©Pierre Le Gallo

Festivals: Amuse and Amaze

Dance under the stars to the beat of world music. Ogle at 5-story high projections of Van Gogh’s paintings. Watch the Air Force paint the sky red, white, and blue. Festivals and sporting events give you a front row seat to the pleasures of Provence.

Get your groove on in Marseille

Shimmy and shake in Provence’s most happening city. Keeping to the beat of Marseille’s melting pot multiculturalism, the Fiesta des Suds stars DJs, guitarists, rappers, and musicians from every corner of the globe. The 3-day festival and urban dance party is set on outdoor stages and intimate spaces in a former port warehouse, the Docks.  This year’s fun kicks off October 10th – 12th 2019.

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Get rocked by Van Gogh

Find awe-inspiring art in a former rock quarry. At the Carrières deLumières, famous paintings are projected onto soaring stone walls. Each year the artist changes – 2019 invites you to stroll through 20-meter high versions of Starry Night and other hits. The expo lasts until January 5, 2020. If you can, book your ticket in advance to avoid a wait. And leave time to explore the nearby medieval village of Les Baux de Provence.

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Light up your night at the Palais des Papes

Marvel at a multi-sensory, multi-colored, 360° video show at Avignon’s grand dame, the Palais des Papes. Vibrations brings the palace’s 14th-century courtyard to life in a wholly original, immersive experience. To warm up before the show, grab a glass at the Carré du Palais, a mecca of Vallée du Rhône wine located steps from the palace. Vibrations runs until October 12th.

Find festivals in unexpected places

The tiny Provençal village of Caderousse gets a giant jolt at Electro-day – an all day and night electronic music festival set besides the Rhone. Towards the Alps, in Digne-les-Bains, the Au Top festival celebrates the work of a local art collective that has transformed the 1950’s Top movie theater into a cool cultural space.  Both fêtes are happening on Aug. 31st – which one will you choose?

Get your thrills at top sporting events 

Witness over 300 boats at “Les Voiles,” the celebrated sailing event that brings bonhomie to Saint-Tropez Sept. 28 – Oct. 6. Hurtle down hills at the Roc d’Azur, the Var’s all-level mountain bike event from Oct. 9 – Oct. 13. At the same time, check out the first annual French cycling fair in Fréjus and l’Esterel. Gallop to the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show on Oct. 12-13 for an equestrian weekend. Marvel at the Air Force’s aerial prowess at the Free Flight World Masters Sept. 13- Sept. 14.