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Discover Some of the Best Under-the-Radar Music Festivals in France This Summer With DFDS

Discover Some of the Best Under-the-Radar Music Festivals in France This Summer With DFDS

There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a festival. Great music, immaculate vibes, and memories to last a lifetime. But there is more to the festival scene than Glastonbury and Coachella, especially over in France. The ever-increasing prices and difficulty of getting tickets mean that people are casting their eyes elsewhere in search of a fun, memorable festival with excellent artists, an electric atmosphere, and great value for money.
So whether you want to discover up and coming artists or are following your favourites on tour, pack your tents and hop on the ferry with DFDS to check out some of the amazing festivals happening in France this year.


27th – 30th June 2024

Clisson, Loire-Atlantique



Metalheads, rockers, headbangers, and moshers of Europe, this is the festival for you! Hellfest is one of the world’s best and biggest celebrations of rock and metal music, attracting some giants of the genre to the otherwise quiet town of Clisson in the Loire-Atlantique region of France. For three days at the end of June the town becomes heavy metal heaven, with fans flocking to the town from around the world.

Expect to find the biggest metal bands spread across the six stages of the festival, with headliners performing on the two main stages. Over the almost twenty years of the festival the biggest names in metal have performed here, including Iron Maiden, Slipknot, and Guns N’ Roses, and as the festival has grown in size and popularity year after year attendance has skyrocketed, with the 2022 festival welcoming a record 420,000 people, making it one of the biggest music festivals in France. This year, Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica, Megadeth, and Foo Fighters are among the headline acts performing on the mainstage, with nearly 200 more taking to the six stages over the four days of the festival.



28th-30th June 2024



Born of the desire to bring people together through music and champion social change, Solidays is a unique place for activists and artists to share ideas and enjoy each other’s company, drawing a diverse and passionate audience year after year to its consistently amazing line up.

2024 is a special year for Solidays as it is celebrating 25 years since the very first festival back in 1999. Robbie Williams was among the artists to play in the inaugural festival, and since then some of the world’s most famous and influential performers have played there, and distinguished guests such as the President of France Francois Hollande and Bill Gates have also joined in the fun. This year, Sam Smith, Martin Garrix, Mika, and Diplo are among the artists performing at the Hippodrome de Paris-Longchamp in Paris, as well as dozens of other singers, DJs, and bands from France and beyond.

Since its inception, the festival has sought to raise awareness and support initiatives that fund AIDS research and access to healthcare in impoverished communities, but over the years dozens of French and international charities, associations, and foundations have joined the festival, forming the Solidarity Village, where attendees can discover and learn more about a whole host of social issues as varied as human rights, poverty, and the environment.


Beauregard Festival

4th-7th July 2024

Hérouville-Saint-Clair, Normandy


In the grounds of Normandy’s Chateau de Beauregard, between Caen and the coast, the Beauregard Festival combines live music with the beautiful Normandy countryside for an event to remember. The Beauregard Festival has become one of the big players on the festival scene in recent years, receiving more and more international recognition thanks to its genre-spanning line-up of the biggest names in music.

The festival is centred around its Normandy setting, with local food, brands and products playing a huge part in the proceedings. There is also a fairground, a kids space and gardens to enjoy, as well as a dancefloor area to party long into the night!

In the past, the festival has welcomed a range of internationally renowned artists spanning decades of music and a wealth of genres, including Sting, Blur, Celine Dion, and Alt-J. In 2024, Bring Me The Horizon, IDLES, LCD Soundsystem, and Massive Attack are among the artists playing to the over 80,000 people who are expected to attend.


Main Square Festival

4th – 7th July 2024



The delightful town of Arras is just an hour and half from Calais and is home to one of France’s favourite music festivals and the biggest north of Paris. Year after year a fantastic line-up of artists is welcomed to the festival, with Radiohead, Depeche Mode, and Muse performing in the past. This year is certainly no exception, and among the star-studded acts performing are Avril Lavigne, Lenny Kravitz, Zara Larsson, and Placebo, with Bring Me The Horizon and Sam Smith also appearing for a truly eclectic mix of genres.

2024 sees the 18th edition of the festival, which despite the name will be held in Arras’ Citadel, a huge 17th century military fort and UNESCO World Heritage Site just outside the town, no doubt chosen for its capacity, resilience, and incredible acoustics!


Pete The Monkey

11th-13th July 2024

Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, Normandy


Held every July on the beautiful Normandy coast, Pete The Monkey is a unique celebration of music, art, and sustainability in the picturesque French countryside. Originating in 2013, the festival is named after an actual monkey called Pete, whose playful and adventurous spirit became a symbol of the festival, and his legacy lives on through the environmental theme that runs through the heart of the festival. At times a music festival, at others an artistic fever dream full of kaleidoscopic colours and glorious costumes, this festival is a festival goer’s festival.

Musically, the festival offers a diverse line-up from across the music world, featuring indie, electronic, folk, and jazz acts among others, championing new and emerging artists while also giving a stage to more established ones. Elsewhere, artists and other creatives come to share their talents with the attendees through a variety of workshops, art installations, and performances - all with a sustainability focus.

Pete The Monkey is renowned for its laid-back and down to earth atmosphere, with people attending to meet and be part of a community of like-minded people united by music, creativity, and eco-conscious action.


Getting there

DFDS offers up to 54 crossings per day on its Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk services, with day trip fares starting at £39 return and short break fares starting at £99 return for a car and up to four people. Browse a selection of fragrances, cosmetics and electronics in DFDS’ Duty Free shops onboard and at the ports in Calais and Dunkirk and save up to 50 per cent off UK high-street prices.

Upgrade your ticket to include access to the exclusive Premium Lounge with complimentary hot and cold drinks, freshly made sandwiches, and delicious pastries from £18 per person. Add Priority Boarding to be one of the first to board and disembark the ferry from £10 per car each way.

Travel on the newly refurbished ships on the Newhaven-Dieppe route from just £87 one way for a car and two people. Sail in style as you enjoy a delicious meal at the onboard restaurant, sit back and relax in one of the comfort lounges, and indulge in some retail therapy at the expanded Duty Free shop.

For more information or to book visit