Music and nightlife in Paris this summer
Want to shake your stuff by the Seine or catch the cream of the music scene? We've got clubs, gigs, soirées and festivals galore
With its jazz age legacy from the Années Folles, jazz has a seriously strong profile in Paris, and the summer offers unique opportunities to enjoy it in stunning outdoor venues. Ibrahim Maalouf and Salif Keita play the free, open air La Défense Festival, while at the Paris Jazz Festival in the
beautiful Parc Floral, 31 concerts are spread across eight weekends. In September, Bryan Ferry, Jamie Cullum and more are in the line-up for Jazz à La Villette.
The place to be for Parisian fashionistas, the vast Seine-side club at quay level in the Cité de la Mode et du Design celebrates its second summer this year, delivering more of the cream of minimal techno, house and electro. Entry is free, but Wanderlust is also much more than just a club: look out for their programme of film screenings, gigs, fashion shows, yoga and weekend mini-festivals with pop-up food and shopping ventures. Elsewhere on the site, head up to the roof to check out spanking new and super hot terrace and club Nüba.
- 32 quai d’Austerlitz, 13e
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 vibrant – 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 throng and let serendipity lead you – this 33rd edition is dedicated to ‘The Voice’ and celebrates the legacy of Edith Piaf, who died 50 years ago this year.
The city’s premier annual rock festival, Rock en Seine has been held in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud every last weekend in August since 2003. This year’s line-up includes Alt-J, Tame Impala, Laura Mvula, Nine Inch Nails, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. For the best experience, buy a three-day pass and camp in the historic park grounds, which include Marie Antoinette’s rose garden.
Inside Le Bataclan, a historic 19th-century Chinese-inspired theatre, the gay community gathers three times a month for the Follivores/Crazyvores soirées. Pump house and pop music through the speakers (everything from Abba to David Guetta) at this spacious concert hall, sell some cans of beer, and voilà: each night attracts over 1000 people. Later in the night, shirts start to come off and the fog machine comes on.
- 50 Blvd Voltaire, 11e
A former leather factory, La Maroquinerie is now a bright café and bar with a downstairs concert venue that hosts the odd literary debate and a wealth of cool music acts, including the Les Inrocks IndieClub nights and a smattering of world music. The food is excellent, and wine sourced from across France starts at €3 a glass.
- 23 rue Boyer, 20e
A club done out like a 1930s private home by designers Octave and Basile de Gaulle (complete with beds and a piano), Le Dandy is a sort of dance-focused speakeasy except with deep house instead of swinging jazz. Their eclectic programme includes cutting edge DJs, up and coming bands and, on June 19, a hip hop karaoke night in collaboration with Time Out.
- 26 rue Pierre Fontaine, 9e
L’Espace B is a funny little place, somewhere between a neighbourhood bar, an Italian restaurant and a concert hall. The program gives priority to new French and international acts produced by independent labels, attracting avid fans of new music and underground novelties. The bill covers synth-pop, electro-rock, hiphop, indie, shoegaze, grunge, folktronica, noise, chillwave and more.
- 16 rue Barbanègre, 19e