Listen to the violins on the sand

The largest open-air classical concert hall for the 150,000 spectators of the Un Violon sur le sable festival.

Four classical and lyrical evenings under the stars

A must for summer in the world of French festivals, A Violon sur le Sable brings together young and old, music lovers or simple spectators, on the beach of Royan.


The festival gives rise to unprecedented outdoor concerts each year. In front of the ephemeral scene erected on the beach, the public is seated on the sand (free show) or in a paid tribune.
Attracting nearly 150,000 people, Un Violon sur le Sable is one of the most frequented classical music festivals.

Under the direction of Jérôme Pillement, the symphonic orchestra of Un Violon sur le Sable is composed of 75 musicians, mostly from the Paris Opera Orchestra and other national or international phalanges. They perform some of the great tunes of the classical repertory, extracts from symphonic works, opera tunes, film music, original music and world music.

The orchestra is accompanied by prestigious classical guests, including lyric artists and instrumental soloists such as Natalie Dessay, Renaud Capuçon, Alexandre Tharaud, Inca Mula, Annick Massis, Beatrice Uria-Monzon, Patricia Petibon, Brigitte Engerer, Katia And Julie Fuchs, Nemanja Radulovic, Philippe Jaroussky, Gautier & Renaud Capuçon, Bertrand Chamayou, Jean-François Zygel, Didier Lockwood Korcia ... or star dancers (Daniil Simkin, Delphine Moussin, Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Marie-Agnes Gillot, Dorothée Gilbert ...).

Without being announced in the program, an artist of variety sometimes comes to join the orchestra. Like Jean-Louis Aubert, Maurane, Laurent Voulzy, Olivia Ruiz or Christophe Maé, Grand Corps Malade, they invite themselves to the stage one evening, for one or two songs in a symphonic version.

During 8 days, the festival off A Violin on the City gives rise to a multitude of events in the city and its surroundings, allowing the public to attend many musical events and other animations in unusual places, with the participation of Soloists and musicians from the orchestra of Un Violon sur le Sable.

violins on the sand festival


Traditionally the program of A Violin on the Sand is unveiled only a few days before the first concert. Some tunes and works played by the orchestra of the festival, taken at random, have nevertheless been murmured ...

  • Clair de lune by Debussy
  • Concerto by Schumann - Soloist: Edgar Moreau, cello
  • Variations on a theme by Paganini, by Rachmaninov - Soloist: David Kadouch, piano
  • Concerto by Aranjuez de Rodrigo - Soloist: Xavier de Maistre, harp
  • Requiem by Verdi (excerpts) / Chœur du pays royannais
  • Medley Beach boys
  • Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz
  • Brahms Hungarian Dance
  • Waltz of the Emperor of Strauss
  • Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
  • Music from the movie Back to the Future


Rendez-vous next year for the 30th edition of the Violin on the sand, July 22, 25, 28 and 30 2017.

To learn more about the festival Un violon sur le Sable


Video on the festival Un Violon sur le Sable 2016 


Françoise, 63 years old, tells us about her Violin on the Sand.

Violins on the Sand. It really is a fabulous festival, right out of the ordinary!

What I like is being able to be on the beach and listen to music. It's become an essential part of our holiday.

Our friends come to join us for the event. We bring our picnic and have dinner on the beach. It's best to arrive early to be able to choose a good place. We can enjoy not only the concert but also the sunset. The Grande Conche beach is transformed into a fun and friendly auditorium! There's nothing missing for an exceptional evening.

What I really love is the final bouquet, the magnificent firework display that brings each concert to a close. Nothing could be more beautiful! Just talking about it brings me out in goose bumps!

We've also discovered some wonderful music. Two years ago we were bowled over by the style and sensitivity of the Serbian violinist Nemanja Radulovic. Indeed, we were delighted to see him play again this year. Not forgetting the mezzo-soprano Béatrice Uria-Monzon and her truly impressive voice, and the principal dancer Alice Renavand, whose gracefulness charmed us from start to finish.

The artistic quality of this festival is quite simply astounding! Even if you're not a fan of classical music, you'll enjoy Violins on the Sand!

And we're really looking forward to finding out what the next programme contains ….

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