Summertime is music festival time. Time Out Paris is a great place to start if you want to see the schedule of festivals in and around Paris this summer, in French only (use Google translate): Les Festivals de Musique à Paris
And for the schedule of free concerts in the park kiosks all over Paris, download the summer schedule here.
The theme of the 19th annual Rendez-Vous au Jardins garden festival is “Gardens in the Face of Climate Change”. It takes place in gardens all over France, but in Paris you can check out the events at the Parc Monceau (8th), the private Jardin St-Serge at 93 de la rue de Crimée (19th), Jardin de l’Hôtel de Matignon (the Prime Minister’s residence, 7th), the Jardin du Luxembourg (6th), and the Cité Universitaire (14th). Find the full program here (auto-translated).
The last Paris Folies costumed dance party of the year at La Coupôle is tonight, with the theme of Cabaret Merveilleux. “THE PARIS-FOLLIES are pure moments of extravagance and ecstasy, essential for lovers of refinement as well as folly. Let us turn the status quo on its head and recreate the drunkenness of each of those crazy nights amongst dandies, dancers, marlous, gigolettes, pin-up, gigolos…” Dress code is “burlesque, fantasy, chimera, dreamlike, illusion, mirage” so go crazy! Entry is €20, €15 in advance. Starts at 10pm and goes until 5am.
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). There’s also a flower market if you’re in the mood to shop. Open 11am-7pm, entry €2.50.
Pentecost, or Whit Sunday, is celebrated in France on Sunday June 5th, so Monday June 6th is a public holiday; expect government offices and some smaller shops and restaurants to be closed.
Through June 6
From noon to midnight every day is the Foire du Trone, an open air fair with rides, food and perfect for a family outing. Open from noon until 11pm, Fri-Sat until 1am. Free entry, rides work with tickets. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, 92 boulevard Poniatowski, 75012 Paris (near Bois de Vincennes).
The Pagode de Paris is exceptionally open to the public on the occasion of the 5th annual Asian Spring event bringing together 53 art galleries and museums in Paris. The unique pagoda at 48 rue de Courcelles was originally a private mansion in the Louis-Philippe style which blended into Haussmannian architecture until it was bought by the Chinese art dealer and Parisian dandy Ching Tsai Loo, who transformed it into the unique monument you see today.
A unique chamber music group, presents their last Music by the Glass event of the season with two evenings of Beethoven, Bartok, and Haydn by the Quatuor Hanson, followed by a wine tasting and meeting with the musicians. The concerts will take place on Friday at the Fondation des Etats-Unis (14th) and Saturday at the Musée Gustave Moreau (9th). Tickets €25 (wine included). Register on the website; places limited.
The artists of the 5th (Mouffetard) and 13th (Butte aux Cailles/Gobelins) districts known as Lézarts du Bièvre open their studios to the public for two days, 2-8pm. Free entry.
June 12-July 10
The “Chopin au Jardin” festival features free Chopin concerts at the Kiosque du Parc Montsouris (14th) every sunday from 5-6pm. This year the festival opens with a Ukrainian soloist, Artem Yasynskyy.
Igor Mostovoi, Ukrainian bass-baritone, will give a recital tonight at 7pm in the Grand Foyer of the Théâtre du Châtelet. He will pay homage to his country by performing a few pieces from the repertoire and traditional songs for the benefit of the association “Artists in exile”. Tickets €15.
Le Food Market is a monthly open-air food market in Belleville along the boulevard between metros Ménilmontant et Couronnes. Unlike most food markets, this one isn’t for purchasing ingredients to take home and cook up, but is a market of food stands, where none of the dishes are more than €10. There are seating areas to sit and enjoy your food or you can order to go. This month’s theme is Italy, so you’ll find stands from the neighboring Italian restaurants. From 6-10:30pm.
Fête de la Musique! The 40th 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 because of road closures (and Vélibs are typically locked down for the night). Bring your earplugs if you expect to try and sleep!
Eighty French and American indie films are in competition in this year’s 11th 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. A pass to all screenings is €59, the big opening ceremony screening is an additional €35.
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France. For the 24th anniversary of the festival, this year’s acts include Black-Eyed Peas, -M-, Justice, Damso, and over 160,000 attendees are expected to join the fight against AIDS at Paris-Longchamp racecourse. Day passes start at €35 and sell out fast!
The Pride March is back! This year the Marche des Fiertés LGBT+, the march for LGBT+ rights, will take place from outside metro Michel-Bizot in the 12th arrondissement at 1:30pm and finishes at the Place de la République.
Through June 25
The one-woman stand-up comedy show in English “Oh my God, she’s Parisian” starring Julie Collas is back at the Théâtre Bo St Martin (19 blvd St Martin, 3rd) every Saturday night at 7:30pm through the end of June. For more info and tickets: https://www.julie-collas.com/
Through July 3
The Festival Saint Denis brings a series of live classical concerts to the Saint-Denis Basilica and the Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’Honneur in Saint Denis, the suburtb north of Paris. See the full schedule and purchase tickets here.
June 29-September 7
The annual Paris Jazz Festival takes place all summer; come enjoy traditional Parisian and international jazz music in the Bois de Vincennes’s Parc Floral. Concerts are free; entry to the park is €2.50.
Through July 17th
Learn about the history of the construction, evolution, and burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in a free augmented reality exhibit in the nave of the historic Collège des Bernadins, a 13th-century monastery-turned-cultural-center just across the river from the Cathedral in the Latin Quarter. The exhibit is in multiple languages using a “histopad” tablet, although the website where you sign up for your spot is only in French (click the purple “Reserver” button and create an account to get a free ticket). Open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm, and Thurs and Sun (and April 16-18) from 2-6pm. Closed April 15th and May 1st. On 20 Rue de Poissy, 5th.
Through June 16th
To celebrate the centenary anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses by Sylvia Beach, owner of the original Shakespeare & Co Bookstore in Paris, an ensemble of international stars are recording the complete text to be released as a free podcast between February 2nd and Bloomsday on June 16th by Shakespeare & Co, listen here.
Through September 18
The rooftop of the Hotel Paradiso (135 Blvd Diderot, 12th) is open every Sunday all summer from 4pm to enjoy the view and the bar before the free film screenings (accessible to all without reservation) at 9:30pm.
Planning Ahead – Book it Now!
Cinema Paradiso – July 15-18 – register now to win one of the free spots at the third annual open-air films and concerts in the Cour Carré of the Louvre Museum.
Rock-en-Seine Festival – August 25-30th at the Domaine de Saint-Cloud, headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Stromae, and Rage Against the Machine.
Paris Sketchbook Workshop – September 27-October 2 in Paris, with five world-famous sketchbook artists.