France’s Greatest International Music Festival – Fête de la Musique
All around the world, each country has its own way of celebrating music – both in the emotional connection, it instills in people and the kind of creativity and artistic style that it brings about in artists. Almost everyone has heard of Coachella, Summerfest, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival held in the United States. Thousands of people also flock to Rock in Rio in Brazil and Poland’s Woodstock.
France is not to be counted out of the music capitals of the world. The country that boasts the Eiffel Tower and is bestowed the title of being the City of Love is also proud of its very own international music festival – Fête de la Musique.
What is Fête de la Musique?
The Fête de la Musique is an annual international music festival that is held on June 21. The celebration is also known by various names such as Music Day, World Music Day, or Make Music Day. Every year, when Music Day is in full swing, citizens and guests in Paris and surrounding counties are encouraged to play their music. Free performances in city squares and parks are a common sight that is appreciated by the audience. Concerts are organized as well, free of charge too for everyone to enjoy. In the city of Paris, stages can be expected to be propped in many public places such as the parks and the major squares. Several well-known landmarks such as the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Petit Palais, and the Jardin du Luxembourg, become the setting for musical performances for amateur musicians.
The Beginnings of Fête de la Musique
The roots of France’s greatest international music festival could be traced back to October 1981. The festival was a brainchild of newly appointed director of Music and Dance, Maurice Fleuret. He reflected how music was everywhere in France, with two out of five French citizens knowing how to play instruments. He wanted an avenue for them to showcase their talents and so, the following year, the first Make Music Day was celebrated in Paris.
Both professional and amateur musicians took the opportunity to perform their music in front of a live audience. Ever since its inception, the festival has spread and celebrated all over the world – over 700 cities in 120 countries, on the same day every summer on June 21. Germany, Italy, United States, China, Australia, Greece, Russia, Peru, Brazil, and many more take part in the celebration.
The Essence of Fête de la Musique
The essence of the Fête de la Musique is to promote music to everyone. The festival makes this possible in two ways.
- The first is by organizing many free concerts, which is an opportunity for the public to experience and express their appreciation for good music free of charge.
- The second is to encourage musicians to not just enjoy their music by themselves but to have other people enjoy them too. The platform to make this a possibility is through the many opportunities provided by the free concerts. After all, the slogan of the music festival is “Faites de la Musique” or “make music.”