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Experience the Magic of the Festival D'Art Pyrotechnique in Cannes background image

Experience the Magic of the Festival D'Art Pyrotechnique in Cannes

Planning a visit to the Festival D'Art Pyrotechnique in Cannes this summer? Here's everything you need to know

Every summer, the bay of Cannes becomes the stage for one of the most prestigious pyrotechnic festivals in the world. The festival runs over six nights from 14 July to 24 August 2023. The fireworks are choreographed to music, creating a spectacle that is both visually and audibly impressive. Each performance is given on the seafront and is visited by more than 700,000 spectators and a jury.

But the festival is not just about the fireworks. It's also a competition, with the firms vying for the coveted Golden Vestal. This award brings together the previously victorious firms of the Silver Vestal for a unique competition. As a spectator, you can be part of this competition by voting for your favourite firework displays online. The winners are announced on 26 August, adding extra excitement to the event.

Fireworks in Cannes on the French Riviera

A brief history

The Festival D'Art Pyrotechnique of Cannes is not just a spectacle; it's a tradition. Dating back to 1967, the festival has a rich history of showcasing the skills of the world's best pyrotechnicians. Initially, the competition was for the Silver Vestal, a prestigious award that pyrotechnicians worldwide aspired to win.

Over the years, the festival has evolved, and now the most coveted prize is the Golden Vestal. Awarded every four years, this prize is reserved for the most outstanding pyrotechnicians who have previously won a Silver Vestal or a Jury Prize.

The festival has seen winners from all over the world, including France, Spain, Italy, Russia, China, and the Philippines. Each year, the festival awards the Silver Vestal, the Jury Prize, and the Public Prize, with the public being invited to vote for their favourite fireworks displays.

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Despite a few interruptions in its history, notably from 1984 to 1997, the festival has always returned with a bang. It continues to dazzle spectators with its stunning pyrotechnic displays, each a testament to the creativity and skill of the pyrotechnicians.

The festival is free to attend, and if you can't make it in person, you can watch the fireworks online, live or recorded. The display soundtracks are also broadcast live on Cannes Radio, frequency 91.5 FM.

Exploring Cannes

While you're in Cannes, why not take the opportunity to explore the city and its surroundings? Cannes is not just about the film festival; it's a city of glamour, luxury, and natural beauty.

You could start by discovering the Calanques of the Esterel. Join a family-friendly guided RIB tour of the Esterel natural park and explore the hidden coves, caves, and Calanques as you cruise on turquoise water. It's a great way to see a different side of the French Riviera.

If you want a peaceful retreat, take a short boat ride from Cannes to Sainte-Marguerite Island. The island is a haven of tranquillity, far from the crowded beaches and bustling streets of the city.

Sainte-Marguerite Island
Sainte-Marguerite Island

For those who want to see more of the Côte d'Azur, why not take a guided driving tour? Visit the village of Èze, explore Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Antibes, and get a taste of the glamour and luxury the region is famous for.

If you're a fan of underwater exploration, don't miss the chance to go on a boat and snorkelling tour. Explore the French Riviera islands of Lérins or voyage along the Estérel and snorkel above beautiful red rocks.

And if you're up for a half-day trip, discover the beauty of the Esterel Massif mountain range on a coastal walk. Afterwards, swim and snorkel around the Lérins Islands and Baie des Milliardaires on a speedboat tour. It's a great way to combine nature and adventure.

Getting there

Getting to Cannes is straightforward whether you're travelling from within France or from abroad. If you're coming by train, the Cannes station is a mere five-minute walk from La Croisette, the city's main promenade. The Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region and the SNCF are putting on additional trains for the festival on 14, 21, 29 July and 15 August.

For those who prefer to drive, Cannes is easily accessible via the A8 motorway. From Paris, head towards Lyon (A6), then Marseilles (A7), and finally Nice (A8) – Exit 40 for Cannes. If you're coming from Marseilles, take the A7 towards Aix en Provence, then the A8 towards Nice – again, Exit 40 for Cannes. Do note that the Palais des Festivals parking will be closed during the fireworks nights from 8 pm to midnight, so it's advisable to park in the other surrounding areas.

Parking Packages

For those driving, Cannes offers special parking packages. Users and subscribers of the Palais, Suquet Forville, Laubeuf, Ferrage Meynadier, Vauban, République, Lamy and Croisette car parks can benefit from these offers all year round. There's a night package for just 3€ (from Saturday 19h to Sunday 9h), six free hours (3H Saturday + 3H Sunday), and even two free hours once a week.

Where to stay

Take a look at the campsites available in the Côte d'Azur region and use our handy filter to find ones suitable for you.

Camping Sandaya Rivièra d'Azur and Camping International (Giens) are excellent choices for those who prefer to stay near the coast. These campsites offer a variety of amenities and are located just a short distance from the beach.

If you're looking for a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle, Camping les Mûres and Camping Sandaya Douce Quiétude offer serene environments surrounded by natural beauty.

For those who prefer a more rural setting, Camping Caravaning Leï Suves and Camping Domaine de la Bergerie are situated a few kilometres inland and offer a variety of amenities in a peaceful setting.

Suggested campsites

Camping Sandaya Rivièra d’Azur is an excellent site near the Côte d’Azur that will take you away from the Mediterranean coast's bustle. Spread out over...

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Camping International at Giens is a popular windsurfers’ paradise. The site has its own school with the beach just across the quiet coast road. With...

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Les Mûres is a friendly, family site situated northeast of the busy holiday centre of Port Grimaud and has been run by the Grau and...

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Sandaya Douce Quiétude is just a 10-minute drive from the sandy beaches at Saint Raphaël and Agay (with campsite shuttle transport) but is quietly situated...

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This is a beautiful site just a short drive from the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean and ideally located for touring Provence. The site has...

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La Bergerie is a quiet, family owned site, situated in the hills about 3km from Vence and Saint Paul de Vence. 10km from the sea...

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