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Quais du Polar

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Last updated date : 26/03/2024

In 2024, the Festival Quais du Polar returns for a new edition! A choice of novels, graphic novels, TV series, films, round-tables, meetings and conferences, suspense quests in the streets of Lyon, exhibitions, games… throughout the three-day 20th edition of the festival.

La Grande librairie des Quais du Polar au Palais de la Bourse © Cécile Mathy / QDP

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Quais du Polar: Lyon’s crime fiction festival

Quais du Polar has become THE key event of the genre in France. Firmly established in the French and European cultural scenery, it is both recognised by the professionals and an ever-increasing audience attending the different events organised by the festival: book fair, signing sessions, conferences, cinema, shows, visits, suspense quests in Lyon... Since 2005, authors from 58 different nationalities are invited.

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The festival is for all audiences: from bulimic crime fiction readers, amateur detectives, crime column fans and thrill-seeking moviegoers to curious passers-by, citizens well-informed in world affairs, party goers who love meeting people, and graphics and comic book enthusiasts… Whatever your age, whatever your gang, day and night, Quais du Polar is the place to be!

Why Lyon? 

Lyon is a perfect match for this event. What better host city than the birthplace of film pioneers the Lumière Brothers, as well as forensic medicine, anthropological criminology and scientific investigation methods? Lyon is a city with a rich past, particularly during the Renaissance, when ideas, culture and humanism were spread by printing, trade, banking and fairs. Important political ideas were developed here, while the city witnessed popular revolts during the French Revolution and the time of the Canuts, as Lyon’s former silk workers were known.
Today, Lyon is a  major city overflowing with ideas, culture and creativity, complemented by a wonderful art of living.

Quais du Polar is a local festival with an international outlook, which delves deeply into this rich heritage to share it with others.  

Finally, Lyon has just joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of literature (linking 53 cities worldwide)

This 2024 edition of Quais du Polar

Affiche de Quais du Polar 2024 ©

Quais du Polar celebrate "20 Years of noir"

The 20th edition will be celebrating its 20 Years of noir, 20 years of passion" from 5 to 7 April 2024.

For this gathering, the city of Lyon as a whole will provide a superb backdrop for original events and meetings with authors from various backgrounds, to celebrate a literary genre that has so successfully evolved and reinvented itself over the past two decades. Big-name authors will be attending alongside newcomers to the field. A retrospective looking back at the past 20 years, while outlining new trends in crime fiction, which reflects the issues of the day as it lays bare dysfunctions.

Major topics and contemporary values are highlighted by this socially engaged festival, in areas such as the fight against racism and intolerance, misogyny and violence against women, inequalities and environmental degradation.

A multidisciplinary festival

There will be lots happening at the Palais de la Bourse, around the Grande Librairie du Polar (crime fiction book fair), including signing sessions, meetings, conferences, masterclasses, screenings, music, shows, tours, games, a major investigation taking participants across the city and crime fiction dictations. You’ll even find gastronomic food. This is a festival that loves to mix genres, while offering original experiences and surprises...

The “bus of experts” provide a platform for authors and professionals from the world of crime fiction, including those in law enforcement and the judicial system, to share their perspectives.

Fiction-inspired river cruises and outings will be provided by Lyon City Tour and Les Bateaux Lyonnais.

The open days at St Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or’s police school and Écully’s forensic department, exceptionally held for Quais du Polar.

Not to forget the nine literature award ceremonies.

On screen programme: 22 screenings across 11 cinemas in Lyon and the metropolitan aera

  • Spotlight on Spain, Noir and espionage, film noir and journalism, Serial killers in cinema, From book to screen, Tribute to Georges Simenon.
  • Noir weekend at the Institut Lumière
  • 2 screenings of 5 short films
  • Young audience: Little Vampire (2020) by Joann Sfar

Youth Programme

  • in the Youth Area at the Palais de la Bourse: the “Lire et Faire Lire” organisation for read-aloud sessions of short crime fiction stories / Bayard Jeunesse publishers for enigmas on giant screens / Passeur de Jeux for board game activities / the Police Scientifique (forensic police) for an activity around fingerprints. 
  • Board games, treasure hunts, escape games, and murder mystery parties in the city’s libraries and cultural facilities in Lyon and the Metropolis.
  •  1 screening of a children’s film at the Lumière Fourmi cinema: Petit Vampire, adapted from the Joann Sfar comic book.

The authors present in Lyon for the 20th Quais du Polar

135 authors from 15 different nationalities to celbrate the 20th edition of the international Quais du Polar festival. 

Belgium: Barbara ABEL, Jérémie CLAES, Kenan GÖRGÜN, Chris DE STOOP, 
Brazil: Patrícia MELO, 
Canada: André MAROI
France: Michel BUSSI, Maxime CHATTAM, Karine GIEBEL, Laurent GUILLAUME, Laurent JOFFRIN, Marc LEVY, Nicolas MATHIEU, Bernard MINIER, Guillaume MUSSO, Franck THILLIEZ, Olivier TRUC... 
Greece: Christos MARKOGIANNAKIS, 
Italy: Davide LONGO, Piero MACOLA (BD), Piergiorgio PULIXI, Valerio VARESI
Norway: Jørn Lier HORST, Jo NESBØ, 
Poland: Maryla SZYMICZKOWA
Switzerland: Joseph Incardona
Scotland: Peter MAY, Val MCDERMID
United States: S.A. COSBY, John GRISHAM, Gabino IGLESIAS, Meagan JENNETT, Dennis LEHANE, Donna LEON, Catriona WARD
And many more...

A solidary festival

True to its commitment to being an event open to everyone, Quais du Polar has made welcoming individuals with disabilities a priority. Quais du Polar’s programme has also been made more accessible by offering eight conferences translated into French sign language, as well as sessions dedicated to raising awareness about books published in large print and those adapted for individuals with dyslexia. The adaptation of festival signage and the establishment of an accessibility hub, consisting of team members and volunteers reachable in advance by phone or email, have ensured an experience tailored to each individual.

Quais du Polar is environmentally conscious and has been working towards limiting its carbon footprint and waste production for years. All service providers and suppliers are local businesses, the festival limits paper printing, and favours train travel for French and European guests. For
many years, agreements with TER Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (regional trains) and TCL (Lyon public transport network) have been developed to offer preferential rates for regional transportation to festivalgoers.

One final thing: you can rest assured that the festival will be as welcoming and fun as ever; it couldn’t be any other way! This is evidenced by the event’s increasing popularity, among authors, booksellers and partners, as well as an ever more enthusiastic public.


We also talk about it in...


Quais du Polar 20th anniversary : three questions to the most loyal bookseller



Quais du Polar

- 69123 Lyon

09 83 22 33 47

I go by alternative transportation

Public transit

Ligne A arrêt Cordeliers

Bus C3, C5, C13, C14, 9, 27, A32, A71 arrêt Cordeliers

Alternative transportation

Stations Vélo'v République et Ampère