Events to look forward to in France in 2024

Posted by Josh on 22nd Dec 2023 in the blog in the french culture category

2024 looks set to be an exciting year for France. Alongside the usual annual festivities and events, the country will be hosting the Summer Olympic Games for the first time in a hundred years. Already the most popular country in the world for tourists, we can expect even more visitors to France this year than perhaps ever before. Here are the main events to look out for in France next year.

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Cannes Film Festival (14-25 May)

This year the Cannes film festival will take place from the 14th to 25th May. The annual event, held in Cannes in the French Riviera, is an important event for the film industry, and is where many of the biggest movies are premiered. While the festival is not open to the general public, some events are, and the town unsurprisingly attracts a huge number of tourists each year.

Le Mans Auto Race (15 - 16 June)

The 24 Hours of Le Man has engaged racing fans for over a hundred years now, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. As the name suggests, it's held near the town of Le Mans in France, and will take place from the 15th to 16 of June. The race is the inspiration for a famous Steve McQueen film, as well as its recent remake.

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Fête de la Musique (21 June)

The Fête de la Musique has been happening every year since 1982 on 21 June, which in 2024 will fall on a Friday. The aim is to publicise and democratise music, hence the slogan 'Faites de la musique', which in French rhymes with the name of the event itself. Thousands of free concerts are held across the country, performed by well-known musicians and amateurs alike. The event is so successful each year that it has been copied by many other countries around the world, including Italy, China and the UK.

Tour de France (29 June - 21 July)

Each year the Tour de France, the biggest annual cycling event on the planet, follows a different route. Last year it began in Bilbao, Spain, and ended at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, but this year it will start in Florence and finish in Nice. It’s a long, arduous slog for the performers, and will take place over three weeks, starting 29 June and ending 21 July. If you want to beat the other tourists to a spot on 2,200-mile roadside, you'd best get there early!

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The Summer Olympics 2024 (26 July - 11 August)

2024 marks the centenary of the last time France hosted the Summer Olympics, back in 1924. The Games this year promise to be an even bigger spectacle, with €3.7 billion invested into the events. With over 10,000 competitors expected to attend, it also marks the first time in modern Olympic history that amateurs will be permitted to compete.

While it’s too late to purchase tickets, many will be visiting France in the summer purely to soak up the atmosphere and play a small part in this historic event.

The Games won't just be confined to Paris; various competitions will happen around Marseilles, Nantes, Lyons, Nice and other cities too. The Olympic torch will arrive in Marseilles as early as the 8th of May, more than two months ahead of the opening ceremony.

The Paralympics 2024 (28 August - 8 September)

This coda to the Olympics will see athletes with various disabilities competing against one another. 22 sports will be played, up from 19 at the Tokyo Paralympics. This will be the first time France has hosted the Summer Paralympics.

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