September Events, Festivals and Exhibitions in France

A Guide to September's exhibitions, festivals and other special events in France

••• Pompidou-Metz Centre in Lorraine. ©Centre Pompidou Metz/Photo Roland Halbe.

The calendar below is for September 2017

Also check out the France in September Monthly Planner

Festivals and Seasonal Events

Lille Braderie in Lille, North France

Europe’s largest flea market, the Lille Braderie, takes place in Lille over the first weekend in September. From Saturday at 11am to Sunday at 11pm you can buy just about any and every antique you could imagine as stalls fill the streets of Lille and restaurants, cafes and stalls stay open all night for huge plates of mussels and chips.

When: September 2 & 3, 2017
Where: Lille, North France

Basque Music Festival
This is one of France's premier music festivals with music from Beethoven to Canteloube. It’s held in various different towns and cities along the Atlantic coast, from St-Jean-de-Luz to Biarritz. 
When: August 27 to September 17, 2017
Where: St-Jean-de-Luz, Anglet, Ascain, Bayonne, Biarritz, Ciboure and Urrugne on the French Atlantic Coast

Piano aux Jacobins
Devoted to classical piano music, the famous Piano aux Jacobins (Piano at the Jacobins) festival in Toulouse is a wonderful chance to listen to top performers in beautiful surroundings. From Chopin to Liszt, Ravel to Moussorgsky, many of the concerts take place in the atmospheric Jacobins cloister.
When September 6th to 28th, 2017
Where In Toulouse at the Cloitre des Jacobins, Cite de l’espace; Musee les Abattoirs, St-Pierre des Cuisines, L’Escale and Halle aux grains

The Feria au Riz

The graceful, sometimes brutal, but always exciting, art of bullfighting is show off magnificently in Arles in southern France. The fans may leave the arena but the party continues into the night in this Provence city, famous for the running of the bulls and the spectacular Camargue horses.

When: September 10th & 11th, 2017
Where Arena, Arles, Provence

Festival de l’Automne
The Paris Autumn Festival is one of the best showcases for contemporary visual art, music, cinema, theater, and dance. It provides plenty of reasons to go to Paris in the autumn with its very varied program of events.
When September 13th-December 31st, 2017
Where Various venues throughout Paris

European Heritage Days (Journees du Patrimoine)
All over France, European Heritage Days offer a chance to go inside all sorts of buildings that are normally closed to the public. It’s a great chance for a look behind the doors into the life of some great buildings. It’s part of a Europe-wide festival.
When September 16th & 17th, 2017
Where All major cities and towns in France

Château of Blois son-et-lumiere
The wonderful Château of Blois becomes even more magical at night when the lights fade and you stand in the glorious courtyard waiting for the theater to begin. Then the story of dastardly doings, intrigue, assasination and revenge unfolds as the facades are illuminated with courtiers, knights, horsemen, kings and queens of France.

When: April to September 24th, 2017
Where: Château de Blois, Loire Valley

Exhibitions in September 2017


Fernand Leger: Beauty is Everywhere 

When: April 20th to October 30th 2017

Major exhibition on the artist.

Where Centre Pompidou Metz, Lorraine

International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
The International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire Château is a major event in the gardening calendar. Each year a separate theme is chosen and international designers are invited to make a garden - each one with a different style. 
When: To November 5th, 2017
Where: Chaumont-sur-Loire Château, Loire Valley

Arles Meetings
Annual photography festival taking in over 60 exhibitions in different locations in Arles.

Some exhibitions are the result of collaborations with museums and institutions in France; others are international. With mostly previously unseen work, Arles Meetings works as a launchpad for new photographers.
When: July 3rd to September 24th, 2017
Where: Throughout Arles

Aux Sources de la Legende
Fabulous exhibition on the world-famous designer 

When: July 4th to September 25th, 2016
Where: Christian Dior Museum, Granville

Bosch, Brueghel, Arcimboldo
The Carrieres de Lumieres where the exhibition is held is an extraordinary venue in Les Baux-de-Provence. Immense quarries are transformed by huge images projected onto the uneven chalk walls and even the floors, with musical accompaniment as you walk through the dramatic set.  Each year, there’s a new exhibition on major artists. This year, it's the turn of the fantastic and wonderful world of these great strange artists. 
When: March 4th 2017 to January 7th, 2017
Where: Carrieres de Lumieres, Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence
Read more about the Carrieres de Lumieres