Summer Culinary and Cultural Festivals in the Tarn, South-West France

Lots to see, do and taste in this beautiful French region

The Grand Falconer’s Medieval Festival

The Grand Falconer’s Medieval Festival

Pause Guitare festival 2014

Pause Guitare Festival

Lautrec pink garlic

Lautrec pink garlic

Gaillac vineyard ©D.Viet

Gaillac vineyard ©D.Viet

Pause Guitare festival in Albi

4 July – 9 July 2017

Now running for its 21st year, Pause Guitare is an annual open-air music festival taking place in the city of Albi (a UNESCO world heritage site). With more than 70 artists performing across seven different stages, the whole city comes alive with the sound of music. Boasting a range of genres including electro, rock, pop, rap, and folk, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes.

Price: A three-day ticket starts from £87 approx (€110). Four of the stages have free admission.

The Grand Falconer’s Medieval Festival – ‘Les Fêtes Médiévales du Grand Fauconnier’

14 July – 15 July 2017

The Grand Falconer’s Medieval Festival was created in 1971 to celebrate the 750th birthday of the bastide village of Cordes-sur-Ciel. Since then every July, taking place over Bastille Day, the village of Cordes-sur-Ciel turns the clocks back to the Middle Ages. The whole local community gets involved with residents and spectators taking part in medieval dress, whilst the streets are lined with jugglers, musicians, knights, troubadours and fire-eaters. Over the course of the two days, there are many traditional medieval spectacles including falconry, fire shows, calligraphy workshops and demonstrations in basket-weaving and bronze-smelting. The highlights of the festival are a magnificent torchlight procession through the village’s narrow streets, a jousting tournament, and a medieval banquet and dance held in the market square. Cordes-sur-Ciel is itself a small medieval marvel, boasting beautiful cobblestone streets, fascinating architecture and a picturesque hilltop position.

Price: Day pass £7 approx (9€), two day pass £11 approx (14€), free for children under six and for those dressed in medieval costume.

The Lautrec Pink Garlic Festival – ‘La Fête de l’Ail Rose de Lautrec’

4 August – 5 August 2017

In celebration of the pink garlic grown exclusively in the area, L’ail rose de Lautrec, the town of Lautrec holds an annual free food festival. Every year since 1970, tourists, holidaymakers and locals crowd the medieval lanes of Lautrec to sample some of the pink garlic specialities from the region. Grown on the hillsides of The Tarn since the middle ages, this pink garlic is distinguished for its aromatic and subtle taste, sweeter and milder than the usual white garlic. A highlight is the contest between producers to make the longest manouille (a plait of garlic bulbs) in the space of three hours. Other competitions include best sculpture made out of pink garlic, the best pink garlic tart, and even a competition for ‘Miss Pink Garlic’.

Price: Free

Gaillac Wine Festival – ‘La Fête des Vins’

5 August – 6 August 2017

Every year over the first weekend of August, wine lovers descend on the market town of Gaillac to celebrate the region’s Gaillac AOP wines. The Gaillac wine region is known as one of France’s premiere and oldest wine regions, with the first vine plantations dating back to Gallo-Roman times. Taking place in the gardens of Château de Foucard, visitors will be able to attend tastings given by more than 60 winegrowers. The festival will have a full programme of wine-related activities, accompanied by events and performances, including circus performers, a fireworks display to close the festival and face painting for children.

Prices: Day pass £5.50 approx (7€), Weekend pass £8 approx (10€), free for children under 18.

For more information visit Le Tarn Tourisme