While Lyon might not host the best music festivals in France all year round, there are several that take place in the city which are seriously noteworthy. They're not alpine yodeling contests either, but ones that encompass genres like electronic music, jazz, and opera or feature great bands like the Rolling Stones, Dire Straits, the Black Eyed Peas, or cult pop legends, Kool and The Gang.
Lyon has a couple of incredible venues that attract big artists of international acclaim, so it's always worth checking out who's headlining at L'amphitheatre de Lyon or at the Groupama Stadium. They will be mostly one-night-only concerts, but if they coincide with your visit, they'll be ones you won't want to miss whether you're a fan of Dire Straits or top composer, John Williams.
The festivals and concerts being held in Lyon during the summer season of 2022 are amazing, but there's also one or two taking place outside of the city that will probably tempt you to make the short journey to attend them, especially if you're into rap, techno, or rock.
There's one thing you can't do no matter what type of live music the event you're heading to, and that's arriving loaded down with bags. When you need some baggage storage in Lyon, look for the nearest Bounce luggage locker facility. Use a Bounce luggage locker and you can head off to any festival knowing your gear is safe in an insured and security-tagged locker well out of the way of any spilled drinks or light-fingered festival-goers. If you need any help getting to and from your favorite festival, consult our guide on how to get around Lyon.
The Best Music Festivals In Lyon In 2022
Have a read through this section on the best music festivals happening in Lyon in 2022 and don't be surprised if you start considering visiting this historic French city more than the once you'd originally intended.
Les Nuits de Fourvière
If your visit to Lyon falls anytime between the 2nd of June and the 30th of July you'll be able to catch at least some of the numerous performances that Les Nuits de Fourvière consists of.
Les Nuits de Fourvière, or the Fourviere Nights as it's known in English, is as much about the performing arts as it is about music alone, although the music does play a major part in the festival. As well as frequent concerts of pop, opera, jazz, and classical music there are dance, circus, and dramatic performances throughout the entire eight weeks.
With the Les Nuits de Fourvière having such an extensive program, it's impossible to list all of the acts here but expect top caliber. Have a browse through the official website to see who's performing on the dates you're in Lyon and you might find yourself getting excited about groups like Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds or artists like Patti Smith.
Fête de la Musique
While the Fete de la Musique might not turn out to be the most harmonious music festival you've ever attended, it is great fun.
The Fête de la Musique happens once a year, in 2022 it's on the 21st of June, and is a summer festival the city of Lyon shares with its neighbor, Villerbaune. What makes this festival so unique? Anyone and everyone can participate if they have a musical instrument. All they have to do is join the throng that lines the four-mile route between the two cities, from six in the afternoon. The goal is to make as much noise as you can. Musical noise, of course.
Musically inclined people do take part as well and there are professional choral recitals, concerts, workshops, and dance classes. This festival is all about bringing communities together through a shared love of music, be it good or bad. The culmination of the festival is a huge street picnic, so if you're planning to attend, make sure you take food and drinks with you.
No fans of jazz need to go without their musical fix when they visit Lyon, especially if they visit anytime between the 23rd of July to the 9th of September. Those two weeks are when the Peristyle Festival takes place in Lyon and there are nightly performances of live jazz.
The festival takes place on a stage outside the Lyon Opera House in the Place de la Comedie. They're quite intimate affairs, and while admission is free, if you want a seat at one of the tables, you'll need to reserve it in advance.
Most of the acts are French jazz musicians, but there are also folk nights and presentations of traditional music from a variety of other nations.
The Festival Inversion celebrated its inaugural year in 2022 and was a resounding success. The first of what will be many in years to come was headlined by the Black Eyed Peas as part of their European tour.
The two night-long Festival Inversion took place on the 18th and 19th of June in the Matmut Stadium where the artists played to a sold-out audience of over 35,000 fans.
Showcasing many hip hop, pop, and urban music groups, as well as the legendary Black Eyed Peas, the Festival Inversion is set to become a big fixture on the event calendar of Lyon. The acts for 2023 have yet to be announced but you can guarantee they'll be good ones.
The Nuits Sonores is an annual event that pretty much opens the festival season in Lyon. Nuits Sonores takes place over five evenings usually around the end of May so make a note of it in your calendar for 2023.
2023 will be the twentieth anniversary of this festival dedicated to electronic music and independent artists. As in previous years, the nightly events are held in a variety of clubs and outdoor locations. What and where it'll all be happening in 2023 won't be disclosed until closer to the time.
Best Music Festivals Near Lyon In 2022
While the following two festivals are not right in the heart of Lyon, they're close enough to make attending either one of them easy. You can get to either by using public transport which is one of the best ways of getting around Lyon.
Sylak Open Air 2022
Saint Maurice de Gourdans is a sleepy rural hamlet half an hour's drive east from Lyon that gets shaken to life at the beginning of August by the Sylak Open Air Festival.
Sylak Open Air will be rocking the foundations of the Regis Perrin Stadium in Saint Maurice de Gourdans from the 5th to the 7th of August and rocking is exactly the right description. Sylak is focused on metal and other heavy, hardcore rock genres like pirate and thrash metal.
Topping the bill for the three days of live music at Sylak are groups like Alestorm, Born From Pain, Testament, and the Dead Kiwis to name just a few. There will also be performances from medieval folk groups, stoner groups, and punk. It's not the sort of festival to head for if you're not well into the type of music that's being presented. If it's your thing, then you'll be in for a major treat.
If there's one music festival you should be planning on going to then it's Woodstower 2022. This mega five-day long festival takes place from the 24th to the 28th of August, both dates inclusive, in the Lyon suburb of Vaulx-en-Velin. It's a celebration of a variety of music genres from electronic to indie to jazz to rock and pop.
The Grand Parc Miribel Jonage in Vaulx-en-Velin where the festival is held is just over six miles outside of the center of Lyon. Yes, this is the French version of Woodstock so if you want to camp out for several days you can. There are campsites situated under shady trees, lots of food trucks, and plenty of hippy-style workshops to get involved in when there's no live music on the stages.
Top Concert Venues In Lyon To Keep An Eye On
If there's no music festival happening on the dates that you visit Lyon, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to miss out on having an unforgettable time. There are two major event venues in Lyon that are so prestigious they attract a lot of the best international bands and artists to add them to their tour dates.
Whatever time of the year you head to Lyon make sure you check out what's on at both of them well in advance of traveling as you may want to get tickets for some of the concerts that are held there. Don't check it out and you could find yourself sitting in your hotel room watching a first-class live performance being transmitted on Facebook instead.
L'amphitheatre 3000 is a fantastic events venue in Lyon that opened in 2006 and hasn't stopped showcasing top talent ever since.
L'amphitheatre is no ancient Roman ruin but a state-of-the-art theater with tiered seating for capacity crowds of over 3,000. It's just one part of the Lyon Convention Center in the Cite Internationale de Lyon which is sandwiched on land that separates the city's two rivers.
If you're going to attend a live concert in Lyon, this is one of the places you'll want to do it. It won't be a concert performed by a minor artist either. This location draws the likes of legendary bands like Dire Straits as well as top-quality tribute bands performing U2, Elton John, Depeche Mode, and The Cure.
The concerts at L'amphitheatre, also called Salle 3000, are frequently classical too. Composers like John Williams, famous for his film tracks for Spielberg movies, perform there. There are also symphonic orchestra performances of music from Led Zeppelin, the Bond movies, Grease, and Queen hits. All well worth forking out on admission tickets for.
The Groupama Stadium is the football stadium that's home to the French team Olympique Lyonnais. Don't worry if they don't sound familiar, while they may have a massive stadium, they're not in any top soccer leagues.
What makes this stadium in Lyon special is the fact it has a capacity of almost 60,000 people. That's a fact that makes it big enough to accommodate incredible groups like the Rolling Stones who will be performing there on the 19th of July in 2022.
The Rolling Stones are not the only iconic rock group that will be gracing the stage at the Groupama Stadium in 2022 either. Their performance is closely followed by U2, the real ones with Bono included, on the 6th of August. They won't be the only big names appearing in Lyon in 2022 so keep an eye on the official website for new announcements.
Planning To Stay Some More Days In Lyon?
Two or three-day music festivals may not be what makes Lyon's music scene tick, but big-name concerts are and ones that are held in amazing venues too. If you're planning to stay three days in Lyon or more then you really should check out what's on at venues like the Groupama Stadium or Salle 3000.
A concert will only occupy one night of your stay though, but in Lyon, that's not a problem as there are plenty of other things to do besides supporting your favorite group. The amazing nightlife of Lyon is full of world-class restaurants and bars and even a few nightclubs to dance the night away. During the day, if you're a John Williams fan then you won't want to miss visiting the Musée Cinéma et Miniature. The Musée Cinéma et Miniature, or Miniature Museum, is one of the best museums in Lyon and if you're a movie addict, a totally unmissable experience.
Take the time to discover Lyon and you'll find there's a lot more to it than rivers, Renaissance buildings, and patisseries. You just have to go out and look for it.