Nantes’ Summer of Music

The people of Nantes love a good party so, it’s just as well there are loads of musical events taking place from June to September in and around the city. It’s the perfect chance to explore the area from a whole new perspective and meet all sorts of people. Plus, there’s something to suit every taste.

Among Nantes’ numerous advantages, there are two benefits that really stand out in this case:

First of all, the city is very spacious. It has extremely wide public squares, 100 parks, waterways, and verdant countryside.

Second of all, the city is packed with culture, so music is right at home here. Nantes is where the Festival Culture Bar-bars first launched and the birthplace of the now famous Christine and the Queens. The region is also known for hosting diverse festivals, from Hellfest (metal) to La Folle Journée (classical).

For this reason, Nantes is definitely the go-to city for an unforgettable summer adventure! Here’s a list of some of the best open-air musical events that you should check out:

  • Les Minis BPM (Barbecue, Parc, Musique). The clue is in the name. On Sundays, from April to July, locals drum up a festival atmosphere at these free events in the city’s parks.
  • The Fête de la Musique. This isn’t just a Nantes thing – it’s a French thing! Each year on 21 June, to celebrate the start of summer, local musicians come out onto the streets of every French town to play. And Nantes is no exception to the rule.
  • The Nuit du Voyage à Nantes (VAN). The Voyage à Nantes launches on 1 July each year with the Nuit du VAN. The event introduces that year’s trails and gives attendees the chance to let their hair down and party all night long.
  • Les Écoutilles. These are musical cruises on the Loire. They’re a whole new way of exploring the river against a soundtrack of electro, pop or funk. They run on Thursday and Friday evenings throughout July and August.
  • La Nuit Bretonne. Once a year, in July, the city comes alive to the sound of Breton music. In Brittany, these fetes are called “fest-noz”. The most well-known one is held in Lorient. The Nantes one takes place at the city’s château.
  • Aux Heures d’Été. This festival isn’t just about music. It uses different art forms – reading, cinema, concerts – to teach us about different world cultures. Numerous shows are held over six weeks each summer. And these include open-air concerts.
  • Les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre. This is a multi-venue event that takes place on the first weekend in September. It starts in Nort-sur-Erdre and ends in Nantes, following the course of the River Erdre. This unusual event pairs jazz with pleasure cruising.

And if you still want more, the summer of music isn’t limited to the city itself. There are numerous festivals taking place around Nantes in September that you absolutely mustn’t miss, including Scopitone and the Eté Indien aux Nefs!

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