Paris is at the heart of Europe’s electronic music scene, offering fans a chance to dance till dawn at can’t-miss all-night parties, watch big acts perform live at festivals, and go on electronic music boat cruises.
Major returning events
Paris has any number of electro and techno events, starting with the absolute must-see – the Techno Parade, which for the past 20 years has drawn hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Paris in mid-September to watch the famous floats go by.
Every summer, the live music venue Glazart is transformed into a seaside resort with a party every night on an artificial beach, complete with sand, boules games, deckchairs and food trucks serving international street food. La Plage de Glazart, as it is called, mixes a summertime atmosphere with electronic music parties and concerts. An equally festive event takes place in more verdant surroundings at the Bois de Boulogne, where the pop-up club La Clairière opens every summer to host concerts by the biggest names in electro, techno and house music.
Those seeking to broaden their horizons should seek out events by Cercle, a collective that programmes DJ sets in unusual places: Nina Kraviz mixing on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, Joris Voorn at the Grand Palais, POPOF on the ice rink of the AccorHotels Arena and so on. Though these events are now hosted in cities around the globe, the collective has a marked preference for Paris venues.
Paris also puts on many electronic music festivals. There’s the Weather Festival in June, Peacock Society in December, Dream Nation Festival in September, Marvellous Island and Big Bang Festival in October: huge events that keep the city partying practically all year round. There’s also the offbeat Electroland in early summer: an electro music fest at Disneyland Paris for two consecutive nights. The popular summertime Macki Music Festival keeps the party going with now-famous electro cruises at the Parc de la Bergère in Bobigny.
Places for dancing to electro all year round
Besides these not-to-miss festivals, more and more imaginative electro venues are cropping up in Paris and the surrounding towns.
After dismantling its beach, Glazart goes into winter mode by setting up a wooden chalet outdoors. Called L’Alpage, the space hosts DJ sets and concerts as well as food trucks and a mulled wine stand. An Alpine atmosphere in the Paris region!
La Ferme du Bonheur is a must-see, not just because it’s a unique place but also because it hosts great electro parties. Fans come to dance and enjoy the famous Electro de Bal event in this haven of greenery only a short distance from the business district La Défense. The Docks de Paris, located in bonded warehouses formerly owned by the Paris municipality in the town of Aubervilliers, has been redeveloped into a venue hosting memorable parties. 6B in Saint-Denis is an important part of the Paris cultural scene, hosting electro concerts and festivals, encounters with street artists and other events. Kilowatt in Vitry-sur-Seine, so named because it has a view of the smokestacks of the town’s power station, is an all-new venue for a number of electronic music events.
There are also plenty of electronic music clubs: the legendary Rex Club, a shrine to electro for over 30 years, the Faust, the Yoyo, the ZigZag Club, Chez Moune in Pigalle, formerly a cabaret, and Station–Gare des Mines located in an old coal depot, to name only a few.
The Seine quayside: an electro hotspot
The Seine quayside in the Bercy district is Paris’s electro hub. Clubbers with a taste for electronic music flock there for the parties that take place all year round in and around the Cité de la Mode et du Design.
Many of the clubs on barges along the river are electro-focused, like Petit Bain and the world renowned, 24/7 Concrete. Hardcore clubbers head there at dawn to carry on partying, or in the late afternoon to have drinks to an electro soundtrack.
The strikingly designed Cité de la Mode et du Design houses some iconic Paris nightlife spots: Debonair Café on the rooftop, Nuits Fauves in the basement and the popular Wanderlust, where top international DJs are regularly invited to play techno, house and electro.