The Amazing Féria de Nimes

Posted on 15. Oct, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France

I had a brief stop in Nîmes earlier this year when I got back from Catalunya. Short stop but long enough for me to grab a sandwich and chat with the waitress.

“- So what should I come to Nîmes for, if not the train station?
- Oh you shoud come back for the Féria - they’re awesome.
- What are they?
- Well it’s hard to describe - it’s sort of a Occitan festival, you know, French and Spanish, with corridas and such, and lots of people dancing in the streets. Very fun!” 

I didn’t need to hear more to be convinced. It was only February back then, but I my third weekend of September had just been booked. I was going to the Féria de Nimes!

The Féria festival was born 60 years ago,  right after the Ramonory-Sorbet bill had passed, authorizing the running of the bulls in cities that already had a strong sense of this tradition. Since then, the Féria attracts over 1 million people every year, including famous French people and such. There are corridas, abrivados, free concerts and an incredible atmosphere.

Since bulls are not my favorite animal, and I’m not a big fan of corridas either, I decided to enjoy the nightlife and listen to the many concerts given throughout the city. I even made a video of my favorites!

Please don’t judge me - I’m a terrible videographer. Points for the effort, pretty please?

Not bad, eh? I LOVED the music part of the Féria de Nimes, even if it’s far from what I normally listen to (not sure the Arctic Monkeys are filed in the same section at the record store, right?). The ambiance was electric, and everybody was in a good mood. I think I might actually just go back next year, but for the whole weekend this time!

Things you should know before you go:

  • There are two Féria during the year: on the Pentecost weekend in May, and on the third weekend of September.
  • Book your accommodation early - rooms sell out very quickly!
  • Wear closed shoes if you can - there are bottles everywhere on the ground, and that’s not very sandals-friendly.
  • Be prepared to sleep very little, but have an incredible time!

Have you ever been to the Féria de Nimes? Or a similar festival elsewhere in the world?

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13 Responses to “The Amazing Féria de Nimes”

  1. Laurence

    16. Oct, 2012

    I’ve never heard of this festival, although I have attended some Occitan festivals in France. Looks like a lot of fun!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      31. Oct, 2012

      You should go, it’s not that far from where you live :)

      Reply to this comment
  2. Leigh

    16. Oct, 2012

    Amazing where a chance conversation with a waitress takes you. Sounds like a fun time!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Cheryl Howard

    16. Oct, 2012

    I love learning about new festivals like these! This looks like a lot of fun. It’s so cool that you came back to experience it! :)

    Reply to this comment
  4. Adela @FourJandals

    24. Oct, 2012

    The Spanish definitely know how to throw a crazy party! And the French are pretty good to, this looks like great fun

    Reply to this comment
  5. Abby

    28. Oct, 2012

    Spanish ferias are the best!!! I can’t imagine with the added touch of the Frenchies ;-)

    Reply to this comment
  6. Megan

    29. Oct, 2012

    Ferias are the best! We went to one in Beziers and had an amazing time this summer. I totally agree that you won’t get much sleep and we got lucky and found last minute accommodations that were acceptable, but you sure don’t sleep much! I took some pictures and wrote about it:
    http://hellobougeotte.blogspot.fr/2012/08/hello-feria-and-beziers.html

    Reply to this comment
  7. Wanderplex

    07. Nov, 2012

    I haven’t been to a feria but it looks like a blast!

    Reply to this comment

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