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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ruskell

2022 Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique in Cannes

Don't miss Cannes’ spectacular International Fireworks Competition where counties put on their best show for the coveted prize, the Vestal d’argent.

For 55 years, the Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique de Cannes has been dazzling spectators with stunning fireworks shows. We’ve been attending almost all of them for a few years now and there really isn’t anything else like it. Not every performance is a knock-out, best-ever but each year there are a few that leave you feeling amazed, entertained and in awe when it’s over. It’s also a joy to see the amazement and joy on the faces of children in the crowd, wowed by a sight so spectacular they barely believe their eyes.

The festival began in 1967, when the Ruggieri company and the City of Cannes developed the idea of an international competition between the most famous fireworks makers of the time. Since then, countries from all continents have participated, from Azerbaijan to Japan, and Argentina to Finland.

Set to a theme and in-sync with music, the latest and greatest fireworks of all shapes, sizes, colours and sounds are launched from barges in the sea, just off the shore of the Croisette. The best views if you enjoy to be right underneath them when they’re larger than life above your head and you can feel every boom, watch from the Croisette, either along the road (closed to traffic for the event), or make the even more magical by renting lounge beds at any of the many beach-front restaurants. But no matter where you are in Cannes, from Palm Beach to the Suquet, you will surely have a fabulous view.

2022 Schedule

This year’s competing countries are Poland, Norway, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. The Festival kicked-off on 14 July, Bastille Day, with a fun show put on by France. However, this was not part of the official competition. Dates are listed to the right.

Winning trophies

Each year, numerous countries submit their program according to a theme and after a meticulous scrutiny, a final rigorous selection is made among the numerous applications in order to choose five competitors who will compete for the:

Vestale d’argent (The Silver Vestale) - A Jury, made up of 5 to 7 people, appreciates, in addition to the originality of the chosen theme and the pieces presented, the staging itself, the quality of the musical illustration, the synchronisation, the research into colours, the rate of fire and the general rhythm, and finally the general artistic impression: the scenes, the pyrotechnic design, and respect of the chosen theme.

Prix du Jury (The Jury Prize) - The Jury Prize is awarded to the fireworks specialist who has distinguished himself by his originality.

Prix du Publique (People’s Choice) - The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes offers the possibility to the spectators of the Festival d'Art Pyrotechnique to participate in the People’s Choice Prize. Everyone can give a score to the fireworks in competition.

To participate to the Public Prize, you just have to evaluate the firm in competition by clicking on the stars in the "vote tab" of the country of choice and then fill in the registration form. All entries must be received by 24 August 2022 at 23:59.

La Vestale d'Or (The Gold Vestal) - Every four years, the pyrotechnicians who have won a Silver Vestal or Jury Prize compete for the Golden Vestal. These trophies are highly contested and internationally recognised as the awards of excellence in pyrotechnic industry.

This year, firms will compete for the Silver Vestal, but next year, 2023, is the coveted Golden Vestal competition, pitting the previous Silver Vestal winning firms against each other in a top competition that is unique in the world.

All photos © Palais des Festivals

You can also be a winner!

By voting for the People' s Choice Award, you could be one of the 10 winners of a giveaway (under the supervision of a bailiff, which will take place on 26 August 2022) to win invitations to the following shows at the Palais des Festivals:

  • La Cie Käfig on 23 October 2022

  • Machine de cirque on 22 December 2022

  • La Course des Géants on 20 November 2022

Tips to avoid gridlock

As magical as the Fireworks nights are, the city becomes absolutely grid-locked with traffic from around 9 pm until after midnight. To avoid this, try to come by train, easily accessible by most towns in the Riviera.

If you must drive, make sure to arrive in Cannes much earlier so you can still get around easily and find parking in the garages. Note that all the Cannes parking structures are full by half-past eight.

Another alternative is driving to a nearby town and taking the train in. Both Biot and Villeneuve-Loubet rail stations have ample free parking nearby. Just make sure to watch the train times back!

Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique de Cannes

14 July - 24 August

In the Bay of Cannes

Fireworks start at 10 pm and last 30 minutes.

For more details and to vote for your favourite, visit the website:





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