Select Page

Best Free Street-Music Festival in Europe

Jazz in the Saint German des Pres neighborhood. Rue de Bucci.

Don’t miss the “Fete de la Musique” on the summer solstice (June 21st) in Paris. The mood is electric and you get a taste of authentic Paris culture and performances of everything from opera, jazz and rock to hip-hop and electronic music. The music starts early afternoon in some of the city’s parks and museum courtyards.

Several years ago I stumbled upon a classical music orchestra in the formal courtyard of Luxembourg Palace. This summer there were three concerts at the bandstand in Luxembourg Garden starting at 2PM.

Well before dusk, musicians start setting up and connoisseurs pour out into the streets. Then music takes over. I joined Karen, a friend who lives in Paris and we wandered through the city; starting with red wine at an outdoor cafe on Rue de Bucci near St. Germain des Pres while listening to a three-man jazz band. Then we moved on and found different musical styles and street parties on every street corner, down every alley and boulevard.

On the Ile St. Louis we sat along the water’s edge and listened to drum music and saxophones from both banks.

We ended at Place des Vosges in the Marais where a choir sang and people held sheet music and joined in. Under one of the arches a costumed man sang opera as the crowd sat on the curbs in silent appreciation.

Music under the arches at Place des Vosges