Saturday
Jun012019

What's On in Paris - June 2019

NOTE: June 9th is Pentecost Sunday; Monday June 10th is a bank holiday, so municipal museums and some shops and offices may be closed. 

Summer Festivals 
Summertime is music festival time. Time Out Paris is a great place to start if you want to see the schedule of festival in and around Paris this summer, in French only: Les Festivals de Musique à Paris

June 5 
It's not in Paris, but it's worth the trek: the world-famous comedian/activist Eddie Izzard is performing in Caen (Normandy) for the D-Day 75th anniversary, doing his show in three parts: in German 7pm, English at 8pm and in French at 9pm. Get your tickets here.

June 6
Sinfonietta "Bravo!" dinner concert

June 7-9
The 17th annual Rendez-Vous au Jardins is a nation-wide garden festival with special events held in gardens and green spaces all over Paris and Ile de France for free. This year's theme is "Les Animaux au Jardin". Check out the website for the official program of events.

June 8-9
The charity shop Emmaüs is holding their annual Grande Vente Solidaire this weekend. Come to check out their great deals on used furniture, linens, electronics, homewear, dishes, clothing, accessories, etc, with all profits going to help Emmaüs's mission to help housing and provide job training for those in need. At La Recyclerie de Paris (Place de la Porte de Montreuil, 20th, entrance at the corner of Rue Mendelssohn and Rue des Docteurs Dejerine). Free entry, open Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.

June 8-9
The famous rose gardens of the Parc de Bagatelle (Bois de Boulogne, 16th) are featured at their finest this weekend for the annual "Weekend de la Rose" (they clearly weren't feeling inspired to come up with a catchier name). Come see over 10,000 roses including the ones competing for "Best in Show", gardening workshops and demonstrations, and practical gardening tips, including how to garden without pesticides (the City of Paris no longer uses any pesticides in the Municipal Gardens). On Saturday at 2:30pm they will be unveiling a new rose, "Rêve de Paris". Hope it smells fabulous! There are also special activities for kids, bring the whole family. Open 11am-7pm, entry €2.50

June 13
Want to see one of the most amazing collections of street art murals in the world? Boulevard Paris 13 Project is the initiative by the 13th arrondissement of Paris and the Galerie Itinerrance to showcase the 50 murals by 26 international street artists including Shepard Fairey (Obey), ST4, Hush, DALeast, C215, and D*Face among others. Today the project will be officially inaugurated with a street festival under the elevated metro between Chevaleret and Nationale (line 6) from 7-10pm with music, food trucks and picnic tables, open to all for free. 

June 14-17
The 10th annual Portes d'Or is a chance for all the artistic workshops in the Goutte d'Or (18th arrondissement) to open their doors to the public. Over 65 painters, sculptors, jewelery-makers and many others who live and work in the Goutte d'Or wish to share their creativity. Please come support the community and experience these unique productions.

June 14-15
Music by the Glass 

June 15
"The Little(r) Museums of Paris" officially comes out June 27 in France but the author/illustrator Emma Jacobs will be at Le Peloton Café (near Hôtel de Ville, 17 rue du Pont Louis Philippe) today with some early copies. Stop on by 2-4pm to chat, buy a copy, and pick up a free illustrated postcard from the book! If you're in the mood for a bike ride through Paris, Le Peloton is owned by the local bike tour company Bike About Tours.

June 15
Looking to don your most fabulous ball gown and waltz in a Parisian palace? There are still tickets available for the annual Bal des Parisiennes at the Palais Brogniart (La Bourse). 

June 15-16
The artists of the 5th (Mouffetard) and 13th (Butte aux Cailles/Gobelins) districts knows as Lézarts du Bièvre open their studios to the public for two days, 2-8pm. Free entry. There are three circuits to follow, and the guest urban artist of honor this year is Retro Graffitism.

June 15
The Fête du Miel et des Abeilles celebrates bees, honey and bee-keeping at the Parc de Bercy from 11am-7pm, free entry, demos and family activities. 

June 18-25
Eighty French and American indie films are in competition in this year's 8th annual Champs Elysées Film Festival. Films are screened at cinemas on and around ‘les Champs’, and there will be many other events, including off-competition screenings, premieres and events where you can meet the cast and directors. The guests of honor include Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum and Kyle McLaughlin. A pass to all screenings is €49, the big opening and closing ceremony screenings are additional €35 (individual screenings are €7). Lost in Frenchlation is hosting a festival screening event for Vif-Argent (French film with English subtitles) and rooftop cocktail reception with views over the Arc de Triomphe on June 22nd; more info here.

June 21
Fête de la Musique This annual all-night music festival takes place throughout France, but in Paris the whole city is overtaken: public spaces, bars, cafés, parks, sidewalks and even the streets are closed off for live music of every kind, performed by both famous and amateur musicians, from late afternoon through early morning, all concerts are free and open to everyone. Please note the main metro lines will be running all night, but it will be hard to get around by taxi/Uber because of road closures (and Vélibs are typically locked down for the night). Bring your earplugs if you expect to try and sleep!

June 21
As part of Fête de la Musique, the Abbey Bookshop (29 rue de la Parcheminerie, 5th) is hosting a Stephen Clarke Soirée with music and comedy celebrating the bookshop's 30th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of Stephen's bestseller 'A Year In The Merde'. To quote Stephen: “I'll do some of my comic songs, and a few of the songs I wrote when I was in a country band, which get increasingly tragic as my wife breaks down, my dog divorces me and my car develops ringworm.” The festivities begin with a welcome drink at 6:30 pm, and at 7:00 pm we walk across the street to the Black Bird Bar to enjoy the show in their downstairs “cave”. Free entry!

June 21-23
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France, dedicated to raising awareness and funds for non-profit organizations, particularly around AIDS prevention. For the 21st anniversary of the festival, this year's acts include Macklemore, Angèle, Ninho, J Balvin, and over 160,000 attendees are expected to join the fight against AIDS at Paris-Longchamp racecourse. Day passes start at €46.50.   

June 21-24
The Place de la République will be transformed into a giant urgan garden/farm for four days of the BiodiversiTerre festival "BiodiversiTerre is a plant and human work that depicts environmental issues and the responsibility of man in the face of his environment through a festive walk. Allegory of the reconciliation between economy and ecology, between consumers and producers but also the co-development of cities and rural life, BiodiversiTerre wants to reinvent collectively the ecosystem of our world." There will be activities, stands, food and music, and lots of greenery in the otherwise concrete jungle (the person behind the festival, Gad Weil, did the same thing on the Champs Elysées last year). Free entry, open from 10am until 7pm (until 3pm on the last day).  

June 22
World-renowned street artist Shepard Fairey (aka Obey) will be at the vernissage for his show "Facing the Giant : Three Decades of Dissent" at the Galerie Itinerrance (24bis Boulevard du Général Jean Simon, 13th, metro Bibliothèque) from 6-9pm. This gallery always has huge crowds for its openings, so expect a line down the block to start forming at 5pm! If you miss the opening, the show continues through the end of July. 

June 22-23
Coffee addicts and aficionados should check out the first Café! coffee festival and expo this weekend at Le 104 (5 Rue Curial, 19th). There will be over 80 stands offering by producers, roasters, baristas and other coffee industry peeps offering tastings, coffee tours, trainings, debates, and conferences on everything coffee. Open 10am-8pm, one-day passes are €10, two-day passes are €15. More info here.

June 23
The Salon Emmaüs brings together 120 Emmaüs chapters all over France for a major flea market at the Paris Expo - Porte de Versailles (15th). ALl proceeds go to support the organization's mission to help those in need with housing assistance and job training. Open 9:30am-6:30pm. Entrance €3. Learn more here

June 23
The monthly Marché des Grands Voisins takes place today from 10am-7pm at Les Grands Voisins, a sort of community center housed in the former St-Vincent-de-Paul Hospital (74 ave Denfert-Rochereau, 14th). This month's festive Marché et Bal Italien features 150 stands selling arts and crafts, flea market items, and products from neighboring shops. There is a canteen and café for food and drinks, and from 4pm there will be Italian Folk Dancng (everyone is invited to learn the moves). Entrance is free, families welcome, all proceeds help the residents of the community center (many who are asylum seekers).  

June 26-August 6
The annual summer sales take place this year for five weeks throughout France, primarily in clothing stores, but pretty much everything is on sale now. And although most bloggers still get all frothy at the news, the sales are no longer just twice annually, so it's not the big deal it used to be (and probably not worth standing in lines and fighting the crowds).

June 28 (final match July 7th)
The FIFA Women's World Cup Football (or "Soccer" for Americans) quarter-finals match between France and USA will be tonight at 9pm Paris time (3pm EST). If you don't have tickets to cheer the ladies at the Parc des Princes you can catch them at a number of venues around Paris, including the gardens at Les Halles in central Paris (big screens set up on match days from 2pm-11:30pm), at the bars Au Bal Rock (161, rue Montmartre, 9th), Au Metro 14 (66, rue Raymond Losserand, 14th), and Le Truskel (12, rue Feydeau, 2nd). Allez les Bleues! 

June 28
Karel Beer's "Laughing & Music Matters in Paris" whas been hosting English stand-up comedy in Paris since 1995 (including Eddie Izzard's first French show!). Tonight they're hosting British comedian Simon Munnery at Sinola (19 rue de Lappe, 11th) at 8pm, tickets €22 (€15 for students), or €20 if you pre-purchase online

June 30 - July 22
The Paris Jazz Festival takes place every weekend at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. "The free festival (you only pay entry to the park, €2.50) makes for a brilliant summer outing: everyone brings picnics and enjoys them in the sunshine amid coloured flowers, woodlands and lakes, while listening to some virtuoso jazz – it’s also hugely popular, so get here early." From 3pm until 7pm, no advance ticket purchase necessary. 

Through June 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, "The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city's iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It's a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It's playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there's also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.

Through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV's Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: "An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!" The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For French Cinema with English surtitles: Lost in Frenchlation

Wednesday
May012019

What's On in Paris -May 2019

There are three holidays in France in May: Fête du Travail (May 1st, almost everything is closed); V-Day 1945 (May 8, most places remain open); and Ascension (May 30th, most places remain open). 

May 1 
It's the annual Fête du Travail in France, one of the biggest national holidays when almost every museum and shop is closed. Some are still open, as is the Tour Eiffel – see what's open May 1st for a full list. Traditionally there are parades by French workers' unions, although this year it will likely include the Gilets Jaunes, and should be avoided. Whatever the case, call ahead to make sure the places you're going are open and count on several public transport disruptions.

May 4-5
The largest gardening festival in Versailles takes place this weekend at the 11th annual Esprit Jardin: L'Art du Jardin, with free entrance exceptionally to the Potager du Roi. With more than 80 exhibitors, the festival runs from 10am-7pm in the Quartier St-Louis: rue du Maréchal Joffre, rue d'Anjou, Carré à l'Avoine, Potager du Roi et Parc Balbi. Free entry.

Through May 8
The annual Foire de Paris (Paris Fair) is one of the biggest events of the year, occupying the entire Paris Expo Porte de Versailles (15th arr.) with hall after hall of food and wine, home and garden, fashion and accessories, travel and world cultures, arts and crafts, the famous Inventions Contest, and a ‘Makers Fair’. It's chaos, it's fascinating, and there's always something interesting to learn (or buy, or eat). Just don't go on the weekend unless you like being trampled! Buy your tickets in advance and avoid lines; entry €11 (€15 at the door).

May 10-11
If you're looking for some new-to-you clothing and want to support the charity Emmaüs, don't miss their latest Vente au Kilo where you can stock up on used clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women and kids sold for €10 per kilo, as well as CDs, DVDs, records and sewing supplies. At the Palais de la Femme (96 rue de Charonne, 11th), 10am-6pm, free entry.

May 15
Tonight is the last chance to see "Swinging on the Seine: A musical one-woman show in English about the swinging 60's in Paris" starring the woman who was there, D'Yan Forest! Text written by Stephen Clarke (authour of the 'Year in the Merde' series). From 7pm at the Jardin Sauvage (10 quai d'Austerlitz, 13th), €15 entry includes a free drink. Tickets through Billet Reduc.

May 17-19
One of the biggest flower shows in France, Journées des Plantes de Chantilly(formerly Courson), takes place this weekend at the Chateau de Chantilly, just 45 minutes north of Paris from the Gare du Nord. Entry €20 (or €18 if you get your tickets online before May 16).

May 18
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 15th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open until midnight...for free! Special flashlight tours, live music, installment arts, film screenings, costumed museum guides, and other fun events throughout the evening at each museum.

May 20
Want to participate in one of the biggest clothing/decor/record/book swaps in Paris with 600 other people? Sign up now to grab a place at the next "Giant Free Troc Party" hosted at the Acteurs du Paris Durable (21 rue des Blancs Manteaux, 4th). There are three time slots, 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm, free entry, bring all the stuff you want to exchange to add to the piles. 

May 22-26
The 13th annual Fête de la Nature is a five-day festival celebrating nature with a full program of 5000 free events in parks, gardens, nature preserves and forests all over the country, with 36 events in Paris alone.

May 24-25
Blending culture with social in their excellent ‘Music by the Glass’ chamber series, Sinfonietta Paris  presents an emotionally charged series of concerts. For May, they present the works of Debussy and Fauré with Fiona McGown (soprano), Raphaëlle Moreau (violin), Manuel Vioque-Judde (alto), Sharon Tsai (violoncelle) and Célia Oneto Bensaid (piano). Friday's concert takes place at a private residence in paris, and Saturday at the Fondation Dosne-Thiers in the 9th arrondissement. Tickets €25 (wine and snacks included after the concert). Register on the website, spaces limited.

May 24-27
The 30th annual Artists' Open Studios in Belleville takes place for four days in over 120 ateliers in Belleville (centered on the 19th and 11th arrondissements). It's a great chance to see some real Paris neighborhoods, meet local artists, and of course purchase some lovely artworks! See a map of all the open studios, or visit the HQ at Galerie des AAB (1 rue Picabia, 19th, metro Couronnes). Free entry. Studios are open 2-8pm over the four days of the event.

May 25-26
Les Frigos, one of the oldest artists "squats" in Paris (legalized over 35 years ago) houses 200 artists of all kinds in a 1920s refridgerated warehouse converted into ateliers near the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (13th). This weekend they're open to the public for their annual Portes Ouvertes, with live music, entertainment, and art for sale directly from the artists. Free entry, Saturday 2-10pm and Sunday 2-8pm.

May 25-26
The City of Paris is bringing together all of the local organizations working on ideas for "ecological transition" to fight climate change in an event called Paris de l'Avenir (a play on words: "Paris" also means "a bet" and "avenir" means "future") Whether you live in Paris and want to get involved or are visiting and curious to see what Parisians are doing to prevent a climate crisis, stop by the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville from 11am-6pm (free entry) to check out the different stands and workshops. If you want to attend the special tours and events around the city, you'll need to register in advance on the official website (only in French).

Through May 30
Although it's basically a big branding event, if you're looking for a sunny terrace to enjoy a beer with your friends in the Latin Quarter, check out the Atelier 1664, a pop-up brasserie with a huge garden courtyard and terrace in a lovely historic building (47 rue Cardinal Lemoine, 5th). There's food, bar snacks, and all of the beers in the 1664 range (you can even take beer making classes). There's also a huge table for 16 you can reserve if you've got your whole tribe with you. Open daily noon-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).

Through June 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, "The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city's iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It's a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It's playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there's also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.

Through November 3
New in 2019, the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the inspiration for Louis XIV's Versailles) presents The Styx: River of the Underworld: "An exceptional adventure on the underground river which was diverted by Le Nôtre in 1654 during the creation of the French gardens, this specially designed trip is fun and interactive, and draws on La Fontaine’s text «The love of Cupid and Psyche ». Guided along on the Styx the river of the classical underworld equipped with headlamps and wading boots, you will go through a series of tests of agility and logic… An unprecedented and intense adventure performed by professional actors!" The cost is €60 per group (with 2-6 people per group) in addition to the château fee (kids have to be at least 1.3m tall). Note: this activity is only in French for the moment. Check out the other château events here.

Plan Ahead for June

June 2: Paris Vegan Festival

June 2: Grand Siècle Day at Château Vaux le Vicomte

June 6: Sinfonietta "Bravo!" dinner concert

June 7-9: Rendez-Vous au Jardins

June 14-15: Music by the Glass 

June 15: Bal des Parisiennes

June 21: Fête de la Musique

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism