Nuit Blanche

A free annual dusk ‘til dawn arts festival that holds the entire city in its thrall



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  • 'HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTET', concert et performance - Monnaie de Paris et Pont Neuf
    Stockhausen, 'HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTET', 1995. © Helen Maybanks.

  • 'Fog Installation #07156R  - FOG SQUARE', sculpture de brume éphémère - Fujiko Nakaya - Place de la République
    Fujiko Nakaya, Living Chasm – 'Cockatoo Island', 2012. Vue d’installation à la 18e Biennale de Sydney, 2012 à Cockatoo Island. © Prudence Upton/Destination NSW.

  • 'A Day in May', projection vidéo - Robin Rhode - Pont de la rue Louis Blanc
    Robin Rhode, 'A Day in May' (capture vidéo), 2013. Courtesy de l’artiste

  • 'Aventure d’un soir', événement pyrotechnique -  Cai Guo-Qiang -  Berges de Seine rive gauche, entre le Pont Royal et la passerelle Solférino
    Cai Guo-Qiang, Projet pour 'Aventure d'un soir', 2013. Courtesy de l'artiste.

  • 'The Model in Paris', sculpture participative - Palle Nielsen, Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad
    Palle Nielsen, 'Modellen - En modell för ett kvalitativt samhälle' (détail), 1968. MACBA Collection. Don de l’artiste. © Palle Nielsen, ADAGP, Paris, 2013.

  • 'L'objet du doute', installation vivante - Virginie Yassef - Rue des Cascades
    Virginie Yassef, 'L'objet du doute'. Dessin préparatoire. Courtesy galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris.

  • 'Ceinture', installation monumentale - Huang Yong Ping - Carreau du temple
    Huang Yong Ping, 'Théâtre du Monde' et 'Pont', 1993-1995. © ADAGP Huang Yong Ping. Courtesy de l’artiste et galerie kamel mennour, Paris

  • 'La Commune', projection vidéo - Peter Watkins - Bourse du Travail
    Peter Watkins, 'La Commune' (Paris, 1871), 2000. © Corina Paltrinieri/13Productions.

  • 'Memories of tomorrow', installation et performance - Didier Faustino - Mairie du 4e
    Didier Faustino, 'Memories of tomorrow', 2013. ©ADAGP Didier Faustino. Courtesy de l'artiste et galerie Michel Rein, Paris.

  • 'Composition for a public park', installation lumineuse et sonore - Hassan Khan - Parc de Belleville
    Hassan Khan, projet pour le parc de Belleville, 2013. Courtesy de l'artiste et galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

  • 'Le sommeil des tumultes', visite performative - Dector & Dupuy - Belleville / Ménilmontant
    Dector & Dupuy, 'Plaque tournante', 2013. Courtesy des artistes.

  • 'All The Bells Work No: 1676, 2013', performance - Martin Creed - Paris
    Martin Creed, 'All the Bells' / Londres, JO 2012 / CC - Birmingham Culture 

  • 'Artistes aux Platines', DJ live - Berges de Seine, rive gauche, Port du gros caillou
    Davide Bertocchi, 'Phonograph', 1998. C-print sur dibond. Courtesy de l'artiste et collection Norman Regis, Milan.

  • 'THRILLOCHROMES', projection et installation - Michael Portnoy - Gare de l'Est
    Michael Portnoy, 'THRILLOCHROMES', 2013. Poster. Courtesy de l’artiste.

  • 'Fosse d'orchestre', installation sonore sous-marine - Rosa Barba - Ecluse des Récollets
    Rosa Barba, Simulation de l'œuvre 'Fosse d'orchestre', 2013. Courtesy de l’artiste et Frac Franche-Comté.

  • 'Où as-tu dormi la nuit dernière', installation sonore - Kristin Oppenheim - Siège du parti communiste
    Kristin Oppenheim, 'Tap Your Shoes', 1996. Courtesy de l'artiste et Frac des Pays de la Loire. © Marc Domage

Forget back-to-school and SAD: autumn in Paris is as much about reinvigorating the community's artistic ésprit as it is about falling leaves and the end of summer. Led by the Nuit Blanche festival, held every year from 7pm 'til 7am on the first Saturday in October, the city blossoms into a fantastic harvest of art, music and theatrical events. It's an unmissable time to visit, or for resident expats to shake off their post-summer sloth and get out and enjoy the city like true Parisians.

The decade-old Nuit Blanche is a free dusk 'til dawn carnival of arts and culture inspired by St Petersburg's 'White Nights', where music and the arts keep the population entertained throughout the long summer evenings when the sun never sets. In Paris, the premise is simple: for one night only, let art take over the city, and let the city be in its thrall. An ever-changing roster of artistic directors takes over different portions of the city every year, commissioning hundreds of works that are all about finding new ways for citizens to interact with the urban space. From clouds of paper butterflies settling on neoclassical columns to church naves sprouting enormous bejewelled skulls, Nuit Blanche is a riotously popular way to engage with cutting edge artistry.

This year, Nuit Blanche will be held from 7pm until 7am on Saturday the 5th of October. Already in its twelfth edition, the festival will this year play host to more art and music than ever before, even making use of brand new venues as yet unopened to the public. Time Out has joined forces with the Mairie de Paris, who organise the event, to offer you insight not only into the night itself and the individual works on show, but also an unbeatable practical guide to the best places to eat, drink and relax around the festival's flashpoints. Interviews, festival tips, wet weather cheats and customised maps all make up your indispensable complement to the official programme, ensuring that Nuit Blanche will make you see Paris in a new light.


Time Out at Nuit Blanche

Last year, Time Out got into the spirit of Nuit Blanche by parking its very own London-style double-decker bus on the Place du Trocadéro. Culture vultures dropped by in their droves to get directions, have a cuppa or simply take a break from the art. This time we're going one (even two) better: we'll have three buses in three different locations (see map above), staffed by our well-informed writers as well as art students. Come rain or shine, we'll be there with our hot tips and hot tea. Make sure to drop by!

Locations: square in front of l'Hôtel de Ville; Place de la République; Place du marché de Ménilmontant.

Our Ménilmontant bus will also be hosting music 'til the early hours. Check out the setlist and come join when your feet are feeling itchy:

- 7pm-9pm: Mazette (
- 9pm-11pm: Inspecteur Ziani (
- 11pm-1am: Paon (
- 1am-4am: Le Tournedisque (

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