Music in the Metro

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Reviewed on 10/4/2011 | 2 Reviews

My Concierge Told Me

How musicians can pass an audition for a coveted license

Are you a virtuosi violin player? Or do you often sing the famous aria of the Queen of the Night in the shower? Then you should perform in the Parisian metro. It has been the springboard to more than one career.

Photo: © AFP, Olivier Laban-Mattei

Think about it, it could be the beginning of a promising career. Others have started here in the belly of Paris: Keziah Jones, Ben Harper, Manu Dibango, they all performed in the metro. But also Jacques Higelin and Alain Sauchon. Keziah Jones, now an international star, came back in 2008 to perform where he started his career in the summer  of 1989. Why did he choose Paris back then? “It was close and Miles Davis was here”, Keziah said. He was playing Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye but was also testing his own compositions.

Better than the Stade de France

The Parisian métro is indeed the densest transport system on the planet. There are 300 stations and that means: as many stages. Why do you need the Stade de France to perform? More than 5 million people travel on the metro every day. So start here, at Châtelet for example, where good musicians can easily make 20 to 100 Euros per hour.

Not a special style, just a talent

But careful: not every one is allowed to perform in the metro. The RATP, the company that runs the metro, organizes auditions for musicians twice a year, in fall and spring. They do not look for a special style, just talent. Reggae or opera, jazz or just you and your guitar, it’s up to you. Only half of the musicians are French, the other half come from all over the world.

You’d better give your best

Since yesterday, 3rd of October, you can apply for an audition. It’s very easy. You just need to send a mail ( or go to Espace Métro Accords to get the form and you’ll get your audition. Throughout it’s 12 years of existence, more than 10,000 people have applied. So watch out and give your best: each season about 1000 musicians try their luck, but only 300 of them will get the coveted accreditation.

RATP Espace Métro Accords
102 ter, rue de Charonne
75011 Paris
Tel. 01 58 77 40 74
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User reviews

  1. FleurLune acousticDuo 14 February 2013 Reply

    Hello, we are an italian acoustic duo called FleurLune, we went to Paris last summer and we fall in love. Do you know whe is the spring auditions for play music in metro of Paris? We want to partecipate it! Thank you so much and sorry for our bad english

    • martinam 15 February 2013

      Hello FleurLune,
      The next audition will take place at the end of March, beginning April. They can’t tell exactly. To be invited, you have to write a mail explaining what your are doing an your motivation to this adress: – here is also a telephone number +33 1 58 77 40 74 (only French, I guess).
      They told me that already a lot of people have applied. But you should try your luck.
      Spero che avete capito tutto. Devete scrivere un mail al’indirizzo sopra explicando qual stile de musica fate et perché volete farlo nel metro.
      A presto, Martina

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