Like any big city, Lyon has a great music scene. But if you’re new in town, you may need a little help finding your way around it. So read on for a list of places to watch, perform and enjoy yourself in France’s 2nd city.
Bars, clubs, and concert venues
Le Bec de Jazz
The world is filled with jazz bars. But the best are the ones you haven’t heard of. Welcome to the Bec de Jazz. It’s a place for people in the know. It’s filled will people who know what they should know. It’s a place for aficionados, in other words. Sort of.
The Bec de Jazz trades clean surfaces and space for a close atmosphere and strange stories. Come here towards the end of your night. Expect plenty of Ray Charles and James Brown. If you’re lucky, you might catch an impromptu piano performance by the intriguing owner.
Where: 19 Rue Burdeau, 69001, Lyon
When: Wednesday – Saturday: 1030 – 5
If you’ve never been to a riverside town, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the boat bars in Lyon. They are called peniches. And with 2 rivers, Lyon has no shortage of them. And one of them is home to Le Sirius.
Le Sirius always has a full calendar of concerts. The selection is eclectic and ranges from funk and soul to rock, hip-hop and jazz.
Top tip: Le Sirius has a range of Belgian beers – you should try them at least once.
By the way, on weekends this venue is almost too popular. If you’re not a fan of crowded spaces, go during the week. You’ll get a completely different experience of music in Lyon.
Where: 4 Quai Victor Augagneur, Berges du Rhône, 69003 Lyon
When: Monday – Friday: 16h – 3h, Sunday: 16h – 22h
This boat prides itself on its ‘underground’, above water vibe. The Sonic is a great place to listen to Rock, New Wave, or Electro. It’s certainly popular amongst the cool crowd – Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) says it’s his favourite music bar in Lyon. Endorsement indeed.
Where: 4 Quai des Étroits, 69005 Lyon
When: Monday – Friday: 11h – 1h, Saturday & Sunday: 14h – 04h
La Marquise, like Le Sirius, is a peniche, and it’s a great haunt for music lovers. You’ll find funk, soul, house, groove and rock playing here most nights.
See if you can catch a jam session – you won’t regret it.
Where: Opposite 20 quai Victor Augagneur
When: The terrace: Every day: 13h – 1h
The club: Friday & Saturday: 23h
It’s not a club, it’s a concert hall. Cool music in an ice-cold venue. Kill two birds with one stone at the Marché Gare.
This venue has seen less exciting times, though. The Marché Gare was originally an administrative hub for a wholesale market. Exciting stuff.
Alt-J, Is Tropical, Daughter and Fauve have all performed here before. That’s a bit better.
Where: 34 Rue Casimir Périer, 69002 Lyon
This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Lyon’s coolest club. Le Sucre is the go-to place for electro, techno, and house music. Check the calendar from time to time. Famous DJs have played here, and they’ll play here again.
It’s situated on the top of a renovated sugar factory. Sweet.
Where: 50 Quai Rambaud, 69002 Lyon
When: Friday: 18:30 – 5h, Saturday: 23h – 5h, Sunday: 16h – 21h
Nuits Sonores was founded in 2003. It looks for music that innovates. In the beginning, it was all about electro and techno. Now it’s a crossover of genres, cultures and venues.
Nuits Sonores is spread across more than 20 locations in Lyon. DV1, Terminal, and Petit Salon are 3 great venues to check out. They are also popular music venues in their own right. You can visit them all year.
Top tip: If you can’t make Nuits Sonores in Lyon, why not catch it in Tangier, Morocco, in October?
Nuits de Fourvière
This is the big one. The world’s largest bands in an ancient, Roman amphitheater. It’s a killer combination. Nuits de Fourvière takes place in June and July. You have to purchase individual tickets for each artist.
Bands that have played include Blondie, Bob Dylan, Blur, David Bowie, and the Arctic Monkeys. Wow.
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Want to play your own music in Lyon?
If you’re a musician in the making, why not play at an open mic night or jam session?
Le Sirius and La Marquise host jam sessions and open mic nights during the week.
Johnny Walsh has an open mic every Tuesday night. This fun pub attracts the local British and Irish.
If you’re good at guessing song introductions, try the Blind Test at Le Sirius. Believe us, it’s difficult.