Nuit Blanche 2021: What’s in store on Paris’s sleepless night?

Nuit Blanche 2021: What’s in store on Paris’s sleepless night?
Photo: Bertrand Guay / AFP
It's the night the city of Paris stays up way past its bedtime - here is what is planned for the Nuit Blanche 2021, when Parisians, Franciliens and visitors can enjoy an eclectic arts programme by, hopefully, the light of a silvery moon. 

The event, which coincides with the final night of the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe to honour the artist Christo, will also unveil 12 works across the city from another initiative of the City of Paris, to showcase the collection of the Paris Collections Contemporary Art Fund.

READ ALSO French phrase of the Day: Nuit blanche 

Here, then are the highlights of the 20th edition of the popular annual event, in which art and sport collide overnight on Saturday, October 2nd.

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A health pass will be required to attend certain events, notably those taking place in enclosed spaces – but, otherwise, the event will run normally. Because of Covid, last year’s event was unique, as this brief film shows.

The launch of the Nuit Blanche will take place at Place de l’Hotel de Ville, where dancer and choreographer Mourad Merzouki will lead a connected ‘choreographed walk’, in which, for a few minutes, visitors and professionals will dance in unison – joined via video link by participants at 10 district mairies, as well as people in nearby Alfortville, Aubervilliers, Créteil and Rueil-Malmaison. 

You won’t be expected to do this. Probably.

Art tours

A series of four connected walks have been set up, with artworks along the way.

The walk’s route will take in stops in various institutions of the capital, such as the Musée d’Art Moderne, le musée du Quai Branly, l’église Saint-Eustache, the Jeu de Paume and the Centre Pompidou, where visitors can admire the latest neon work of Tim Etchells, an installation 43m long.

The Paris Nord route will run from Porte d’Aubervilliers to Porte des Lilas, and will extend over nearly 6km. The Georges Vallerey swimming pool will host a set by DJ Barbara Butch, featuring shows from the French Artistic Swimming Team.

A third route, on the eastern side of the city, will start at Porte de Vincennes. Participants will go to the CIPALE velodrome, used in the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games, Bercy park, and take the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge, leading to BNF Esplanada – where they will be able to see ‘Aire’, the work of artist Laurent Berbos.  It will take the form of a Dance Trek, organised by artist and choreographer Robin Decourcy – and will feature a number of surprise guests.

The western route will start from Balard and go to Porte d’Auteuil. During this 4.5km hike, visitors can take part in  a roller dance party at the Trinquet Village, and see a photographic exhibition at Stade Francais’ ground Stade Jean Bouin.

Exhibitions and Museums

This year’s Nuit Blanche  also marks the opening of the Rencontres Inattendues contemporary art exhibition bringing together more than 80 works owned by the city, which while be exhibited in a variety of everyday locations – from sports venues to libraries, schools and mairies – until December 15th.

Many of the city’s largest museums also open all night for for free and some are also hosting concerts and performances.

Concerts

Music venues across the city are hosting concerns, from choral music in some of the city’s oldest churches to Paris Jazz Club performances and circus shows. Full list here.

Public transport

And don’t worry about getting home afterwards, the Metro and buses will also be running all night.


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