NOTE: June 9th is Pentecost Sunday; Monday June 10th is a bank holiday, so municipal museums and some shops and offices may be closed.
Summertime is music festival time. Time Out Paris is a great place to start if you want to see the schedule of festival in and around Paris this summer, in French only: Les Festivals de Musique à Paris
It’s not in Paris, but it’s worth the trek: the world-famous comedian/activist Eddie Izzard is performing in Caen (Normandy) for the D-Day 75th anniversary, doing his show in three parts: in German 7pm, English at 8pm and in French at 9pm. Get your tickets here.
The 17th annual Rendez-Vous au Jardins is a nation-wide garden festival with special events held in gardens and green spaces all over Paris and Ile de France for free. This year’s theme is “Les Animaux au Jardin”. Check out the website for the official program of events.
The charity shop Emmaüs is holding their annual Grande Vente Solidaire this weekend. Come to check out their great deals on used furniture, linens, electronics, homewear, dishes, clothing, accessories, etc, with all profits going to help Emmaüs’s mission to help housing and provide job training for those in need. At La Recyclerie de Paris (Place de la Porte de Montreuil, 20th, entrance at the corner of Rue Mendelssohn and Rue des Docteurs Dejerine). Free entry, open Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.
The famous rose gardens of the Parc de Bagatelle (Bois de Boulogne, 16th) are featured at their finest this weekend for the annual “Weekend de la Rose” (they clearly weren’t feeling inspired to come up with a catchier name). Come see over 10,000 roses including the ones competing for “Best in Show”, gardening workshops and demonstrations, and practical gardening tips, including how to garden without pesticides (the City of Paris no longer uses any pesticides in the Municipal Gardens). On Saturday at 2:30pm they will be unveiling a new rose, “Rêve de Paris”. Hope it smells fabulous! There are also special activities for kids, bring the whole family. Open 11am-7pm, entry €2.50
Want to see one of the most amazing collections of street art murals in the world? Boulevard Paris 13 Project is the initiative by the 13th arrondissement of Paris and the Galerie Itinerrance to showcase the 50 murals by 26 international street artists including Shepard Fairey (Obey), ST4, Hush, DALeast, C215, and D*Face among others. Today the project will be officially inaugurated with a street festival under the elevated metro between Chevaleret and Nationale (line 6) from 7-10pm with music, food trucks and picnic tables, open to all for free.
The 10th annual Portes d’Or is a chance for all the artistic workshops in the Goutte d’Or (18th arrondissement) to open their doors to the public. Over 65 painters, sculptors, jewelery-makers and many others who live and work in the Goutte d’Or wish to share their creativity. Please come support the community and experience these unique productions.
Music by the Glass
“The Little(r) Museums of Paris” officially comes out June 27 in France but the author/illustrator Emma Jacobs will be at Le Peloton Café (near Hôtel de Ville, 17 rue du Pont Louis Philippe) today with some early copies. Stop on by 2-4pm to chat, buy a copy, and pick up a free illustrated postcard from the book! If you’re in the mood for a bike ride through Paris, Le Peloton is owned by the local bike tour company Bike About Tours.
Looking to don your most fabulous ball gown and waltz in a Parisian palace? There are still tickets available for the annual Bal des Parisiennes at the Palais Brogniart (La Bourse).
The artists of the 5th (Mouffetard) and 13th (Butte aux Cailles/Gobelins) districts knows as Lézarts du Bièvre open their studios to the public for two days, 2-8pm. Free entry. There are three circuits to follow, and the guest urban artist of honor this year is Retro Graffitism.
The Fête du Miel et des Abeilles celebrates bees, honey and bee-keeping at the Parc de Bercy from 11am-7pm, free entry, demos and family activities.
Eighty French and American indie films are in competition in this year’s 8th annual Champs Elysées Film Festival. Films are screened at cinemas on and around ‘les Champs’, and there will be many other events, including off-competition screenings, premieres and events where you can meet the cast and directors. The guests of honor include Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum and Kyle McLaughlin. A pass to all screenings is €49, the big opening and closing ceremony screenings are additional €35 (individual screenings are €7). Lost in Frenchlation is hosting a festival screening event for Vif-Argent (French film with English subtitles) and rooftop cocktail reception with views over the Arc de Triomphe on June 22nd; more info here.
Fête de la Musique This annual all-night music festival takes place throughout France, but in Paris the whole city is overtaken: public spaces, bars, cafés, parks, sidewalks and even the streets are closed off for live music of every kind, performed by both famous and amateur musicians, from late afternoon through early morning, all concerts are free and open to everyone. Please note the main metro lines will be running all night, but it will be hard to get around by taxi/Uber because of road closures (and Vélibs are typically locked down for the night). Bring your earplugs if you expect to try and sleep!
As part of Fête de la Musique, the Abbey Bookshop (29 rue de la Parcheminerie, 5th) is hosting a Stephen Clarke Soirée with music and comedy celebrating the bookshop’s 30th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of Stephen’s bestseller ‘A Year In The Merde’. To quote Stephen: “I’ll do some of my comic songs, and a few of the songs I wrote when I was in a country band, which get increasingly tragic as my wife breaks down, my dog divorces me and my car develops ringworm.” The festivities begin with a welcome drink at 6:30 pm, and at 7:00 pm we walk across the street to the Black Bird Bar to enjoy the show in their downstairs “cave”. Free entry!
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France, dedicated to raising awareness and funds for non-profit organizations, particularly around AIDS prevention. For the 21st anniversary of the festival, this year’s acts include Macklemore, Angèle, Ninho, J Balvin, and over 160,000 attendees are expected to join the fight against AIDS at Paris-Longchamp racecourse. Day passes start at €46.50.
The Place de la République will be transformed into a giant urgan garden/farm for four days of the BiodiversiTerre festival “BiodiversiTerre is a plant and human work that depicts environmental issues and the responsibility of man in the face of his environment through a festive walk. Allegory of the reconciliation between economy and ecology, between consumers and producers but also the co-development of cities and rural life, BiodiversiTerre wants to reinvent collectively the ecosystem of our world.” There will be activities, stands, food and music, and lots of greenery in the otherwise concrete jungle (the person behind the festival, Gad Weil, did the same thing on the Champs Elysées last year). Free entry, open from 10am until 7pm (until 3pm on the last day).
World-renowned street artist Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) will be at the vernissage for his show “Facing the Giant : Three Decades of Dissent” at the Galerie Itinerrance (24bis Boulevard du Général Jean Simon, 13th, metro Bibliothèque) from 6-9pm. This gallery always has huge crowds for its openings, so expect a line down the block to start forming at 5pm! If you miss the opening, the show continues through the end of July.
Coffee addicts and aficionados should check out the first Café! coffee festival and expo this weekend at Le 104 (5 Rue Curial, 19th). There will be over 80 stands offering by producers, roasters, baristas and other coffee industry peeps offering tastings, coffee tours, trainings, debates, and conferences on everything coffee. Open 10am-8pm, one-day passes are €10, two-day passes are €15. More info here.
The Salon Emmaüs brings together 120 Emmaüs chapters all over France for a major flea market at the Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles (15th). ALl proceeds go to support the organization’s mission to help those in need with housing assistance and job training. Open 9:30am-6:30pm. Entrance €3. Learn more here.
The monthly Marché des Grands Voisins takes place today from 10am-7pm at Les Grands Voisins, a sort of community center housed in the former St-Vincent-de-Paul Hospital (74 ave Denfert-Rochereau, 14th). This month’s festive Marché et Bal Italien features 150 stands selling arts and crafts, flea market items, and products from neighboring shops. There is a canteen and café for food and drinks, and from 4pm there will be Italian Folk Dancng (everyone is invited to learn the moves). Entrance is free, families welcome, all proceeds help the residents of the community center (many who are asylum seekers).
June 26-August 6
The annual summer sales take place this year for five weeks throughout France, primarily in clothing stores, but pretty much everything is on sale now. And although most bloggers still get all frothy at the news, the sales are no longer just twice annually, so it’s not the big deal it used to be (and probably not worth standing in lines and fighting the crowds).
June 28 (final match July 7th)
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Football (or “Soccer” for Americans) quarter-finals match between France and USA will be tonight at 9pm Paris time (3pm EST). If you don’t have tickets to cheer the ladies at the Parc des Princes you can catch them at a number of venues around Paris, including the gardens at Les Halles in central Paris (big screens set up on match days from 2pm-11:30pm), at the bars Au Bal Rock (161, rue Montmartre, 9th), Au Metro 14 (66, rue Raymond Losserand, 14th), and Le Truskel (12, rue Feydeau, 2nd). Allez les Bleues!
Karel Beer’s “Laughing & Music Matters in Paris” whas been hosting English stand-up comedy in Paris since 1995 (including Eddie Izzard’s first French show!). Tonight they’re hosting British comedian Simon Munnery at Sinola (19 rue de Lappe, 11th) at 8pm, tickets €22 (€15 for students), or €20 if you pre-purchase online.
June 30 – July 22
The Paris Jazz Festival takes place every weekend at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. “The free festival (you only pay entry to the park, €2.50) makes for a brilliant summer outing: everyone brings picnics and enjoys them in the sunshine amid coloured flowers, woodlands and lakes, while listening to some virtuoso jazz – it’s also hugely popular, so get here early.” From 3pm until 7pm, no advance ticket purchase necessary.
Through June 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, “The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel” (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city’s iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It’s a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It’s playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there’s also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.
Through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV’s Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: “An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!” The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.
Other Paris Calendar Links
▪ For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?
▪ For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism
▪ For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris
▪ For French Cinema with English surtitles: Lost in Frenchlation