“The music everywhere and the concert nowhere.”
Maurice Fleuret spoke these famous words as he dreamed of finding a way to bring French people together over music. Alas, Fête de la Musique was born in 1982.
The Fête de la Musique, also known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration taking place on June 21st each year. Although the concept of an all-day music festival on the longest day of the year (the summer solstice) originated in Paris, it is now celebrated in 700 cities and in more than 120 countries worldwide.
On Fête de la Musique, musicians (both amateur and professionals) are encouraged to perform publicly on the streets, under the slogan “Faites de la musique” (“make music”, a homophone of Fête de la Musique). There are also free organized concerts throughout the cities featuring a wide-variety of music genres. Many of the concerts feature major artists, including Stromae. One of the main agreements for Fête de la Musique participants and performers is that all concerts and performances are free, so the festival is accessible to all.
This past month, I got to experience my first Fête de la Musique (as opposed to Milwaukee’s Summerfest) in Lille, and even though it took place on a Sunday, I thoroughly enjoyed myself! There were so many great artists featured in all corners of the city, from jazz, to blues, to rock, to alternative, to karaoke! It was great way to kick off summer, enjoy the sunshine, and discover new music!
Have you ever been in France (or another city) for Fête de la Musique?