Lifestyle & Culture

Longest day, loudest tunes: Fête de la Music is Paris’s summer solstice symphony

Picture this: it’s 1982, and Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, decides to shake things up. He throws open the gates of musical pandemonium, and thus, La Fête de la Musique is born.

On 21 June, music takes over Paris’s streets with live bands, singers, amateur musicians, drummers and DJs playing throughout the city. Thee will be stages in the city’s major squares parks. The biggest and best-known are in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Petit Palais, the Institut du Monde Arabe, the LouvreJardin du Luxembourg, on Place Denfert Rochereau and along the banks of the Seine.

Since 1982, La Fête de la Musique spread like a melodic wildfire, captivating more than 120 countries with its infectious spirit. Get ready for a comical journey as we delve into the wild and wacky places to explore during this city-wide party.

If you happen to be in Paris on June 21st, these are the five places to check out during la Fête de la Musique:


Let the music guide you through the picturesque streets of Montmartre, the epitome of bohemian allure. As you wander along its cobblestone pathways, you’ll stumble upon the lively square of Place du Tertre, where talented musicians enchant the atmosphere with their soulful melodies.

Take a moment to bask in the artistic ambiance of Le Consulat, a charming café that has welcomed countless poets and artists throughout the years. This is honestly my number one spot to immerse myself in the bohemian spirit as intimate bars and hidden squares, and where you’ll catch me at La Fête de la Musique with my friends.

Le Consulat

18 Rue Norvins

Jardin des Tuileries

Le Jardin des Tuileries is the place to escape the bustling city and find solace. You can explore its secret corners, where talented musicians create intimate concerts under the starry sky, and rest by the majestic octagonal fountain. La Fête de la Musique can overwhelm your senses, so it’s nice to catch a break in a green heaven and relax for a sec.

Another spot would be les Buttes de Chaumont, one of the most underrated parks in Paris.

Canal Saint-Martin

For a vibrant and eclectic musical experience, venture to the trendy neighborhood surrounding Canal Saint-Martin. This dynamic area is known for its artistic flair and is adorned with charming bars and cafés.

The vibe is: a classically trained violinist serenading a flock of pigeons, while a punk rock band jams next to a hotdog stand. You like? Me too … heehee.

Embark on a rhythmic journey through its atmospheric streets, where impromptu stages line the canal’s edge. Grab a drink at Le Comptoir Général, you won’t regret it; it’s an eccentric bar housed within a converted warehouse, where lively performances often steal the show.

Le Comptoir Général

84 Quai de Jemmapes

Parc de la Villette

Prepare to be swept away by an extraordinary musical extravaganza at Parc de la Villette, the grand finale of La Fête de la Musique. This expansive park transforms into a sprawling stage, captivating audiences with performances by renowned artists and emerging talents from diverse genres.

Explore different areas within the park, such as the stunning Grande Halle or the open-air Prairie du Triangle, and uncover hidden pockets of musical bliss. The rhythm will carry you away and it’ll be 6 am before you even realise it.

Parc de la Villette will leave you spellbound.

Grande Halle

211 Av. Jean Jaurès

Île de la Cité

This little gem floating in the Seine is like a secret sanctuary for all things melodic.

Picture this: Wandering through its charming streets, you stumble upon hidden squares where talented musicians unleash their musical magic. It’s like a mini concert everywhere you turn. Grab a scoop of heavenly Berthillon ice cream, find a cozy spot, and let the melodies transport you to a blissful state of musical nirvana.

It’s an offbeat and oh-so-cool experience that’ll make you fall in love with this island even more. If you’re feeling thirsty, head to Café St Regis (not part of the St Régis hotel, I watch out for your wallet don’t worry).

It’s an absolutely charming café, and is definitely a local favourite.


31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île
46 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île

Café St Regis

6 Rue Jean du Bellay

If you were looking for an excuse to head to Paris for the weekend, la Fête de la Musique is it! You have to go at least once in your lifetime. It’s a day where sunburns and earplugs become fashion statements (Lagerfeld is rolling over in his grave), and the streets resonate with melodies that tickle your eardrums and make your heart groove.

So grab your dancing shoes, ditch the shy vibes, and join the musical madness that takes over the city.

21st of June my loves, gather your crew and I’ll see you there!

+ posts

Charlotte Laborie grew up in England, Belgium and Switzerland. Charlotte then moved to Paris and graduated from Sciences Po Paris. She is still based in Paris, where she works in marketing.

To Top

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest news and updates from Dispatches Europe. Get lifestyle & culture, startup & tech, jobs and travel news dispatched to your inbox each week. Keep up with what's going on in Europe. Everything Expat.

You have Successfully Subscribed!