Where else can you head out on holiday and see headliners like Depeche Mode, DJ Snake and The Offspring before exploring the iconic Mont-Saint-Michel? Listen to live jazz from in medieval streets? Rock out on a racecourse after touring the Pays d’Auge, land of cider and cheese?
This summer, festival vibes are coming to Normandy, and you can enjoy international artists and regional cuisine with all those famous Norman landmarks just a short drive away. Big names, picture‑postcard scenery, surprisingly inexpensive tickets… all just a short hop away from the UK! Here are Normandy Tourism’s five favourite festivals:
1) For the jazz buffs and beginners: Jazz sous les Pommiers, 5-12 May – Coutances
A celebration of all things jazz, eight-day family-friendly festival Jazz sous les Pommiers [Jazz under the Apple Trees] takes place every year in the pretty medieval town of Coutances, and attracts 30,000 visitors of all ages, with performances from international stars and passionate amateur musicians spanning seven stages, venues throughout the town and even local cafés and streets.
Line-up: Kamasi Washington, Dave Douglas, Goran Bregovic, the Christian McBride Big Band, Stacey Kent, Robin Mckelle and more
Prices: Festival pass €20 (£18) and includes entry to free concerts | Tickets to paid concerts from €12 (£10.50)
Campsite: 5-minute walk from the festival
Getting there: Portsmouth to Cherbourg with Brittany Ferries: fast 3-hour sailings
Tickets: Certain concerts are ticketed separately to the festival, book directly
2) For the emos and alternatives: Beauregard, 6-9 July – Hérouville Saint-Clair (near Caen)
Set in the beautiful grounds of the Château de Beauregard, the popular Beauregard Festival’s star‑studded line-up, chilled-out vibe and proximity to both Ouistreham port and Caen-Carpiquet airport means that it appeals to both families and friends heading over from the UK.
Line-up: Depeche Mode, The Offspring, Simple Minds, MGMT, Jack White, Macklemore, The Breeders, At The Drive In, Girls in Hawaii, Nothing But Thieves, Parquet Courts and more
Prices: 1-day pass from €49 (£43) | 3-day pass from €164 (£144)
Campsite: 10-minute walk from the festival
Getting there: Portsmouth to Caen/Ouistreham with Brittany Ferries – up to three sailings a day | London Southend to Caen-Carpiquet with FlyBe – up to five flights a week in both directions
Tickets: Book with Festicket
3) For the rockers and ravers: Rock in Évreux, 29 June- 1 July – Évreux
Don’t let the name Rock in Evreux fool you: rock is sure to shake Evreux, but a sonic sound clash of electro beats, hip-hop breaks and driving rhythms will also fill the summer air on its racecourse. Easy to get to by train from London via Paris, this festival comes in first place for anyone who doesn’t want to take the car!
Line-up: DJ Snake, Jonas Blue, Tarrus Riley, Darius, Feder, Martin Solveig, Asaf Avidan and more
Prices: 1-day pass from €42 (£36) | 2-day pass from €67 (£58) | 3-day pass from €98 (£85)
Campsite: 2-minute walk from the festival
Getting there: Eurostar from London Saint Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord then train from Paris Saint-Lazare to Évreux (5 hours including connection in Paris)
Tickets: Book with Festicket
4) For the nature lovers and indie revellers: Hello Birds, 6-8 July – Étretat
Hello Birds festival is a free event held in legendary Étretat, world-renowned for its iconic cliffs overlooking the Channel, and includes live shows and DJ sets on the beach.
Line-up: To be announced
Campsite: No official camping but there are two campsites nearby
Getting there: Portsmouth to Le Havre with Brittany Ferries – daily ‘no frills’ economy sailings then take a bus (route 24) from Le Havre to Étretat
5) For the beach bums: Cabourg Mon Amour, 29 June-1 July – Cabourg
Hip, intimate festival Cabourg Mon Amour caters to the indie crowd and takes place on a beautiful sandy beach in the swish seaside resort of Cabourg, with its picturesque promenade, belle époque architecture and the Grand Hôtel, famous for Marcel Proust.
Line-up: Juliette Armanet, L’Impératrice, You, Man, Muddy Monk, Caballero & Jeanjass
Prices: 3-day pass from €83 (£73) | 1-day passes soon to be released here
Campsite: 25-minute walk from the festival
Getting there: Portsmouth to Caen/Ouistreham with Brittany Ferries – up to three sailings a day