June 2, 2016

Events-in-northern-France-2016-Hero Main square festival in Arras Jerome Pouille live nation France festivals

A regular visitor to northern France, I’m always on the lookout for the latest events and goings-on in and around the Pas de Calais region, which my family and I can enjoy. Whether I’m exploring the Opal Coast or heading inland to the French countryside, I make the most of my visit by checking out local events before I go. To give you a hand, here are my top events happening this year in northern France, from the football in summer to fun music festivals.

Décrayonner by Anne Valérie Hash – Museum of Lace and Fashion, Calais

The Centre for Lace and Fashion welcomes Anne Valérie Hash, a leading designer of the French fashion scene. If, like me, you love French culture, you’ll be the first to this exhibition. It’s the first to be devoted to her in France, and it explores her first 13 years of designs. From “Fillemâle”, her debut collection in 2001, Anne Valérie Hash has defined her unique style. Deconstruct in order to construct more effectively; that, for me, is the concept that best applies to her work. She balances notions of modernity and tradition and works to unbalance symmetries and volumes. The Anne Valérie Hash – Décrayonner exhibition seeks to delve into the creative gesture, with around one hundred exclusive pieces and documents which decode this balancing of opposites.

This exhibition takes place between 1st April and 13th November, 2016

RC Lens: Memories of “Blood and Gold” – Glass pavilion, Louvre-Lens Museum

Established in 1906, the Racing Club de Lens – commonly known as the RCL – is the city’s iconic football club. Just like its players, the club’s supporters are nicknamed “Sang et Or” (“Blood and Gold”), and are known for their immense passion for the sport. The RC Louvre exhibition retraces the history of the club alongside that of the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, and it’s sure to be an immersive exhibition which takes a really interesting look into French football culture – just in time for this year’s tournament!

This exhibition takes place between 20th April and 7th November, 2016

The Painter of the Sun King by Charles Le Brun – Temporary exhibitions gallery, Louvre-Lens Museum

The French painter and theorist Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) has pride of place at the Louvre-Lens museum. Just like Delacroix for the Romantic Movement or Monet for the Impressionists, Le Brun epitomises, like no other, the art of a particular period: the Great Century. This period has always fascinated me. The son of a modest sculptor of gravestones, Le Brun was the leading painter for Louis XIV for nearly thirty years. He deserves our admiration, most notably, for the decoration of the Hall of Mirrors in the Château de Versailles. If you’re travelling inland from the French coast, be sure to stop off at the Louvre-Lens for this fascinating exhibition.

This exhibition takes place between 18th May and 29th August, 2016  

Euro 2016 – Lille and Lens

Love football? Then you’re definitely going to be excited about this summer’s football tournament. It will feature Europe’s best national teams, among which England, Wales and Ireland will come face to face over the course of 10 matches. My family and I always get excited during the Euro football season, and we each have our own favourites to win! Find out more information from our guide, on the Stade Pierre-Mauroy website, and the Racing Club de Lens website.

This event will take place between 10th June and 10th July, 2016

Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Stade Bollaert-Delelis - Lens ©RC LENS

Midsummer festival – Château d’Hardelot, Condette

English and French music, creative arts and theatre can all be found at the foot of the ramparts of the Château d’Hardelot, home of the Entente Cordiale. These events will highlight the connection between France and Britain, and how travel between these two countries has shaped the culture of the Pas-de-Calais region over time. You can also take a tour of the beautiful Château d’Hardelot, so be sure to check out the local art projects and programmes available.

This event will take place between 24th June and 6th July, 2016

Main Square Festival – Arras

Every year in July, the citadel hosts the Main Square Festival that brings together big name acts from the world of pop, rock and electro music on the same bill. Over three days, the biggest international artists will take over the Citadel of Arras. The music is wonderfully varied, featuring acts such as Iggy Pop, The Offspring and Band of Horses, to name just a few. By car, Arras is just one hour’s drive from the French coastline, so it’s ideal for a day trip!

This event takes place between 1st and 3rd July, 2016

Les Misérables Sound and Light Show – Montreuil-sur-Mer

A two-hour sound and light show, this event brings back Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables to life in the historic Citadelle of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Personally, Les Misérables is one of my favourite novels and musicals, so I’m really excited to see a classic work interpreted in a modern way. This event is a great way to introduce the little ones to Les Misérables if they haven’t seen it before.

This event will take place between 29th July and 8th August, 2016

Piano Folies festival – Le Touquet

This one’s for all music lovers. From classical, to jazz and contemporary, all styles of piano music are performed by international musicians at the Piano Folies festival . It’s a fantastic event to visit with a loved one, and is a great excuse to visit the beautiful Opal Coast of France.

This event will take place between 13th and 21st August, 2016

Piano Folie’s
Piano Folie’s - Le Touquet ©E DESAUNOIS

Autumn Garden Days – Pas-de-Calais region

A whole week of special events will take place across Pas-de-Calais, including exhibitions and themed visits, all set in the lovely parks and gardens of the region. Early autumn is a fabulous time to be outside, so check the event schedule and see which exhibitions you can attend!

This event takes places between 10th and 18th September, 2016

Excited about travelling to the Pas-de-Calais region?

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you can travel from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes.

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