Paris’ Alternative Nightlife
  • 18
  • Jan
  • 2011

Text: Rooksana Hossenally for Vingt Paris

Needless to say that Paris doesn’t quite have a bustling nightlife to rival London or New York, but it does have its fair share of quirky and traditional bars, restaurants and cabarets, as well as a number of alternative arty music events in venues all over the city. Popular with the capital’s ‘in’ crowd, venues like La Bellevilloise and La Maroquinerie in the 20th, Point Ephémère in the 10th, Glaz’Art in the 19th and Mains d’Oeuvres at Porte de Saint-Ouen are experiencing a rise in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. The events held at these venues often combine art and music in quirky unusual spaces that have quickly become the place to be seen, especially for those of you dying to be part of the Paris Boho scene!

La Bellevilloise boasts a 2000m2 surface area divided up into five different spaces: the Loft and Forum, used for art exhibitions; La Halle aux Oliviers (The Olive Tree Hall), the venue’s restaurant, where art is also displayed and where concerts are held; the Club, which welcomes a range of bands from both ends of the spectrum and anywhere in between;  and the Screening Room, where films and video installations are projected. You could easily see anything from a Jazz sound system to a band of musicians dressed like Canadian gypsies banging out Irish folk music.

Not only is the Bellevilloise always hosting unusual events and concerts by bands you have never heard of and will probably never hear of again, but the venue itself is a landmark to the spirit of freedom and creativity.  Founded in 1877, the Bellevilloise was Paris’ first ever cooperative, with the aim of rendering politics and culture available to people with smaller means. Indeed back then it was known as ‘The house of the people’. The venue was set to become an “independent, artistic and festive space”. The Bellevilloise was reopened as we know it today in 2005 by three culture enthusiasts. Today, it is one of the most versatile and innovative places in the city, with a vibrant yet unpretentious atmosphere.

La Bellevilloise, 19, rue Boyer, 75020 Paris,tel.01 53 27 35 77, M° Père Lachaise


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