Event and festival

Cannes, France offers visitors a rich array of events and festivals throughout the year that highlight its unique cultural identity and history.

This site highlights the key events and festivals in Cannes from month to month, providing visitors with a huge choice of possible choice to play that once in a lifetime holiday around. Each one brings to life why Cannes is so representative of people from France. Click the events and festival links below for further information.

Cannes’ calendar of events is busy, with its international film festival in May taking first prize for the most interesting, exciting and glamorous event of the year. Bastille Day and other popular French holidays are celebrated enthusiastically by Cannes’ residents, and the city is always a lively place to be at these times.

January

New Years Day: residents of Cannes know how to party so you can be sure that New Year’s Eve here will be a night to remember. New Years Day is a chance to sleep off the excesses of the previous night or enjoy sedate activities such as dining with friends.

February

International Festival of Games: is a low-key event that draws several thousand attendees each year, who come to share common interests in games such as chess, draughts, bridge and backgammon.
Riveria Carnival: falling in either February or March, depending on the Gregorian calendar, this annual event takes place in the 21-day period leading up to Shrove Tuesday. It’s a lively and colourful affair that brings street parades, masked balls and live performances of music and dance.

March

Easter: France is predominantly Roman Catholic and the Easter season is of importance here. Easter week services are well attended, with Mass on Easter Sunday being the most important event. After Mass, locals invariably get together with friends and family for dining and socialising.

May

Cannes International Film Festival: the highlight of the city’s annual events, this two-week long festival of film attracts huge names from Hollywood, with both actors and directors making appearances at the various movie screenings and social events that accompany them.
Fête de la Victoire: otherwise known as Victory Day, this is a national holiday that celebrates the day when the Allies formally accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany, marking the end of WWII.

June

Cannes Lions Festival: members of advertising, creative media and marketing communities from around the world assemble at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes in the hope of winning one of the prestigious Lion awards.

July

Bastille Day: residents of Cannes celebrate this national holiday with as much enthusiasm as the rest of the country. Various lively activities are held across the city on the 14th, in memory of the storming of the Bastille on the same date in 1789.
Festival d'Art Pyrotechnique:the city hosts six nights of magnificent fireworks, with displays put on by teams from around the world.

August

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:this is firstly a religious holiday and secondly a national holiday held to celebrate the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven. Citizens of Cannes attend Mass in the early morning then enjoy a day of leisure.

October

Halloween: although not traditionally a French festival, Halloween has begun to catch on in Cannes over the last decade. As Cannes has such a significant visiting population, you can be sure that there will be a few venues hosting spookily themed events.

November

All Saints Day: this is an important religious feast day in every Catholic country, and France marks it with a public holiday. In Cannes, locals attend Mass then enjoy a day free from work.
Jour d'Armistice: Armistice Day is a public holiday held to remember those who lost their lives in WWI. Military parades and wreath-laying are popular on this occasion.

December

Christmas: the Christmas season in Cannes involves a fairly significant religious element, and dedicated Catholics in Cannes attend church services at this time. There’s no shortage of festive spirit, with Cannes decorated with pretty lights and seasonal displays.