When you think about festivals in Bordeaux, the first things that come in mind are wine and gastronomy. But let’s not forget that Bordeaux is the capital of the Southwest of France and one of France’s cultural hubs. So it’s not a surprise that there are quite a few big music festivals in Bordeaux. In this post, I gathered ten music festivals in Bordeaux and a few other attractive locations in Gironde. The list is very varied and I deliberately included many music genres like Jazz, Rock, electronic music and even Reggae. I added the dates of the festivals in 2019 (if published). For more information about the time and place follow my monthly and weekly lists, or subscribe to my newsletter.

Bordeaux Rock Festival

The Bordeaux rock festival takes place every January in the best music venues around the city, among them places like the Iboat, Quartier libre, L’avant scène, Void, La Tencha, La Voute, L’imperio, L’Antidote, and Salle des fêtes du grand parc. This festival was founded in 2004 by Bordeaux Rock, an association created to promote emerging music through cultural events. This festival is considered the main rock festival of Bordeaux, with tens of local and international acts performing here every year.

Bordeaux Open air

The Bordeaux Open Air festival is a series of music events taking place in different locations during the summer. These are all electronic music concerts, hosting djs from all over the world. They have a very young urban vibe to them and they are completely free! Some of the events are taking place in Jardin Public, right in the center of Bordeaux. With this festival your summer Sundays are covered.

Bordeaux relache festival

Another “all summer” festival is the Relache Festival. This one was created by the Allez les filles association in 2015 with the goal of providing free quality concerts to everyone. The festival lasts around three months (from June to August), with one or two concerts taking place in different locations in Bordeaux during each weekend. The program usually includes concerts of both local and international bands in many genres of music.

Fête de la musique

La Fête de la musique is a French national day, dedicated to the celebration of music, with free concerts and street parties happening on the same day (June 21) all over France. This is an extraordinary day where you have the chance to walk around the city and enjoy an endless amount of small and big concerts from any genre of music. Like every other city in France, Bordeaux too celebrates La Fête de la musique with its own street concerts and activities.

Millesime festival

This is a great event for all electronic music lovers who want to enjoy the unique atmosphere of an electronic music festival and still stay in the region of Bordeaux. Festival Millesime takes place in the early summer days in a beautiful town, La Réole, located about 40 minutes drive from Bordeaux. The festival hosts more than 30 electronic artists on three stages that are located on the banks of the Garonne river. Live electronic music with a beautiful view, sounds like a perfect summer festival to me. In 2019 the dates are May 31- June 1- click here for more details.

Jazz Festival in Saint Emilion

Saint Emilion with its romantic scenery is the perfect place to host this elegant event. The Saint Emilion Jazz festival was founded in 2012 and since than has been taking place every year in July. In its seven years of existence, it has seen more than 15k visitors. If you’re headed to the area in July, this one is really recommended. During the three days of the festival Saint Emilion offers a great mix of jazz concerts, wine tasting and tasty food. In the festival area you will find a wine bar with the wines of Saint Emilion and a gourmand market with local products and food trucks.

Arcachon en Scene

Arcachon en Scene is a popular music festival that brings big French and international acts to perform in this beautiful resort town. The festival usually takes place in the end of July/ beginning of August.

Festival Musicalarue

One of the biggest music festivals in Bordeaux area actually takes place in a small village in the landes department, named Luxey. The Musicalarue music festival usually takes places in mid August in the forest, just next to the village. The lineup includes a very long list of artists and bands, which in previous years included some big names such as Shaka Ponk, Gaël Faure and Matmatah and in 2019 will include Patti Smith, Orelsan and more. In 2019 the festival will take place on August 15-17 – click here for more info.

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

Sun Ska is a huge Reggae festival taking place every August in Vertheuil, between the vineyards of the medoc area. The lineup includes tens of artists with some big names like Ziggy Marley and the French Dub Inc. The festival was created in 1998 and besides music it has a strong environmental agenda. During the days of the festival many activities are taking place to raise the environmental awareness among the participants. In 2019 the festival is taking place on August 2-3 – for more details click here.

Piano Festival

I’m closing the list with a slightly different type of festival – the Piano festival of Bordeaux. Festival L’esprit du Piano takes place every year in the Auditorium of Bordeaux, usually mid-November. Every year this festival hosts worldwide known pianists like Abdullah Ibrahim, Chick Corea, Yefim Bronfman and more. Read more about the festival here.

piano

Other festivals that didn’t get into the list but are still worth mentioning are the Climax festival in Darwin in September, the Organ festival that is taking places in some of the churches of Bordeaux during the summer and the ODP music festival in Talence in May.

Hope you enjoyed my list! Do you want to know more about other type of events in Bordeaux and the area? Just comment below and I might write a post about that too 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Steve Conway Reply

    Excellent information- Thank you!!
    I live out near Duras but visit Bordeaux a lot to see live music, I know about Rocher de Palmer, IBoat, Arkea Arena and Matmut, for the bigger bands but are there any small venues that have regular bands on and live entertainment??
    I have been to the B11 in Merignac, really good night out with some good bands but don’t know where else to look or at what sites
    Great if you could help???

    Love your site keep up the excellent work and efforts to run it

    Kindest
    Steve

    • Ira Szmuk Reply

      Thank you Steve!!! Well, first of all, I see you’re quite familiar with many of the music venues around here. Some of my favorites are quartier libre in Saint Michel and la guinguette chez alriq on the other side of the river. This place is brilliant for summer! You also have Sortie 13 is Pessac and Karkatoa in Merignac for bigger concerts.

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