Concerts, exhibitions and beaches – what’s on this summer in Paris

Concerts, exhibitions and beaches - what's on this summer in Paris
2020's Paris Plages event included outdoor film screenings. Photo: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP.
Concerts, exhibitions, plays, dance performances… Paris will make up for lost time this summer as cultural life returns with over 200 events in July and August, plus an extension of the popular Paris plages.

“It’s going to be a party,” according to Carine Rolland, deputy mayor in charge of culture.

“We owe it to the Parisians as much as to those in the cultural sector who have been hard hit by the crisis,” Rolland told Le Parisien as she unveiled plans for festivities in Paris throughout July and August.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches have been extended this year and will take in three sites, which will all be open from July 10th to August 22nd.

Parisians will be able to enjoy sand, sun loungers and swimming on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris.

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This year, the Jardins du Trocadéro near the Eiffel Tower will also be part of Paris Plages, with a big screen showing the Tokyo Olympics and other sporting events.

Outdoor events

With the health situation in mind, many events will take place outdoors, on the street and on public squares, in parks and school playgrounds, in outdoor arenas like the one in Montmartre, and on the banks of the Seine.

“We wanted a large diversity with contemporary music as well as theatre, circus, puppet shows, dancing, and readings,” said Rolland. “Parisians will go somewhere at random and will come across an open-air event.”

Many of the events will be free. Others, as part of the Paris L’été festival which runs from July 12th until August 1st, will charge for entry.

Find the full programme for the festival here.

After more than a year, concerts with standing audiences will be able to take place in France from June 30th, at 100 percent of their normal capacity for events which take place outdoors, and 75 percent capacity indoors – a health passport will be needed for larger events.

Open air cinema

Another event making a comeback is the outdoor film screenings in the Parc de la Villette. There will be 28 evening projections between July 16th and August 22nd. The screenings will kick off with Marie-Antoinette on the 16th, and will also include Jackie, Amadeus and The Wolf of Wall Street. The full programme is available here

Bastille Day

France’s annual fête nationale celebrations and fireworks on July 14th should go ahead in some form this year. The exact details for the Paris event are yet to be revealed. In France, a health passport is needed for events welcoming more than 1,000 people.

“We don’t yet know what health conditions will be required. But it’s clear that we need to be outside, to breathe, to celebrate together,” Rolland said. The theme for this year’s fireworks display is Freedom.

The festivities went ahead last year, but people were banned from gathering in crowds to watch the fireworks.

Beyond the summer

Summer has barely even begun, but Paris already has big plans for the autumn.

As part of a posthumous work by the artist Christo, who died last year, the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in silver and blue fabric from September 18th.

The installation will last until the night of October 2nd, which is also the date of the twentieth edition of the Nuit Blanche, an all-night arts festival.


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