History & Culture

Arras Main Square Festival 2017

With over 100,000 festival goers to please, the Arras Main Square Festival this year includes internationally renowned Green day, The Hives, The Prodigy, Sting and Indochine. Also appearing are lesser known, but equally talented bands such as Thirty Seconds to Mars.

European musical festival within the grand architecture of Citadelle Vauban, Arras

The majestic main square of Arras is deceivingly quiet for most of the year. It's not until mid summer that this small scenic town, just north of Paris, turns into the venue of one of Europe's major musical events. The festival this year is being held on the 30th June, 1st July and 2nd July 2017.

The theme is simple – unite the best up-and-coming artists with a mix of leading international artists to create the best offering of contemporary music. This approach, teamed with the surroundings, gives the festival a unique element – incorporating a traditional outdoors European musical festival with the grand architecture of
Citadelle Vauban.

Arras music festival - stage  

Its prime location just north of Paris means it is situated between three major European capitals; London, Brussels and Paris, giving music lovers no excuse not to attend. Its location also means that it is very easy to reach by car from the UK, travelling from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

The Line-up

With over 100,000 festival goers to please, the Arras Main Square Festival this year includes internationally renowned Radiohead, Jayn, System of a down (Soad), La Femme, Die Antwoord, Biffy Clyro and Major Lazer. For the latest line up of artists visit the official festival website: www.mainsquarefestival.fr  

Arras music festival - radiohead  


It's best to buy your tickets from the official ticket vendor for the festival, www.ticketnet.fr, where the prices are reasonable for a festival of its size. A three-day pass to both the stages will set you back 135€ and a single day ticket will be 59€. Camping tickets can also be purchased on this site and are a reasonable 8€ a night.


Accommodation is easy to find, with many hotels and bed and breakfasts scattered across Arras and the surrounding areas. Those wanting the true festival experience can camp on the site itself and have access to basic amenities, as well as the many bars and food stalls that are sponsored by the festival.

Arras music festival - pearl jam  

The campsite is a short walk away from the main square and is very near the citadel. There is also a shuttle bus from the train station to the campsite for all festival goers, making it simple to get your tent up quickly and head to the festival itself.

Camping isn't for everyone and Arras' popularity with tourists means that it is ready to offer an extensive supply of hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to choose from. Good examples are the Hôtel d'Angleterre, a four star hotel that boasts an English heritage and a luxury stay, or for a cheaper alternative Hôtel Diamant offers affordable rooms.

Find a local hotel save up to 75%.

Arras hotel  

HI - Arras Hostel is located near the "Place de Heroes" and is ideally located for the Main Square Festival. It offers what you'd expect to find in a hostel but doesn't scrimp on essentials such as continuous running hot water. If you don't fancy being outside camping then this is the best reasonably priced option.

How to get There

A short hop on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and you'll find yourself around an hour's drive away from Arras. Driving is definitely the best option as you'll be able to expand your trip from just a festival to a wide range of attractions that may not be accessible by public transport, with Brussels being a mere 1 ½ hours from Arras and Paris only slightly further in the other direction.

Surrounding Area

Arras is a beautiful city and has attracted tourists for years before the Festival was created. A small walk around the city and you'll find that it is brimming with historical points of interest and many cultural exhibits to take in. The centre of Arras contains many architectural marvels. Even a simple walk along the Grand-Place can demonstrate the beauty of its buildings and climbing to the top of the belfry can give you amazing views of the cityscape and even further afield. Don't miss our exclusive offer: Buy 1 Pass, Get 1 FREE.

Arras trench  

The city is surrounded by history and among its surrounding fields are the sites of many WW1 Battlefields. They remain some of the most accessible and should definitely be seen, even if just to visit the memorials. There are plenty of tours offered around the sites, or you can grab a guide book and explore solo.

On the evenings where you don't feel like attending the festival, you can head elsewhere in the city centre, where a multitude of bars, restaurants and even a casino can be found.

Arras Main Square Festival really does offer the opportunity to combine a holiday and an exciting music event that's suitable for the whole family.

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Photo Credits: Nicolas LÅ"uillet, Pierroleblog, amandabhslater, Giåm, Destination Europe