Spring is in the air—with a full calendar of events
Spring brings warmer weather, and a slew of festivals as well! Women are in the spotlight at Les Femmes s’en mêlent, an event devoted entirely to showcasing the women of the indie music scene. The festival, founded in 1997, will be celebrating its 20th edition this year with concerts in three Parisian venues: Le Trianon (18th arrondissement), Le Trabendo (19th arrondissement) and Le Divan du Monde (18th arrondissement). For this exceptional anniversary edition, Austra, Little Simz and Rebeka Warrior (Sexy Sushi) will be headlining.
In April, the brand new cultural complex, La Seine Musicale, will open its doors on Ile Seguin, inviting the public to enjoy its large concert hall and auditorium. The venue’s schedule of events is multidisciplinary and will include classical concerts, jazz, world music, shows, musicals and ballets. Don’t miss this exciting opening and the chance to discover this incredible new space!
In May, museums open their doors to night owls!
Saturday May 20 is the European Night of Museums, a festive, unconventional evening that invites the public to enjoy art and heritage differently. To celebrate the occasion, museums in and around Paris—like sister institutions throughout Europe—are breaking curfew! Concerts and DJ sets are part of the lineup, alongside exhibitions, performances, film screenings and other special events. May 23-28, the action moves northeast for Villette Sonique, the celebrated underground contemporary music festival, which will once again take up residence in Parc de la Villette, with three stages set to welcome established artists and bright new talents alike.
No time to waste in June!
Among the must-see events, We Love Green gets top billing. The festival takes place in the Bois de Vincennes and is the greenest, most eco-friendly festival in the Paris area. Its lineup features a little bit of everything: rock, pop, electro and urban music.
In the mood for some rock?
Download Festival will be holding its second edition June 9-11 in Brétigny-sur-Orge. The headliners are the real deal: Linkin Park, Green Day and System of a Down.
Also in June, Weather Festival is the place to be for house and techno fans—a sure crowd-pleaser for all the clubbers out there. In under five years, it has made a name for itself as the festival for electro music and culture. The program for the three-day event includes sets by the best DJs in the world. LaPlage de Glazart will also be back at Porte de la Villette (19th arrondissement). Enjoy free concerts and mixing with your toes in the sand from June through October. The perfect place to chill out and have a good time!
There are four events that can’t be missed: Banlieues Bleues gets the towns of Seine-Saint-Denis into the groove in March and April; May 11-22, the Left Bank gets going with Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés; finally, in June, head to the Parc Floral for the Paris Jazz Festival, and to several venues in the Hauts-de-Seine for the La Défense Jazz Festival.
Looking for something new?
Les Bains numériques is worth checking out. The festival, which takes place the first week of June in Enghien-les-Bains, showcases digital artwork, with a focus on Asian trends. The schedule of events boasts exhibitions, installations and concerts, including a giant free concert featuring international artists on a floating stage set up on Lake Enghien.
Summer: the season of music festivals!
On June 24 (tentative date), Gay Pride will bring its festive, activist ambiance to the streets of the capital. And that’s just the beginning: summer brings with it the festival season! There’s something for everyone.
Electro fans will love The Peacock Society Festival, at the Parc Floral in early July, and Siestes électroniques July 8-9. Rock-lovers will hardly be left out: Rock en Seine at the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud is the festival for them.
Another major event
Another major event is Solidays, which will set up camp at the Longchamp Racecourse in late June, with an eclectic lineup ranging from rock to pop by way of electro. This summer will also welcome a newbie to the capital’s festival scene: the legendary American Lollapalooza will be holding its first edition in France July 22 and 23 at the Longchamp Racecourse!
And let’s not forget La Fête de la Musique on June 21. In and around Paris—and throughout the country—we celebrate the first day of summer with the sound of music in the streets. Whether they’re professionals or amateurs, all musicians are invited to come out and make some noise!
A festive fall
If you love electro
Be sure not to miss Paris Electronic Week, September 20-23. This is the event for electro culture devotees. Conferences and workshops are interspersed with prestigious concerts that all lead up to the celebrated Techno Parade. To the floats on the double!
The MaMA Festival sets the 18th arrondissement swaying to the beat! The week-long event features more than 120 concerts in key neighborhood venues and 50 or so talks about music. October will also welcome the second edition of the Semaine des Cabarets. Take advantage of the occasion to enjoy special shows and offers and (re)discover some of the capital’s most famous cabarets!
If you like French chanson, don’t miss Festi’Val de Marne, which gives French lyrics pride of place, whatever the genre (rock, rap, pop, etc.), at a series of concerts in towns throughout the Val-de-Marne.
Nuit Blanche, set to take place October 7
Nuit blanche is a major highlight of Parisian nightlife—undoubtedly the most cultural and talked-about event in all of Grand Paris! Pull an all-nighter to explore contemporary art in all its forms and in a number of amazing venues.
And in November, the western suburbs march in time to the music of Festival Chorus des Hauts-de-Seine at La Seine Musicale on Ile Seguin. The festival celebrates all styles, from rock to French chanson, rap and electro. Tickets are affordable and the lineup exceptional!
To bring fall to a pleasant close, don’t miss the fifth edition of the Festival Kalypso, a festive event showcasing hip-hop dance at key venues in the Val-de-Marne.
The winter show circuit
Cold weather can’t stop Grand Paris—we have a full selection of events to warm your winter nights! In January, and through February 5, the 26th annual Sons d’Hiver music festival is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the arrival of jazz in France with a series of concerts in Paris and in several towns southeast of the city.
If experimental music is your thing
Don’t miss Sonic Protest, back with this year’s edition March 11-26. This avant-garde festival founded in 2003 takes place throughout Grand Paris. Programming includes concerts, sound installations and film projections organized in an extremely eclectic selection of venues including Saint-Merry Church (4th arrondissement), Le Centquatre (19th arrondissement), Le Générateur in Gentilly, the Théâtre de Vanves, Les Instants Chavirés and La Marbrerie in Montreuil to name just a few.
Looking to get closer to nature?
Head to the Bois de Vincennes for The Peacock Society Festival of electronic music and art, February 17 and 18. You’ll be nice and warm in the magnificent Baltard-style Grande Halle, located in the very heart of the Parc Floral. The schedule is jam-packed: two full nights of electro music and visual arts. From hip-hop to techno, there’s something for everyone.
And to celebrate the final days of winter
Try out Festival Paris Music, which is holding its second edition March 16-19. The concept behind this festival is simple but bold: enjoy music in the most unusual places Grand Paris has to offer! Electro in a museum, rock in a cultural center or jazz in a quirky bar, for example—an event that’s sure to please!