What’s on in Champagne-Ardenne in 2013

00 Reims Jazz Festival 01 crédit photo Greg OxleyHere’s a brief summary of major exhibitions, festivals and new developments in Champagne-Ardenne this year:


Images from the film “L’Autre Pays de Renoir” Essoyes, until end February 2013

The new Renoir museum in the picturesque village of Essoyes stages an exhibition of photos from the new film dedicated to the life of Renoir (due for release in the UK Spring 2013). www.renoir-essoyes.fr

The Art of Effervescence Champagne, Reims, until 26 May

Reims Beaux Arts Museum hosts a major exhibition on the mythical influence of champagne on the arts from 17th century to modern times.  This fascinating exhibition covers a wide range of art forms from paintings, sculpture, wallpaper  and decorative objects to contemporary design, music and cinema.http://expo-champagne.reims.fr

Contemporary Art Collection: Auberive Abbey, 2 June – 31 September

This 12th century Cistercian Abbey has taken on several roles during its lifetime.  The building was  was finally bought by the Paris-based Volot family in 2004 and renovated as a cultural centre for contemporary art.  A seasonal exhibition is mounted here every year and in 2013, it will display the painting of modern artists Maryan and Raphaelle Ricol.  Also includes entrance to the Abbey with an audio-guide.www.abbaye-auberive.com

Photography Festival of Montier-en-Der, 21 – 24 November

Inspired by the BBC Wildlife magazine photo exhibition, this festival was launched in1996 and now attracts an acclaimed list of nature photographers and 44,000 visitors worldwide. The wildlife & nature theme coincides with the migration of birds to Europe via the nearby Lac du Der.   www.festiphoto-montier.org


Moissons Rock Festival, Juvigny 8, 10 + 11 May

A 3 day rock festival mixing local talen with national and international rock bands www.moissonrock.org

Musical Summer Strolls (Flâneries Musicales d’été ), Reims, June + July

A summer music festival with more than 100 events ranging from classical to Jazz at cultural heritage sites to cafes & parks.  Many are free www.flaneriesreims.com

‘Green’ Cabaret Festival, Charleville-Mezieres, 22 – 25 August

An alternative ‘eco-rock’ festival with the focus on the environment, good food & beer and contemporary artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy.  Last year saw audiences of 73,000 for the three day event which takes place in the Bayard stadium.

 Reims Jazz Festival, November

A major gathering attracting big names and young talent on the national and international jazz scene with events at key cultural sites across the city www.djaz51.com

 Shows & Street Festivals

 ‘Rêve de Couleurs’ Sound & Light show, Reims, June – September (free event)

Created to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Cathedral in 2011, this enormously popular spectacle is a high-tech marvel allowing viewers to witness the building of the cathedral and ‘participate’ in one of the 33 state coronations held at one of Frances’ most  impressive Cathedrals. See www.cathdraldereims.fr for timings and other events’ information.

 Sedan Mediaeval Festival: 18 – 19 May

One of the major events in the Ardennes’ calendar, this hugely popular annual festival is a riot of colour, costumes, music, re-enactments and mediaeval pageantry celebrating the feudal history of the largest fortified castle in Europe. With feasts, markets, jousting and torchlit visits of the castle, this spectacular event attracts more than 40,000 visitors every year. www.chateau-fort-sedan/fr/en/events-entertainment/mediaeval-festival-sedan

The Joan of Arc Festival, Reims: 1-2 June

A mediaeval market, sound & light spectacular, and the re-enactment of the great Coronation procession of  Charles VII accompanied by Joan of Arc  and 800 costumed participants are some of the highlights to enjoy in this annual mediaeval-themed festival.  See www.reims-tourisme.com

World Puppet Theatre Festival, Charleville-Mezieres, (20 – 29 Sept

One of Northern Europe’s most colourful festivals, this bi-annual event started in 1961 and now attracts artists from all over the world and more than 150,000 visitors a year making Charleville-Mézières the puppet capital of the world.  For more details, visit http://www.festival-marionnette.com.

Habits de Lumières (‘Dressed in Lights’) 13 – 15 December

This annual Christmas festival explodes in a riot of light, colour and flavour over a 3 day extravaganza.  Most festivities are based around the elegant villas of the ‘Avenue de Champagne’, with  sound & light shows, tasting sessions, pop up champagne bars, Michelin chefs, music, fireworks and a truly impressive grand finale procession of 400 vintage cars.  See  http://habitsdelumiere.epernay.fr

Food, Wine & Markets

Beer Festival, Charlevile-Mezieres, 17 – 20 May

An annual festival of more than 100 specialist and micro-brewery beers from across the region


Champagne Route Festival, Celles-sur-Ources 27 – 28 July

A hugely popular festival where the purchase of a 10€ champagne flute is your entry to all the participating wineries to taste the champagne on offer, accompanied by street entertainment, gourmet lunches and exhibitions www.routeduchampagne.com

Cheese Fair, Bar-sur-Aube 8 June

Cheese, bread & wine from all over France with tastings,  speciality products and a host of events & demonstrations celebrating the world of French  cheese !   www.tourisme.barsuraube.org

Reims Christmas market Nov – Dec 2013

This is one of the largest and best in France with more than 135 chalets offering a range of gourmet products, arts and crafts and creative gift suggestions.  This renowned market is held annually in the tree-lined pedestrian streets around Place d’Erlon and the city centre, all beautifully illuminated and decorated.  www.reimsfr

Find out more at www.champagne-ardenne-tourism.co.uk where you can:

  • access the press section and download images from the photo library
  • enjoy virtual visits of some of the major towns
  • click into mini films and interactive videos
  • listen to a series of 14 mini audio-guides
  • download 8 award-winning themed brochures & maps

Check out the e-magazine “ A Season in Champagne-Ardenne” a dedicated application for I-phones, smart phones, I-pads and tablets.  And from your smartphone, try out the mobile website www.enchampagne.mobi, based on 5 key areas of the main site: a clever and practical guide to the region on the move…….

 Issued by Doug Goodman Travel PR on 17th January 2013

Press Contact: Cathryn Hicks

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