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fete musique paris

Fête de la Musique in Paris: Where to go and what to do!

 This Friday, June 21st is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and that night the Fête de la Musique 2019 is celebrated all over the world. Since 1982, Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, started this musical holiday in France, now celebrated in 120 countries. The idea came from Maurice Fleuret, the Director of Music and Dance, aiming to democratize music access, removing genre hierarchies. In 1982, uncertainty clouded the success of the first holiday, but musicians filled public spaces, drawing thousands of participants. 37 years later, the celebration is still going on every year during the night of the summer solstice.

The Fête de la Musique is the chance for the French and visitors alike to come together outside to enjoy live music of all different kinds: rock, rap, electronic, folk music of various countries, jazz, and classical. Audiences can hear both newcomers, who rarely perform on stage, and well-known musicians during the celebration. The best part about the Fête de la Musique is that all of the concerts and events are free. Shows take place outdoors in public spaces, such as parks and squares, or at the town halls of each arrondissement.

Fete de la Musique

When do the concerts start ?

Most of the concerts begin around 6pm, depending on the neighborhood, and can last until midnight. During la Fête de la Musique fares are reduced on public transport and some of the metro lines run all night. Visit for an interactive map to filter concerts by location and music genre, enhancing your festival experience. Paris hosts over 70 concerts across its neighborhoods, allowing you to enjoy diverse music styles without leaving your arrondissement.

A short list of the biggest events in central Paris

  • The symphonic concert by the Orchestra of Paris under the Louvre Pyramid, starting at 10pm. This is free but spaces may be limited.
  • At the Église Saint-Eustache, next to Les Halles, they are holding their 14th annual 36-hour long Festival de Saint-Eustache where they will have a marathon of free concerts within the gothic cathedral, which should sound spectacular under the vaulted ceiling. Starting at 6pm on June 20, the event will continue until late on the evening of the 21st.
  • Experience Réunion’s traditional music at Place du Palais Royal, showcasing the culture of this French overseas department.
  • The Grand Palais will hold a concert celebrating Soviet composers, in alignment with its current exhibition about Soviet art, featuring singers from the Conservatory of Paris. This show begins at 6:30pm.
  • If jazz is your thing, Sunset Sunside will have a series of concerts paying homage to jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington. These start at 6pm and end at midnight.
  • At the Museum of the Legion of Honor, there will be a brass orchestral concert on its Esplanade beginning at 6:30pm and followed by a second show at 7:30pm within the courtyard of the museum.

We hope these tips help you plan for your Music Day experience in Paris. If you’re interested in discovering more about Parisian local culture & lifestyle, don’t hesitate to book our most unique experience: A Day With Locals private full-day walking tour!

Article written by Sarah

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