Paris is a great city for musicians and music lovers. There are plenty of bars and venues where you can play or listen to music for free or just for a few euros. One of the best thing to do is to go to an open mic or as it’s called in French, scène ouverte. The concept ? If you are a musician you can turn up and play some songs. If you are a music lover, you can have a drink and listen to some people playing music. It’s a great way to meet people as well if you are new in Paris ! It can also lead you to jam with people ! If you want to create your band then you should go to open mics to meet other musicians.
Here is a top 5 of the best open-mics in Paris for English speakers. You will most definitely be able to speak English there if you are not completely fluent in French !
This is a pub right next to Le Panthéon. Every Monday their open mic is available for musicians who can play up to 3 songs. The evening starts at 8 :30 pm. It’s a pretty raucous crowd in there though so it’s perfect for a fun night with some live music but if you prefer quiet songs then it’s not for you !
Address : 2, place du Panthéon, 75006 Paris
Great pub next to Notre-Dame that can get very busy ! Thomas Brun hosts an open-mic every Wednesday and it is very popular so if you want to play, it’s best to turn up early. It is one of Paris’s longest running open mics. I’ve heard some great musicians there ! The sound quality is pretty good too and the crowd is quite respectful.
Address : 8 rue de Nevers, 75005 Paris
Every Wednesday you can play at Belushi’s Gare du Nord and every Sunday you can play at Belushi’s Crimée. They both have great locations, far from the touristy parts of Paris and in the same building as St Christopher’s Inns hostels. The hosts – a guitar player and a bass player – are extremely welcoming and speak fluent English. The open mic is actually hosted in English. I particularly like The Belushi’s Crimée, by Le Canal de L’Ourcq, as it is a lovely place to chill out and have a drink. The musicians are great and if you want to play then you can either play solo or jam with the two hosts. Also the drinks are very cheap!
Address : 159 Rue de Crimée, 75019 Paris and 5 Rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris
UPDATE : Unfortunately the open mic at Belushi’s Crimée has been cancelled! The two great hosts started a new open mic every Monday at Yellow Mad Monkey in Bastille (8 rue de Lappe – 75011 Paris) .
A busy Irish pub with a gorgeous view over La Seine! They host an open-mic every Monday and it can be quite busy so make sure you arrive early. If you want to play, you get to perform on stage for about 3 or 4 songs. There is a great international vibe here so it’s perfect for an English speaker who wants to meet people!
Address : 13 quai Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris
Café Oz Blanche
Every Tuesday – 2 mics, a nice house folk guitar you can borrow once you’re behind the mic, nice staff, drinks, hot dogs, and Le Moulin Rouge on the background!
Whether you’re all by yourself or a band of 5 (cajons welcome), you’ll hear yourself and have a nice sound system! Lots of nice pictures and videos on their facebook page too.
Address : 1, rue de Bruxelles, Paris 9e, M° Blanche (L.2)
-If you are interested in seeing full concerts with established bands or overall more professional musicians then here is a list of great venues in Paris. If you are a musician then you can look into playing at these venues but you need to have some experience. You will be able to speak English in these venues.
- Truskel : Great venue with a lot of free gigs! Address: 12 rue Feydeau, 75002 Paris
- Bus Palladium : It’s one of the coolest and trendiest places in Paris for music. Address : 6 rue Fontaine, 75009 Paris
- Pop In : Small pub around Bastille with a lot of live music played downstairs. The gigs and drinks are pretty cheap! Address: 105 Rue Amelot, 75011, Paris
- L’International : You can see live music almost every night there! It’s generally rather quiet during the week but is packed late starting on Thursday night. Most gigs are free so it’s an excellent spot for live music. Address : 5/7 Rue Moret, 75011 Paris
-To stay in touch with what’s going on in Paris musically, there are two great Facebook groups for English speakers. You will be able to promote your gigs or to go and see live music with some fellow music lovers. They will also help if you have any question regarding music in Paris.
-Finally, we strongly recommend Pierrick Bourgault’s book, Paris 200 bars-concerts – Guide des bons plans, that lists all the best places in Paris to play music or listen to music. It’s perfect for Parisians and also for tourists who want to see music in Paris!