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There is always a
full calendar of events and festivals going on in Cannes during the summer.
Here we’ve gathered information about the top events that you don’t want to
miss if you’ve coming to Cannes on holiday this summer.
One of the highlights of the Cannes summer calendar, the Cannes Festival of Pyrotechnic Art is an annual fireworks competition taking place over a number of evenings during July and August. Each participating country presents a fireworks display in the Bay of Cannes on the theme of their choice and accompanied by music, to compete for the prestigious Vestale d’Argent prize.
The fireworks can be viewed from just about anywhere along the beaches, but for the best views book a table for dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants along the Croisette, or alternatively, the show is just as impressive if you see if from the top of the Suquet in the old town of Cannes. Although the sound may not be as clear as on the beaches, the panoramic views over Cannes, and the fireworks display itself are worth the walk to the top.
This year’s pyromusical shows features competitors from Canada, England, Austria, The Phillipines, Italy and France, with the first one on 14th July. The full programme and dates are available on festival-pyrotechnique-cannes.com.
Each show starts at 22:00, and lasts at least 25 minutes, but if there is rain or wind, the show is generally postponed until the following day. An update confirming whether it is taking place or not is posted on the website by 19:00 at the latest on the day itself, so if in doubt be sure to check here on the day. Getting round by car is complicated on the nights of the shows, so it’s best to avoid driving on those evenings if possible.
The night market takes place in July and August next to the old port of Cannes and is a relatively new addition to the Cannes summer events calendar. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the old part of Cannes. There are about 40 stands selling local handicrafts, jewellery, clothes, bags, sunglasses, jams and herbal teas. There are also a number of artists displaying and selling their artworks, and a few stands selling sweets and snacks.
Traffic is blocked along the sea front and diverted from the Square Mistral so avoid taking the coast road if you’re coming from Mandelieu on the nights the market takes place. The first night market will be held on 6th July, and then every Tuesday until the end of August. The stands are open to customers from about 19:00 until midnight; next to the market there are many bars and restaurants for dining before or after.
The Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival, as its name suggests is not actually in Cannes but is well worth going to if you are on vacation in Cannes this summer.
The 2017 Jazz à Juan festival starts on the 14th July with two or three concerts every day until the 23rd July. In the past this festival has featured household names such as Santana and Stevie Wonder; this year’s line-up Tom Jones, Sting, Macy Gray, Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum and many other jazz ensembles. You can find the full programme here as well as book your tickets online.
The concerts are held outdoor under the pine trees and near the beaches, and there are plenty of stands selling refreshments and snacks.
To get there it’s just a short drive from the centre of Cannes, or you can take a train or bus to avoid the traffic; it’s easy to get a local taxi or Uber back to Cannes at the end of the evening.
Nuits musicales du Suquet
The Suquet is the old quarter of Cannes and is filled with narrow, winding streets leading to the Church and museum at the top. There are a couple of big events that take place there each summer.
The first is the Nuits musicales du Suquet, literally translated as ‘Musical Evenings in the Suquet’, a series of open-air classical music concerts in a magical setting. Each year it features some of the best international soloists and chamber music ensembles around, as well as other genres, and this year is no exception with concerts by the pianist Dmitry Ishkhanov and the Fauré Piano Quartet.
The concerts are held in front of the church at the top of the hill and will take place this year between the 19th and 23rd of July. You can get tickets from the Palais des Festivals ticket office (access via the Tourist office).
Author K Jones