For the five days each May the French city of Lyon turns into a world capital of adventurous electronic music thanks to the Nuits Sonores, which is not just a music festival, but a largescale event seeking to change the entire environment – no wonder it promotes itself as a “cultural, artistic and urban laboratory” rather than a simple festival. Instead of taking place in a specifically designated area, Nuits Sonores conquers the city itself, with gigs and parties held in different parts of Lyon, from old cathedrals to abandoned industrial sites, from squares and parks to museums and sports arenas. In total, more than 40 venues are used for each festival.
Since 2011, Nuits Sonores is technically “Jours Sonores” too, as the program is no longer limited to nighttime. World-renowned DJs and producers such as Laurent Garnier, Jon Hopkins or Nina Kraviz are chosen to curate the “NS Days” part of the festival. A series of concerts for kids are organized too, under the “Mini Sonore” header. Coupled with various art-meets-music installations in galleries and on the streets of Lyon, all this helps to make Nuits Sonores a genuinely immersive experience. However, it is not just about Lyon – every year the festival highlights the electronic music scene of a certain city on the map of the world with its special “Carte Blanche” program. A delegation of musicians, DJs, and graphic designers is invited from the city in question to showcase their art.
The festival started back in 2002 as an event promoting electronic and independent music, and it still features a lot of underground artists including homegrown talent. Genres present include ambient, techno, hip-hop, house, as well as experimental forms of rock, folk and pop. Nuits Sonores can be a right place to visit if you’re looking for something different.
Take a look at upcoming festivals similar to Nuits Sonores and choose your next festival adventure: