Lille3000 Eldorado | Arty party Lille

Written by on May 17, 2019 in News

A giant paper mache dragon figurine towers over the streets of Lille for the Lille3000 Eldorado art festival

It’s hard to imagine a more exuberant art festival than the one which takes place in the northern French city of Lille every few years. An enormous event which takes place over several months in the city centre and surrounding districts – it’s known as Lille3000.

A cultural season of art and events

Very bright, colourful artworks on show in Lille for the 7 month long art festival of Lille3000

Lille3000 is the name given to a unique, quirky, captivating cultural artistic event that takes place in the city of Lille, northern France over several months in hundreds of different locations. Expect an event that is slightly crazy, possibly a tad deranged (in a good way) and absolutely pulsating with joie de vivre, creativity and energy. And,  if you love art, then this should be at the top of your must see-do-go to list!

It’s not quite a festival; and not quite an art exhibition. It’s both. And more. In 2004, the city was the European Capital of Culture. The cultural and artistic celebrations reinvigorated the town and its people in such a way that they decided to carry on growing culturally and honouring art in all its forms. It was said they wanted to carry on until the year 3000 so Lille3000 was born!

Lille3000 is one of the most vibrant, colourful, festive art events in the world. It spills out of museums (and they are numerous in Lille), and art galleries, the opera house, public buildings and shops, onto the streets and into the sky in this truly dynamic town. And the festival flows into surrounding districts.

Each Lille3000 event takes a different theme and for 2019 it is Eldorado – the spirit of Mexico.

Lille3000 Eldorado

Street in Lille hung with colourful bunting

The programme for Lile3000 runs from April to December 2019 and is constantly changing so check the Lille3000 website to see what’s on where and when. We’ve picked just a few of our favourite elements from hundreds of exhibitions including 10 monumental alebrijes on the Lille Rambla, a suspended moon in Gare Lille Flandres (until the end of May), a sound jungle in the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church and a solar installation at the Vieille Bourse …

What to see at Lille3000 Eldorado

Weird artworks in Lille including a giant balloon moon in the station, pots and pans that look like a waterfall and nightmarish figures

Alebrijes – Rambla in Rue Faidherbe, which runs between the Gare de Flandres leading to the Grand Place. 10 huge, colourful creatures from the mind of Mexican artisan Pedro Linares López, famous for his paper mache figurines. (Free)

Angry God, Soundwalk Collective at the Church of St Mary Magdalene. In the beautiful surroundings you’re plunged into the Amazonian jungle via a series of videos and sound. Use your mobile phone to see beyond the video screen – it’s clever and quite beautiful. There’s also a metal sculpture which is incredible, made from pots and pans ‘Hungry God’ is mesmerising. (Free)

Mexicraneos, Calaveras – Giant painted skulls, emblematic of Mexican culture, customized and coloured by many artists on the occasion of the famous “Dia de los Muertos”. Celebrated every year in Mexico, the very festive Day of the Dead mixes Aztec traditions and Christian holidays. (Free)

Hospice Comtesse Museum– a collection of artworks by various Mexican artists from around the world including the Museum of Modern Art of Mexico City. Look carefully and you’ll spot an early Frida Kahlo.

Tripostal – the former post office building has been transformed into a major contemporary art gallery. Discover a diverse range of artworks which range from the bizarre to the utterly incredulous. There’s also a great café to take a break here.

A courtyard in an ancient building hung with star burst mirrors

Betsabe Romero, Soles of Oro at the Vielle Bourse sees dozens of mirrors add an ethereal atmosphere to the already beautiful courtyard of the Old Stock Exchange. This great space hosts a second-hand book market. It’s also the location for tango dancing on Sunday nights throughout the summer. (Free).

Around Lille

Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, round black head with a very long pointed nose hangs from the ceiling

Tourcoing – MUBA EUGÈNE LEROY. In the district of Tourcoing on the outskirts of Lille, the Museum of Beaux Arts has an excellent permanent collection. It host an exhibition “the Children of Paradise” as part of Eldorado, featuring artists from around the world.

While you’re in Tourcoing, don’t miss a visit to Le Paradoxe, 3 Rue d’Havre by the museum. It’s a seriously funky restaurant located in the former Hospice which dates back to the 13th century.

LaM: Alberto Giacometti – catch the stunning exhibition at the LaM modern art museum in Villeneuve d’Ascq until end June (tickets). There are major works of art in the permanent collection from artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Joan Miró, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. There’s also an art brut collection consisting of more than 8000 pieces

There really are so many events, performances, concerts and exhibitions – head to the website for all the details. This is a stunning art festival which will perplex you, make you smile and one you won’t forget. And, there are more than a dozen museums in and around Lille – enough to keep the most ardent culture vultures brimming with happiness.

More on Lille

Don’t miss La Piscine at Roubaix. Easy to reach via tram or metro from Lille city centre.

Where to stay: Suitenovotel, next to Lille Europe station. It’s very central for all visits to Lille and surrounding areas. Comfy and quiet rooms make for a great stay in the city.

Lille Tourist Office

Related Articles

French Tax Rates 2020

French Tax Rates 2020

Written by on December 4, 2019 in News

A summary of French tax rates 2020. Reduced tax rate for lower income in France for 2020 The main change is a reduction in the income tax rates for calendar year 2020. With the inntroduction of a PAYE (pay as you earn) system – the 2020 budget includes the income tax bands and rates for […]

Continue Reading

MARAISTHON France |The first and only eco-marathon in the world

The unique Maraisthon, the first marathon in the world to support a 100% eco-nature mandate, will celebrate its tenth anniversary 15th – 16th June 2019. More entrants than ever before are expected to take part with participants travelling to the Marais Poitevin, Poitou-Charentes (Nouvelle Aquitaine), France from all over the world. Last year there were […]

Continue Reading

Showtime in Paris – and a very special ticket offer

There’s plenty to see and do when you visit Paris but to get a real feel for its authentic love of the arts – take in a show! From concerts to comedy, circus and cabaret, musicals to theatrical performances – there’s something for everyone of every age and every taste. And, from 25 February to […]

Continue Reading

Centenary of the end of The Great War Remembrance Vigil in northern France

France honours the end of World War I with a remembrance vigil taking place on the night of 10 November to 11 November 2018. Located on the front line from the end of 1914, the territory of Pays d’Artois was forever marked by those bloody battles. From the French offensives of 1915 to the great […]

Continue Reading

Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2018

Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2018

Written by on October 27, 2018 in News

The international Lift-Off Film Festival celebrates the best that the independent film community in Paris and across the rest of the world has to offer. The Lift-Off Global Network is committed to promoting global indie film, connecting filmmakers from all around the world, and nurturing the creative talent of their ever-growing community. Diary note: Paris […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.