Much live music available in France?

I was wondering what the music scene is like outside the big conurbations. We particularly enjoy jazz and chamber music. Here in the UK we often see classical music concerts in the local churches. There’s a club in town for jazz or folk.
Is cinema popular in rural areas?

From experience, (Brittany and Normandy) there is plenty of live music around, fest noz, Jazz concerts, live music at the many evening markets and street entertainments and events. There are also concerts in churches same as in the UK. Very popular and crowded as well.
There’s a huge music festival at Carhaix in the summer. There is cinema in small towns, for example Rostrenen, with films in VO as well as French, loads going on, spoilt for choice! Loads going on, just a question of finding it.

We live in the back end of beyond, which is a huge culture change from living in the centre of London! However we have a cinema 4km away that has good programming. We saw 1917 as it was released in UK (don’t bother!) and are going to see Parasite next week. They also have good art house films on a Sunday night. The music is patchy, but we do have a couple of music festivals that attracts international quality musicians - especially an annual baroque music festival in lovely churches. Art…well, weekend trips to big cities are always possible.

1917 is excellent, the scale of the sets is amazing.

The summer is the best time for live music (even in the sticks) with loads of festivals, going to see Simple Minds in Cognac in July where we’ve also seen Tom Odell, The Stranglers and Gregory Porter.

I agree the cinematography is excellent, and technically it is wonderful which makes for a film that is absorbing at the time. Sadly I found the constraints of filming as a single take meant it was totally linear, with wooden acting, no plot development, and no subtlety. The number of things that were totally unbelievable was irritating to me…oh look a live cow, and then, oh look a baby…let alone the number of times they should have been killed.

But a bit like eating too much artificial and sugary food, it feels ok at the time but afterwards you feel empty and disappointed.

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The music scene in Brittany is particularly vibrant - much more so than the UK. The biggest festivals are Les Vieilles Charrues - mentioned by Annajayne - the French ‘Glastonbury’ ( - and the Interceltique ( - but there are also big jazz festivals at Vannes and Châteauneuf-du-Faou. Moreover, there are a great many small concerts and musical events throughout the year and throughout Brittany - it’s very central to the culture here.
Even the ancient chapel next to our house, which only has one service a year (the ‘pardon’) apart from weddings and funerals, is regularly used for concerts.

All the small rural towns around us also have cinemas, often showing films in their original language with subtitles (and the original language is of course often English). Larger towns have the inevitable multiplexes - but I prefer the friendly little volunteer-run small-town experience.

I two found lots of musical events of different styles and types. Couple of weeks ago was at Albi’s jazz festival. Low key fun events in addition to the more prestigious concerts.

We have a subscriptions to concerts in Toulouse in the halles aux graines which are various and very friendly. Also our local town does various concerts in the church and a production two years ago of Carmine outside the cathedral which used the local primary schools as chorus. My daughter can talk to you about the Glastonbury style concerts. Did she go to one in Montpellier ? Somewhere like that. Never say I’m not a careful parent.

Thanks for the positive responses - noted for future reference. Music has always been très important pour nous - in many flavours, Bach to Zappa. One trip we will certainly make, in addition some some of the festivals highlighted, is over to Cáceres in Extremadura , Spain for their world music festival. As for cinema and dvd, we watch mainly foreign language films - the majority French!

In the Auvergne we have the opera at Vichy and a music venue at Clermont Ferrand among others. There is also a live music scene in the communities ,for example over a few weekends there are aseries of Sunday Jazz concerts in different villages around the area

Here in the Clunysois there is much live music, from Concerts in Cluny and Charolles to live gigs with a meal in the next village.

And look out for the fête de la musique on 21st June which is a nationwide event, and a day when anyone can play music outside without needing a licence. So events everywhere!

I realised later that I had missed out the Celtic music and festivals.
I want fest noz and dancing right now.

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