If you made it to Bordeaux this summer, welcome! If you live here and staying in the region this summer, you’re lucky, because August in the Bordeaux area feels like a nonstop party.

We have several music festivals happening in Bordeaux itself and tens of events (sports, gastronomy, art, etc.) in other parts of Gironde such as Arcachon, Cap Ferret, and Saint Emilion. The list is long so I had to divide it into things to do in the Bordeaux region (the Gironde department) and events in other parts of the SW of France.

Summer in the Bordeaux region - Soulac sur Mer

You will see that most of the events in mid-August are taking place outside of the center of Bordeaux and some might require renting a car to get there. But it’s definitely not a must, you can enjoy Bordeaux without going anywhere. 

Also, be sure to read my article about things to do in Bordeaux during the summer to get many ideas of fun stuff to do in the region. And if you’re traveling to Toulouse this summer, here’s a list of events taking place in the pink city

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Note – if you’re reading this article in July, make sure to go through my July list as well.

Here are some of the best things you can do in Bordeaux in August 2023!

The best events in Bordeaux (and Gironde) in August 2023 

Go for a drink in one of Bordeaux’s summer bars

Plenty of rooftops, terrace cafes, and open bars are surging all over the city starting from the end of May/beginning of June. Some are more posh and chic, others simple and chill but they are all super fun to hang out in during the summer in Bordeaux. Check out the list of the best summer bars in Bordeaux.

Les Planches Éphémères summer bar in Bordeaux

Go to the beach

If you’re coming here for the summer I’m sure that going to the beach is on your list. This area is abundant with beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic coastline as well as on the many lakes surrounding the city. If you want to discover some new beaches around Bordeaux check out my article about the best beaches near Bordeaux

For more ideas for activities with kids, check out my article about 30 things to do with kids in Bordeaux.

The Fest’Arts Festival

The Fest’Arts festival in Libourne was created about 30 years ago to honor street performing artists. On August 3-5 the center of Libourne will be turned into a big promenade and plenty of performances will take place on the pretty streets of the city. Check out the full program here

When: August 3-5 / Where: The center of Libourne

You can combine this event with a visit to Saint Emilion, here’s my article about a day trip to Saint Emilion

Les Estivales de Montagne 

Les Estivales de Montagne is a one-week festival taking place in Montagne, one of the cute villages surrounding Saint Emilion. On August 1-5, music concerts will be daily taking place at the St Martin de Montagne church in the center of the village. See the program here

When:  August 1-5 / Where: l’Eglise St Martin de Montagne,  Montagne.

Fête de la Presqu’île in Cap Ferret

Every year in August Lege Cap Ferret celebrates its oyster farming with a big event called Fête de la Presqu’île. The three-day event includes plenty of oysters, concerts, activities for kids, and fireworks on the last night. The event will take place on August 4-6 in Claouey. For more info click here.

When:  August 4-6 / Where: Claouey, Place de Bertic, 33950 Lege – Cap Ferret 

Discover other places to visit at the Cap Ferret peninsula in my article about a day trip to Arcachon

Reggae Sun Ska music festival

The 23rd edition of this fun reggae festival will take place on August 4-6 at the Domaine Equestre de Nodris in Vertheuil, which is located in the Medoc area (about an hour drive from Bordeaux). The impressive long lineup includes tens of performers from the reggae scene. You can check out the full lineup here.

Fête de la Ruralité et Festival du Bois

Fête de la Ruralité et du Festival du Bois is an annual feast of rural traditions taking place in Biganos on Arcachon Bay. The program includes a craftsmen market, demonstrations of past know-how and traditions (threshing machine, bread oven), an animal farm, local products market, activities for kids, and more. The event will take place August 5-6, for more details click here

When: August 5-6 /  Where:  Parc Lecoq a Biganos, 33380 Biganos

Bordeaux Metropolitan Summer

Like every year Bordeaux Metropolitan invites you to discover the city and the area around it through a series of cultural events and activities. Between July 17 and August 27, more than 100 activities of music, dance, public reading, theater, circus, and gastronomy will take place around the metropole. Check out the full program of events here.

When:  Daily from July 17 to August 27/ Where: Bordeaux Metropolitan – check out the exact location of every event in the program.

Open-air Cinema 

Every Wednesday during the month of August, Blonde Venus (the Iboat) will host an open-air cinema event. You can see the program here, booking in advance is recommended. 

When: every Wednesday / Where: Bassin à Flot n°1, Cours Henri Brunet, 33300

BordeauxIf you want to discover other things to do in the Bassin a flor district, check out my article about the North of Bordeaux.

La Bataille de Castillon

La Bataille de Castillon is a spectacle taking place during the course of several weeks in the summer, replicating the famous fight from 1453. Castillon-la-Bataille, the town where the show takes place also hosts many activities and events revolving around the big show: tours of the city, exhibitions, workshops of medieval art, and more. For more info and tickets click here.

When: July 20 – August 19 / Where: Association 1453, Mairie de Castillon, 33350 CASTILLON-LA-BATAILLE

Go to a night market in Arcachon

A night market is taking place in the center of Arcachon every night (Tuesday to Friday) from July 4 to August 25. For more details click here.
Check out my full guide to Arcachon before going. You can also combine it with a guided tour in Arcachon, click here to book a tour.

See other night markets taking place in Gironde this summer, read my article about night markets in 2023.

When: July 4 August 25 / Where: Place des Marquises, 33120 Arcachon

Bordeaux Open Air

Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. For more details and the full summer program click here.

When:  August 6, Sept 3, 10, 24 / Where: Follow the website for the exact location

Les Fêtes de la Mer in Arcachon 

It’s that time of the year when sailors and Arcachon lovers gather to celebrate the sea with les Fêtes de la Mer. During the two days festival, you can enjoy plenty of activities in the center of Arcachon, from music concerts on the beach to flea markets and a huge picnic. It’s also a religious event so a few big masses will be held on both days. For more info click here

When: August 14-15 / Where: different parts of Arcachon, see the program

Caraïbos Lacanau Pro

Le Caraïbos Lacanau Pro is one of the most famous events in the surfing world, taking place in Lacanau-Océan. Every year, professional surfers from around the world arrive in the region to participate in the Championship tour. More than a surfing competition it’s a beach festival with plenty of activities, concerts, craft stands, sports and surfing lessons, and more. The festival will take place from August 14 to August 20. For more info click here

When: August 14-20/  Where: Lacanau-Océan

You can also turn it into a nice weekend discovering the whole region which also includes Lacanau lake. One of the most fun hotels on the lake is called O Lac and you can book it here. If you’re traveling with kids, Lodging le Lac is a really fun family experience, with tents in the trees. 

Festival Musical’Ocean 

Festival Musical’Ocean is a Jazz and classical music festival taking place at Lacanau-Ocean, a beautiful coastal town, about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux. This year the festival will take place on August 21-25. For more info click here

When:  August 21-25 / Where: Salle l’Escoure, Lacanau

Festival Balterno!

Festival Balterno is a music festival taking place on August 25-27 in Parc de Mussonville in Bègles. Three days of non-stop music in one of Bordeaux’s most charming parks. For more info click here

When:  August 25-27  / Where: Avenue Alexis Labro, 33130 Bègles

Discover other parks in Gironde in my article about the most beautiful parks around Bordeaux.

Les Odyssées

Les Odyssées is a free stage arts festival taking place every year in Ambès, about 30 minutes from Bordeaux. The festival will take place on August 25-26 at the Stade Municipal. Check out the full program here

When:  August 25-26 / Where: Stade Municipal d’Ambes

Black Bass Festival

Black Bass Festival is an independent rock festival taking place every year at the Domaine de la Paillerie on the Gironde estuary. This year the festival will be taking place on August 25- 26, see the full program here

When:  August 25-26  / Where: Domaine de la Paillerie, 33820 Braud-Et-Saint-Louis

Fete de l’herbe Cap Ferret 

On August 26-27 the village of L’herbe will host its annual feast with concerts, games on the beach, and food. L’herbe is an oyster-farming village and one of the most magical places on Bassin d’Arcachon. For more info click here

When:  August 26-27  / Where: Village ostéicole de l’Herbe, 33950 LEGE-CAP FERRET

Paille & Ripaille Festival 

Paille & Ripaille is a local gastronomy festival taking place every year in Langon. The objective of the festival, which will take place on August 25-27 in Parc des Vergers, is to support local food producers. The program includes concerts, farm animals, and a lot of local specialties. See more details here

When: August 25 – 27 / Where: Parc des Vergers, Langon

Puppet Theater for Kids

Le Guignol Guérin, founded in 1853, is the oldest puppetry show in France with daily spectacles for kids in Parc Bordelais during the summer (July and August). The show usually starts at 16:00 but can be canceled or postponed when it’s raining or getting too hot. Read more about the theater here.

When: Daily during July – August at 16:00 / Where: Parc Bordelais

Big events in other parts of the SW of France – August 2023

Ete Musical en Bergerac

The Musical Summer in Bergerac is an annual event taking place in the first two weeks of August. All the concerts and shows are taking place in different castles in the Bergerac region such as Château de Biron, Château de Saint Germain, Église de Monpazier, and more. See the program here.

When:  August 2-15 / Where: the Bergerac region

A beautiful 4D show on Chateau de Duras

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the summer (July 3rd to August 30) the beautiful chateau of Duras is hosting an amazing 4D spectacle where they screen the history of the chateau and a fun story for kids at the end. See more details here.

The show starts at 22:30 but If you’ve never visited the chateau before, make sure to come earlier in the day so you’ll have the chance to visit the rooms and see the stunning view from the top.

When:  July and August / Where: Chateau de Duras

Duras fête son vin 

The wine festival of Duras will take place on August 5 in the center of Duras, next to the famous chateau. It’s a great opportunity to discover the excellent red, white, and rosé of Côtes de Duras. For more details click here.

When:  August 5 / Where: Duras (see the program for the specific locations)

Jazz in Marciac

Marciac is a nice little village in the Gers department (about 2 hours’ drive from Bordeaux) that hosts one of the biggest Jazz festivals in the region. The festival takes place for three weeks (from July 20 to August 6) and has a very impressive lineup of international Jazz artists. Check out the full program here

Vesere Festival 

The Vezere festival is a classical music festival taking place every summer in the Brive region. A long list of concerts will take place between July 5 and August 12 in the different theatres and chateaux in the region. See the program here

Brive is located on the border between the Corezze and the Dordogne departments and is a great destination for anyone traveling in the region in the summer. 

When:  July 5- August 12 / Where: Different locations around Brive

Beau C’est Festival

Beau C’est Festival is a music and theater festival happening on August 11-12 in Bosset, a little town close to Bergerac. See the full program and more details here

This is also a great opportunity to visit other beautiful villages around Bergerac.

When:  August 11- 12 / Where: Bosset, Dordogne

First time in Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check up my ultimate guide to Bordeaux, which will get you familiar with all the “must” places to visit in Bordeaux. To help you to choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you choose your preferred location.

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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