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Festivals & special events

There are many festivals and cultural events throughout the year and, depending on when you visit, there may be a festival taking place nearby. We've listed a few, to give you an idea of events happening in the region:

La Rochelle - International Film Festival (end-June, early-July). Exhibits feature films from all over the world.

One of the biggest music festivals in France, "FrancoFolies," takes place each summer in La Rochelle, The festival features French music from across the spectrum, including folk, rock and jazz. Past highlights have included Yannick Noah, Miro and international contributions from Burning Spear and Cheb Mami.

Autumn Auto Rally - For the last 45 years The Autumn Rally (October) has drawn nearly 200 drivers to compete in events which count in the French Rally first division.

Parthenay - Jazz beside the waters of the river Gâtine (July). Some of the greatest names in Jazz meet up and perform along the riverbank.

Angoulême - Circuits des Remparts (third weekend in September). A classic and vintage car race around the city walls. The festival lasts for 3 days and includes a 'Concours d'élegance' - a beauty parade of some of World's finest classic and vintage cars, an historic car rally around the region and the grand finale, a full day of racing historic and classic sports cars around the medieval ramparts of the city. Classic car owners wishing to enjoy a driving holiday through the region can be assured of safe, overnight storage of their classic vehicles at Les Cygnes.

The International Comics Festival (January). Thousands of people flock to this annual festival of graphic novels and comics in France - Le Festival International de la Bande Dessinée. It is the largest comics festival in the world outside Japan.

Cognac -Cognac Blues Passion in early July has become one of the best in the World, this year Moby, Texas, ZZ Top, Jamie Callum, and more 5th - 9th July.

The Coup de Chauffe (early-September) sees performers, clowns and musicians roam the streets. The festival ends with a firework display.

Mainfonds - European Hot Air Balloon Championships exactly what it says on the tin in early August.

Confolens - Festival de Confolens - Late July early August a very large Arts and World Traduitions festival with groups and artites from all over the globe

Luçon - Festival des Nocturnes Océanes (July). Evening concerts of light classical music take place in the Cour Richelieu of the great seminary, where leading orchestras play compositions by Tchaikovsky, Schumann and Debussy.

La Tranche-sur-Mer - Fêtes des Fleurs (April). A parade of colourful, flower-filled floats followed by concerts.

Vouvant - Festival des Contes et Légendes d'Europe (end-July, early- August). A festival of folk stories and legends with street theatre and evening performances taking place in this picture-postcard, medieval village.

Melle - Festival of Melle, son et lumières (August). Held in the historical church of Saint-Savinien, the festival has numerous exhibits and fireworks.

For more information on Festivals all over France click here

For more information on Festivals all over our Department click here