By Anne the 23/11/2023

The island of summer festivals

Festivals, village feasts, rural fairs, life in Corsica is a genuine live show.

The seasons here are punctuated by these major events and gatherings.


On the cultural scene, too, it's sometimes hard to know where to begin, as the line-up is so rich and diverse with the arrival of the fine weather. 

Most festivals take place in the open air, on starry summer nights when voices, sounds and musical genres mingle in every region of the island. Most of these events have been going on for decades, but the drive to share and be creative leads to new initiatives every season. 

Brando, for example, will get the ball rolling at the beginning of June with the Ballà Boum, an opening event inspired by the village balls that are another summer attraction.



Ajaccio follows at the junction of June and July with Jazz in Aiacciu, one of the island's summer festival landmarks, which has taken over the Théâtre du Casone, the new epicentre of the music scene in the imperial city, where LazArtRock and then the Aiò Festival will bring the house down in July. 


Patrimonio and its Guitar Nights, Erbalunga and its Piano Nights, Calvi with its jazz and electro, all bring their own stamp to the summer festivals. They always mark the successful union, the perfect harmony between a music, an instrument and a town or a region, even in the interior of the island.


Sorru in Musica, Festi Lumi in Bonifacio, Festivoce in Pigna, Henry Mary in Sartène, l'Aria di a Sarra in Serra-di-Ferro, les rencontres du violoncelle in Moïta, the Lama Film Festival, les rencontres littéraires d’Altagène, (Altagène literary encounters), les rencontres internationales du théâtre en Corse (international Corsican theatre encounters) in the Giussani, Jazz in Paese in the small villages of Corsica all take centre stage.


The usual locomotives are on the rails, with only Porto Latino in Saint-Florent taking a break. The others, all the others, in all their stimulating diversity, are there.


Music - the queen of summer - theatre and cinema, classical and electro repertoire, and just about every genre in between, Corsican festivals are delivering a dazzling display that leaves plenty of room for local creativity, which is the least we can do in an area where the proportion of artists per inhabitant puts the island on a podium of creativity that is all too often forgotten.


This is one of the reasons why, in addition to the distinctive sites that host these events - and this is a sign of chauvinism - Corsica's festivals have that extra soul. 



The festival of flavours 


As the seasons change, rural fairs showcase producers and craftspeople who are proud to share their know-how. 

 Under huge marquees or outdoors in fine weather, stalls are set up and lined up for a few days of festivities, often over a weekend. The stalls are filled with artisanal products, a festival of traditional flavours and skills, and innovative gustatory and artistic creations selected to represent a cross-section of the best the island has to offer. These products are often labelled, representing PDO, PGI, AOC and other certifications sometimes obtained after long years of fighting and hard work for recognition.


Throughout the year, craft fairs with a variety of themes and events are organised from the north to the south of the island.

These include celebrations of olive oil and cheese in May, grain and wine in July, almonds, hazelnuts, local produce and cutlery in August, figs and honey in September, and finally the chestnut, the sacred fruit of the breadfruit tree, fresh from the bogue in December in Bocognano.


These rural fairs put tradition back at the heart of sharing and exchange. It's an opportunity for craftsmen, breeders, farmers and producers to come and meet their customers, or even a new clientele, and to stand out from their peers for the sheer quality of their art.


Craft products can also be discovered in the summer months, in the marketplaces of towns and villages, where a short circuit is organised, bringing so many green products directly from the farmer to the consumer. 



Corsica also has a craft trail that crosses the whole island to discover local products and ancestral know-how. Gusti di Corsica, the Authentic Senses Route, lists a large number of producers and artisans who are happy to open their doors to visitors with a thirst or appetite for discovery. On the website, an interactive map allows you to find the best addresses according to location.




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