Events and festivals on French Riviera

The Cote d’Azur is abuzz with glitz and glamour all year round but it’s the summer months that really get the party started on France’s sought-after south coast. Events and festivals are held every month and range from theatre performances and music festivals to cinematography celebrations and yacht races. A-listers, millionaires, and outright party people flock to the shores of the Mediterranean for a summer to remember as seaside towns and secluded beaches become the stomping ground for a summer of fun. Below we take a look at some of the best events and festivals on the Côte d’Azur and provide a handy event guide to help you plan your dream trip.

Top Events and Festivals in the French Riviera - Nice Carnival - Cannes Film Festival - Monaco Grand Prix - FranceRent

Nice Carnival 
Nice Carnival is a bold display of all things theatrical and attracts nearly 1 million visitors every year! The festival is often compared to Brazil’s Rio Carnival and although Nice’s carnival takes place in the winter months, the event still gathers large crowds and puts on quite a show for spectators. This year the theme is ‘King of Fashion’ and you can expect a flashy show of costume, colors, and culture. 
When: February 15th - 29th 2020

Fete du Citron
Spread across 15 days and running night and day, the Fete du Citron celebrates the end of winter on the Cote d’Azur and every year thousands of spectators gather to watch the spectacular parade. The parade floats are famously made of lemons and oranges and represent the beginning of spring. The Exhibition of Citrus Patterns, Golden Fruit Parade, and Garden of Lights are festival highlights. 
When: February 15th - March 3rd, 2020

Mimosa Festival
Every year in February the small commune of Mandelieu-La Napoule, located just southwest of Cannes, celebrates the Mimosa flower which was first discovered here more than a century ago. Locals gather to celebrate the flowering of the Mimosa and festival highlights include a flower parade, an inaugural event in the chapel, and the election of the Mimosa Queen. The eight-day festival is quite unique and is the perfect way to soak up the local culture. 
When: February 19th - 26th 2020

Gardens Festival
The Festival de Jardins is a garden party that stretches along the French Riviera throughout the month of April every year. In the cities of Cannes, Antibes, Grasse, Menton, and Nice over 200 events are organized and local gardens are elected by the public to be judged for the title of ‘Most Beautiful Garden on the Cote d’Azur’. Visit the coast at this time of year and you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of landscaped and manicured gardens. 
When: March 30th - April 28th, 2020

Cannes Film Festival
Dating back to 1946 the Cannes Film Festival is an annual celebration of the big screen and takes a look at some of the best independent productions and international cinematography of the year. Film genres, writing, and production style all come under scrutiny at the festival which brings Hollywood’s elite to the glistening shores of the Cote d’Azur. While the festival is for film professionals only, the general public can enjoy the opening ceremony from the sidelines.
When: May 12th - 23rd 2020

Monaco Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is an annual motor race that takes place at the Circuit de Monaco in the last weekend of May. The acclaimed formula one track is arguably one of the best technical tracks in the world and spectators can watch in awe as their favorite drivers navigate the tight hairpins and winding roads of Monte Carlo.
When: May 24th, 2020

Nice Jazz Festival
The Nice Jazz Festival is a legendary event and one of the oldest celebrations of jazz music in the country. Today the festival is an international gathering of old and new talent and boasts two stages where bands perform late into the evening for five straight days. 
When: July 17th - 21st 2020

Jazz a Juan Festival
The Jazz a Juan festival is an annual jazz festival that takes place in Juan-les-Pins a small town on the Riviera. The town is the sister city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and as such the festival is an eclectic mix of both French and New Orleans jazz. Throughout the day, bands parade down the iconic Boulevard Edouard Baudoin past the famous handprints (think Hollywood Walk of Fame) of previous jazz performers. 
When: July 9th - 22nd 2020

Plages Electroniques 
Dubbed as one of Europe’s biggest beach parties, Plages Electroniques is a summer music festival that takes place over three days in August. Attracting festival-goers from every corner of the globe, the electronic music festival invites guests to dance on La Croisette beach late into the night to a mix of minimal techno and funky house music. 
When: August 7th - 9th 2020

Cannes Yachting Festival
The Cannes Yachting Festival is one of the most well-known events on the south coast and every year thousands of spectators gather in Port Pierre Canto to admire million-dollar yachts and witness some of the best sailings in the Mediterranean. The festival, which was founded in 1977, showcases over 600 boats including motor yachts, superyachts, catamarans, and sailing yachts. Make sure you catch one of the in-water shows that take place at both Vieux Port and Port Pierre Canto. 
When: September 8th - 13th 2020

Top Events and Festivals in the French Riviera - Nice Carnival - Cannes Film Festival - Monaco Grand Prix - FranceRent

Whether you want to party on a beach, catch a glimpse of A-listers walking the red carpet, or attend one of the best jazz festivals on the Cote d'Azur, the French Riviera’s events calendar has plenty on offer to suit all tastes. To ensure you have the summer of a lifetime, be sure to book event tickets, flights, transportation, and accommodation well in advance.

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