It’s summertime in Paris and the city is alive with an vibrant and exciting schedule of summer cultural events. From the fabulous Rock en Seine outdoor music festival and Paris Plage installation, to the outstanding all-night Nuit Blanche art extravaganza and the energetic dance performances of Les Etes de la Danse Festival, there’s something to interest everyone happening in Paris in the coming months.
Click on the right arrow to find out our pick of the best events happening in Paris right now:
21st July - 21st August 2011
For the past ten years, the Paris Tourism Board have been bringing the beach to the city for their annual "Paris Plage" installment. Various locations along the prime Seine River waterfront are transformed into sandy beaches, attracting Paris' sun-seeking crowd who happily spend sunny afternoons lying on the lengthy row of outdoor deck chairs. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the event and promises ten times more sandy spaces than usual. Don't miss the volleyball courts, pedalo boats, funky bars, music concerts and creative sand artists.
1st October 2011
Nuit Blanche is one of the most exciting events on the Paris cultural calendar, where for one night of the year all of Paris’ best museums and galleries open their doors for 24 hours of intriguing art exhibitions, performances and one-off shows. Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in 2011, this year’s Nuit Blanche promises one of the most exciting programs yet, where Paris' metro stations, churches and other iconic public buildings will be transformed for the night. Always intriguing and frequently delivering unexpected surprises, Paris’ Nuit Blanche is an event not to be missed.
July - September 2011
Paris has a huge variety of exciting music festivals over the next few months. For jazz lovers, be sure to head to the Paris Jazz Festival (11th June - 31st July 2011) which showcases some of the best international jazz talent. Festival Classique au Vert (6th August - 25th September 2011) features classical concerts in a beautiful garden setting, while Rock en Seine (26th - 28th August 2011), a huge three day rock and indie festival which is one of the best Paris music festivals of the year. This year’s exciting line-up features internationally renowned bands such as the Foo Fighters, Interpol and the Arctic Monkeys.
As one of the art and cultural centers of the world, Paris offers a sensational range of upcoming exhibitions for art lovers to discover. The upcoming Paris-Delhi-Bombay exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou (25th May - 19th September 2011) offers a fascinating insight into the contemporary Indian art scene. The iconic Louvre museum is also showing the exquisite Eluminaires de Moyen Age et de la Renaissance exhibition (7th July - 10th October 2011). Don't miss the Hotel de Ville's Les quais de Seine avant Paris Plage photographic exhibition (6th July - 17th September 2011) of the Seine river during the summer's before the arrival of Le Paris Plage event.
Don’t forget to pack your opera glasses for your trip to Paris this summer, where the city plays host to two of the world's most spectacular opera houses - the stunning Opera Garnier and the more modern Opera Bastille. Both venues are featuring a variety of opera, classical music and dance performances in the coming months - check their online program for upcoming performances. For a more unique opera experience hosted by the Opera en Plein Air, don’t miss the opportunity of hearing Puccini’s classic Madame Butterfly opera (7th - 11th September 2011) in the dramatic open air setting of Paris' Invalides.
July - October 2011
A multitude of exciting and unusual film events are held in Paris during the summer months throughout the city's many green, verdant outdoor spaces. The Cinema en Plein Air (19th July - 21st August 2011) and Cinema au Clair de Lune (3rd - 21st August 2011) are our pick of the best film festivals, both offering a wide variety of French and English films screened under the stars in locations such as the Parc de la Villette, Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur. A retrospective of Blake Edwards work can also be viewed at the Cinematheque Francaise (24th August - 17st October 2011).
There are many great theatre events being held in Paris in the coming months, where a few of the hottest venues include the beautiful Bouffes du Nord Theatre, the grand Theatre National de Chaillot and the iconic Comedie Francaise. The Theatre National de la Colline is also a wonderful venue for more contemporary productions. Outside the city center, the Theatre en Plein Air festival takes place in the beautiful gardens of the Bois de Boulogne park, where a wide range of open air theatre will be staged (until the 2nd October 2011).
While many of the top dance venues close their doors for the summer, there are still a number of exciting dance performances which are being held in Paris in the coming months. The Les Etes de la Danse Festival (6th - 23th July 2011) features performances from the most significant dance companies over the world. Another highlight of the city’s dance performance program is the highly innovative Miami City Ballet program, along with the Lifar/Ratmansky collaboration, Phedre/Pysche (21st September 2011 - 6th October 2011) performed at the breathtaking Opera Garnier.
Summer has arrived and it's the perfect time to enjoy Paris' eclectic schedule of live music performances. The atmospheric La Cigale concert hall is offering a nightly schedule of music gigs and performances, along with the playful and brightly decorated Bataclan venue. Located in the hip 20th district of Paris, La Maroquinerie is another top live music venue in the city, with a pretty terrace bar and a fun, vibrant Parisian scene in summer. To view the full program of live music events, click on the venues websites for more details and to purchase tickets.
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