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Summer festivals

Paris's all-singing, all-dancing summer fests of film, music and more

Le Festival de l'Imaginaire

March 20-June 29 Celebrating dance and music from all over the world, Le Festival de l'Imaginaire covers everything from Balinese dance by Topeng Shakti to lute music from Abbas Righi – the only Parisian event with such a broad outlook. Expect Kyôgen at the Théâtre du Soleil, Iraqi maqâm at the Institut du Monde Arabe and Breton fest noz (night party) at the equestrian theatre Zingaro – and much, much more. Highly recommended...

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Paris Jazz Festival

June 8-July 28 The Paris Jazz Festival is one of the favourite summer destinations for overheated Parisians. From mid-June until the end of July, two jazz groups play every Saturday and Sunday in the big open hall of the Parc Floral de Vincennes. The free festival (you only pay entry to the park) 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...

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Festival June events

June 14-19  If you've never visited La Cartoucherie de Vincennes, you're in for a treat – it's one of the most beautiful spaces in the capital, a former munitions warehouse that now hosts five independent theatres. In the middle of the Vincennes forest, Ariane Mnouchkine's Théatre du Soleil shoulders up against Carolyn Carlson's Ateliers de Paris, and the Chaudron and Tempête theatres are just next door. You reach the site via a trip in an old school shuttle bus...

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Fête de la Musique

June 21 Free gigs, encompassing all music genres, take place across the country and around the world as part of this festival on the summer solstice. In Paris Fête de la Musique is particularly fun, with concerts taking place in theatres, bars, on street corners, in parks and even on balconies. In the past some musicians have even been known to serenade folks while teetering on the edge of their apartment windows. Join the throngs and let serendipity lead you to a show...

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Paris Hip Hop Festival

June 22-July 7 The 8th edition of the Paris Hip Hop festival brings nearly 400 artists to some of Paris's best concert halls, with open air and more traditional gigs. We're especially looking forward to The Pharcyde at Le Glaz'art's summer stage, Akua Naru at the Hangar in Ivry-sur-Seine, Dizzee Rascal at Cabaret Sauvage, and OFWGKTA at the Bataclan. The Paris collective Hip Hop Citoyens, who founded the festival, also offer fans the chance to try out their talents at improve workshops on the Berges de Seine...

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Solidays Festival

June 28-30 Every year for 15 years, the Solidays festival has attracted more than 50,000 people in support of the HIV & AIDS charity Solidarité Sida – raising €1.7 million in 2011 alone, which is a though to hold on to when you see the ticket prices. This year again attracts some major headline act to the Hippodrome de Longchamp: Metronomy, Birdy Nam Nam, Ben Howard, The Kills, Rover, Kavinsky, Youssoupha, Bernhoft, Blitz the Ambassador, Concrete Knives, Orelsan, François & The Atlas Mountain...

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Gay Pride

June 29 2013 has already been a big year for equality in France, with the passing of equal marriage and adoption laws in the face of stiff opposition. So the fun, colourful annual LGBT march will be both a celebration and a promise to continue working towards inclusive laws across the board. Dress up, dress down or dress kinky, and come prepared to march, dance and sing with pride.Beginning at 2pm in Bastille, the march runs until 8pm in Montparnasse on the other side of Paris...

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La Défense Jazz Festival

June 29-July 7 The annual two weeks of top notch free jazz gigs on the Esplanade of La Défense: just one more great thing about summer music in Paris. The 2013 edition of the festival will feature Kellylee Evans, Otis Taylor, Ibrahim Maalouf, Salif Keita and many more, as well as a national jazz competiton – previous winners have included Erik Tuffaz and Julien Lourau...

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Festival Days Off

July 1-9 For the fourth year running, Days Off curates a fantastic range of pop, rock, folk and electro in two of the city's best acoustic venues, Cité de la Musique and Salle Pleyel. Some major acts taking part this year include Beck, Chilly Gonzales and Band of Horses – worth arranging a trip around...

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Les Etés de la Danse

July 4-27 Every year, the sumptuous central concert hall Théâtre du Châtelet brings a major dance company from overseas to Paris. Most theatres in Paris take a break over the summer, so it's one of July's few opportunities to see classical ballet. This year's showcase: the Vienna National Ballet doing Don Quixote, and a special tribute to Rudolf Nureyev.

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