Cicadas, Cherries et Chaleur!
It’s full summer here in Provence. The cigales are singing (quite loudly I must say!) and the sunflowers and lavender are in full bloom. The ballet (or science?) of knowing when to open and close your shutters has been mastered for all those without air conditioning. We’ve gotten back into the habit of the afternoon sieste, and getting together with friends over copious glasses of rosé. Make sure to look out for small signs in town of fête du Pistou (delicious local pesto soup evenings in the main village squares). There’s so much to do, other than “farniente” (to do nothing while soaking up the sun) that I don’t even know where to start! Especially if you’re a music lover! Here is my selection of the most interesting events happening around the Bouches du Rhone and Vaucluse regions of Provence. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.
Juillet en Provence
Fête du Costume – Arles
Witness the crowning of the new queen of Arles and see the beautiful Arlesienne costumes all around town.
9h00 Mass at St Trophime
10h30 Parade towards the theatre from Place de la Republique
10h45 Free entry into the Antique Theatre
Mondial la Marseillaise a Pétanque – Marseille
The world championship of pétanque, ya that’s right. We take it seriously around here. 5 different locations in Marseille. You can even enter the competition. Click the link to find out how.
2 juillet- 23 septembre
Rencontres d’Arles – Arles
Large photography exhibition (40 exhibits) around the town of Arles. Many of the exhibitions are held in historical buildings. This is a great way to see the city. This year’s theme is the future. Always a must on my list.
Festival d’Aix en Provence Art Lyrique (music) – Aix en Provence
Want to see an Opera in Aix? There’s lots to choose from during this festival.
July 5-August 4th
Les Chorégies d’Orange – Orange
Opera in an antique Roman theatre? This is your chance to see it.
Festival d’Avignon (72nd Theatre Festival in Avignon)*
This is a large festival full of free and paying dance, theatre, music and lectures. See the full program on the link above. I’ve already reserved my tickets! The ambiance in town is wonderful but busy!
Championnat du Monde de Soupe au Pistou – Miramas
The world championship for the best Pistou soup, a local and delicious dish. It’s all day long because cutting the veggies takes so long! Prizes for the best soup and most attractive stand. Really fun to see the teams cooking.
Place Jourdan en centre ville
Tour de France! Who are you rooting for?
The largest cycling event of the year, Le Tour de France. My man can watch it on tv for hours…he say’s it’s the scenery…
Feria du Melon (Melon festival) – Cavaillon
The town famous for it’s melons (grow up! haha) hold a festival in honour of the gourd.
Festival Les Suds – Arles
World music festival with 60 concerts
Country Roque Festival – Roque d’Antheron
This is an odd mecca of French Harley-lovers and Americana merchandise with lots of French fries and line dancing. A surreal experience in France.
Fête de la figue longue noir de Caromb – Caromb
The town known for this specific type of fig celebrates it’s produce during the day of festivities.
Fête des Vins – Vacqueyras
Annual wine festival in a town known for it’s wine. This can’t be a bad day...
14 Fête national/Bastille Day – all over France
This is France’s day to honour their liberté, fraternity, égalité. Just about every town will have live music, dancing and fireworks.
Fête du Melon et Terrior – Pernes les Fontaines
Festival to celebrate the melon and all that is delicious about it.
Fête de la Lavande – Valensole
This is when a lot of the lavender is distilled (already ah!) and there’s singing and a parade in town to celebrate the crop. The air will smell amazing!
Marché de l’Abricot – Le Barroux
Producer direct to consumer apricot market. Apricots are amazing in a tarte tatin. Also my favourite jam. And juice!
Jazz sous les étoiles – St Remy de Provence
9pm at the Alpillium
Swing Ambassadors septet et Susanna Sheiman
Marché Potier – Pernes les Fontaines
32 ceramic artists exhibit their work at this annual market.
Fête des Côtes du Ventoux – Bédoin
16h-23h. Ventoux wine region street festival. Fun!
Le Marché des Talents d’Ici (artisan market) – Pernes les Fontaines (garden of Tourist office)
Festival Jazz 5 Continents – Marseille
World Jazz festival.
20 – 18 August
Festival International de Piano – Roque d’Anthéron
This town comes alive with all kinds f international musicians that are masters of their craft, the piano.
Oppède Festival (music and comedy) – Oppède
Fête du Miel – Goult
Market with many producers (and good prices) of honey in this lovely town. Taste all the many many varieties, and see demonstrations of how the honey is extracted.
“Non Solo Medeo” – Vaison la Romaine (in Roman theatre)
National Ballet of Marseille performs a mixed piece inspired by classical works.
Festival de Martigues – Martigues
Music and dance from around the world visit this quaint waterfront town.
Fête des Traditions Provençales – Plaisians
Festival celebrating everything Provençal from producers, aioli, vide grenier, demonstrations on beekeeping, vintage farming tractors, making soap etc and a large soup au pistou with lamb and vin a volenté!! (all you can drink wine) reservations for the meal must be made before the 23rd of july. The meal is also only around 8 pm so keep this in mind!
Fête du Vin de de l’Artisanat d’Art (Wine festival with New Orleans street music)- Ste Remy de Provence
31 juillet- 2 août
Fête de la Véraison/Fête Médiéval – Châteauneuf du Pape
This is the celebration of the ripening of the grapes. Wine is offered for free around town from a barrel on the back of a donkey. Quite the experience!
Happy Hour en Musique – Cucuron
Every Thursday night for the summer the tarasse at La Cavale holds a happy hour with music from 18h to 21h. There’s even a food truck too!
See: Multiple Classical concerts at the Chateau de Lourmarin all summer.
Les Good Trucks – Barbentane
Food trucks assemble to give us a little bit of hipster lifestyle in the countryside. Every Tuesday.
I literally tried going to this every Tuesday last summer and couldn’t make it. I will not let it escape me this year!
Picasso – Marseille Mucem
An exhibition celebrating the mastery of Picasso, a common theme this year in museums all around France.