant ‘feature’ and zen sandpit to a vertical veggie patch and the odd field of freshly-potted parasols, since 1992 the International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-Loire has regaled the masses with its zany flights of fancy, jumble of outlandish topiaries and highly-conceptual oases. A self-touted “laboratory for contemporary design”, over the decades the edgy gardens cornucopia on the sprawling grounds of the Château de Chaumont has earned kudos as a breeding ground for creatives and green-fingered mavericks –…
Activism meets thought-provoking photography at La Gacilly Festival in Brittany. From climate change to the plight of sub-Saharan people, the open-air photo festival explores the often fraught relationship between humans and their environment.
Dedicated to 'romantic' cinema (in the broadest sense, this is no chick-flick bonanza) it has quite the track record unearthing fresh talent. Marion Cotillard was awarded best actress at Cabourg long before anyone knew her name. Best of all, screenings are open to the public!
Bordeaux Fête Le Vin is turning 20 this summer. And France's largest (and most potent) wine fest has quite the birthday bash in store, with four packed days of demos, vineyard tours and non-stop quaffing... The city will welcome the international Tall Ships Regatta for the occasion.
Featuring the hottest new releases along with classics and short films, Sacramento's annual festival is a favourite with French movie buffs. Stick around for the post-screening discussions.
The big kahuna of performing arts, the Avignon Festival doesn't shy away from controversial or left-field drama. From genre-bending shows to headline-grabbing political satire, the art fest doesn't do light and fluffy.
New Orleans knows how to throw a party, but this Bastille Day bash promises to go down in history. To mark the city's Tricentennial, the Alliance Française and a roster of French-American organisations are teaming up to put on a two-day extravaganza at NOMA.
An event every year that begins at 12:00am on of July, repeating indefinitely
Fe up with the same old military parade, firemen's ball and fireowkrs? We give you the Mât Incliné - hands down one of France's zaniest Bastille Day revels. Held in Honfleur, Calvados, every July 14, the kooky challenge sees speedo-clad (for the most part) patriots run up a soap-lathered pole poised at a 30-degree angle over water. Pourqoui? We hear you ask. Why, to grab the flag at its tip, of course.
Prepare to travel back in time at the Hillwood Estate's 18th-century themed Bastille Day revels. With Baroque music and dance, period costumes and even courtly etiquette lessons (!), you'll feel like one of Louis XVI's foppish courtiers - before it all went south...
From back to Vivaldi, the pioneers of Baroque Music are honoured every year at the festival Sinfonia en Perigord. More than 20 artists perform a selection of the era's most symbolic polyphonies and masterpieces and the "Cycle Jeunes Talents" programme showcases the best of his generation's own young talent. www.sinfonia-en-perigord.com