The music and theater season generally runs from September to June, but summer is packed with all sorts of performing arts festivals.
Days Off Festival. Held over 10 days in early July at the Philharmonie de Paris, this festival focuses on pop-rock, with some jazz and electro thrown in for good measure. Headliners like Rufus Wainwright and Blur frontman Damon Albarn lure Parisians away from their offices. Tickets can cost as much as €50, but some are gratis. 221 av. Jean-Jaurès, 19e, Eastern Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, 70019. 01–44–84–44–84; www.daysoff.fr.
Festival d'Automne à Paris. Since 1972, the Paris Autumn Festival has featured a packed program that includes contemporary dance, theater, music, the visual arts, and film. From September to December, 100,000 fans attend 50 productions from more than a dozen countries. They're staged in assorted venues in and around the city, and tickets cost €8 to €35. Paris, Île-de-France. 01–53–45–17–00; www.festival-automne.com.
Festival d'Ile de France. In September and October, this fête takes you (and 25,000 other festival goers) to extraordinary venues in Paris and the surrounding region—among them churches, old warehouses, and historical sites. The 30-plus concerts on the program range from world to pop, and Baroque to classical. Tickets cost €6 to €26; they can be purchased online or, depending on availability, 45 minutes before showtime. Paris, Île-de-France. 01–58–71–01–01; www.iledefrance.fr/competence/festival-ile-france.
Festival Paris l'Été. Held throughout Paris from mid-July to mid-August, the Quartier d'Été festival attracts international stars of dance, world music, theater, and the circus. Prices for concert tickets typically range from €8 to €20, but half of the performances are free. Paris, Île-de-France. 01–44–94–98–00; www.parislete.fr.
Fête de la Musique. Also known as World Music Day, Fête de la Musique is an international festival founded in 1981 by French minister of culture Jack Lang. On June 21 (the summer solstice), free concerts by amateurs and professionals alike are performed on city streets and in village squares throughout France. In Paris, it's an all-night party and a great opportunity to join in the fun, hear some great music, and blend in like a Parisian. www.fetedelamusique.culturecommunication.gouv.fr.
Jazz à la Villette. The annual Jazz à la Villette Festival is held at various Parc de La Villette venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris and Trabendo, over 10 days in early September. You'll pay €8 to €33 for tickets; check the website for detailed information. 211 av. Jean Jaurès, 19e, Eastern Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, 75019. 01–40–03–75–75; jazzalavillette.com/fr.
Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle. The Chopin Festival and the Solistes Festival strike musical high notes in the Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle, one of Paris's most beautiful gardens. The former runs from mid-June through mid-July; the latter is held on three consecutive weekends in September. Tickets will set you back €21 to €35. Parc de Bagatelle, Allée de Longchamp, 16e, Western Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, 75116. 01–53–64–53–80; www.frederic-chopin.com; www.ars-mobilis.com.
Parc Floral. Free outdoor classical concerts, staged weekends at 4 pm from August to mid-September, draw fans to the Parc Floral in Bois de Vincennes (entrance to the park is €6). This is also the spot that hosts the Paris Jazz Festival each weekend in June and July. 12e, Eastern Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, 75012. 01–43–28–41–59; www.vincennes.fr; www.parisjazzfestival.fr.
Rock-en-Seine. This rock festival, which runs each August on the outskirts of Paris, is one of the largest of its kind in France; past headliners include Lana Del Rey, Arcade Fire, Cypress Hill, and the Foo Fighters. A three-day pass is €119. Domaine National de St-Cloud, Parc de St-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, Île-de-France, 92210. www.rockenseine.com.