CC Image courtesy of suswar on Flickr

For a young city with a big student population the music scene in Montpellier is somewhat lacking. Rockstore, Victoire 2, and Jam attract some good smaller acts while the Arena and Zenith Sud cater for bigger bands. The truth is though that many groups, both large and small, leave Montpellier off their list of European tour dates. Keep an eye out though and you’ll still find some gems.

The situation improves markedly in the summer when outdoor venues come into play. Sete and its beautiful Théâtre De La Mer play host to Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival, the Roman amphitheatre at Nimes hosts top acts, and festivals pop up around the region. In short, it’s often feast or famine for the music lover in Montpellier. But when it’s good, it’s great. Here are our top tips.

Is there a better place to see live music than this? – Théâtre de la Mer is possibly the finest venue for live music. Many places offer better acoustics, others a greater feeling of intimacy, but few can match Théâtre de la Mer in Sète for spectacle. As those of you with GCSE French might have figured out already, it’s a theatre by the sea. But that sells it short.