In summer, Paris’s vibrant music scene takes on a whole new dimension, as myriad festivals spring up in its warehouses, squares and open spaces. No matter what’s on your Spotify, there’s an event to suit, from jazz in St-Germain-des-Prés to the heavy-metal frenzy of Download. One-day events like Afropunk and Weather Festival offer jam-packed line-ups, while Villette Sonique stages free gigs alongside its ticketed events. In short, the festival experience is whatever you want it to be – whether that’s sipping Champagne as the sun goes down or joining the moshpit throng.
Superb line-ups are just part of the story at this forward-thinking music festival. Powered by renewable energy, it takes an eco-friendly approach, from carbon-offsetting artists’ flights to banning plastic bottles. Expand your mind at the Think Tank stage, with its film screenings and inspiring talks, enroll in an arty workshop, or sample some seasonal, veggie-friendly grub. Best for: Clued-up cool kids | Headline highlights: Tame Impala, Christine and the Queens, Erykah Badu, FKA Twigs | Dates: 1-2 June 2019 | Ticket prices: Day tickets from €49.50.
Held in the west of the city, this three-day festival is an August bank-holiday institution. Rock’n’roll history’s been made here, as Oasis fans will know: in 2009, the band split up minutes before going on stage. Five stages host an eclectic line-up, from swaggering rockers to French hip-hoppers, while Mini Rock en Seine keeps the kids entertained with bands, stories and games. Best for: Musical omnivores | Headline highlights: Jorja Smith, Major Lazer, Aphex Twin, The Cure | Dates: 23-25 August 2019 | Ticket prices: Day tickets from €49; free under-11s.
Launched in 2017, Lolla’s the cool French offshoot of the famous Chicago original. Naturally, it showcases talents from both sides of the Atlantic, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who headlined the first year) to Marseilles rap icons IAM. The catering, meanwhile, couldn’t be more French: think jugs of red wine and food from six of Paris’s finest chefs and pâtissiers. Best for: Gourmets (the food’s next level) | Headline highlights: The Strokes, IAM, The 1975, Jain, Migos | Dates: 20-21 July 2019 | Ticket prices: Day tickets from €79.
From disco cuts to deep house, trance to industrial techno, this underground weekender is always a sonic adventure. The other surprise is its setting, in the beautiful Parc Floral, where the action centres around two huge warehouses and an outdoor stage. Doors open at 8pm, and the party goes on until the morning, with hands-in-the-air headliners taking to the stage at sunrise. Best for: All-night raving | Headline highlights: Charlotte de Witte, Jon Hopkins, The Black Madonna, Modeselektor | Dates: 5-6 July 2019 | Ticket prices: Day tickets from €34.
The festival scene can be fickle, but this old favourite’s still going strong after two decades. Its secret? Combining good-time vibes with a worthy cause, donating its profits to the global fight against HIV and AIDS. The headliners – who often perform for free – are an international bunch, while lo-fi, affordable camping and a kids’ zone complete the classic festival experience. Best for: Rebels with a cause | Headline highlights: Angèle, Die Antwoord, Lomepal, The Blaze, Kiddy Smile | Dates: 21-23 June 2019 |Ticket prices: Day tickets from €46.50; free under-11s.
Kick up your heels and join the dance in Paris’s charming guinguettes
Paris is full of tasty places to eat - but where to go? Check out our handy list.
Featuring glamour, spectacular costumes and performances; the legendary Moulin Rouge promises an entertaining night.
Image credits: © Getty; © Getty; © Maxime Chermat; © Christophe Crenel; © Alamy; © The Peacock Society; © Jose Duarte da Silva Rocha; © Shutterstock; © S. Bertrand