One of my favorite days in France is June 21, not only because it is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, but also because this day the famous and traditional fête de la musique is celebrated in France.
During this day, music takes to the streets and it is possible to see from concerts with famous artists, organized by the mayors of the different French cities, to street artists and amateurs playing in the different corners or bars. And the best thing about all this is that it is totally free. Many bars also offer concerts on their terraces and everything in the atmosphere lends itself to make this party a very pleasant moment for enjoying good music for all tastes, having an ice-cold beer in the summer heat with friends and, why not, meeting new friends.
A bit of history
The origins of the fête de la musique date back to 1982, when the Ministry of Culture, realizing that 5 million French people (including one in two young people) played a musical instrument and musical events were minority. Based on these conclusions, Jack Lang, Minister of Culture at the time, along with by Maurice Fleuret, Music Director, and Christian Dupavillon, architect and set designer, imagined a great event in which all musicians could be able to show their music.
Thus, on June 21, 1982, the first fête de la musique was held in France. The choice of date was not random, since it coincides with the summer solstice and with the old tradition of the Saint Jean festivities. As expected, this first edition was a resounding success and every year since then this party has been held to celebrate music. The success of this event has also been exported to other countries, taking place in 85 countries on five continents. Click here if you want to read the whole story.
Personally, I really enjoy the fête de la musique and the fact of being able to walk through the streets of the city and discover different musical genres. It is impressive to see the amount of talent of some people who make music in an amateur way. In addition to this, the weather is perfect for enjoying a cold beer, reuniting with friends and enjoying this day in which good humor is in the air.
Is the fête de la musique also celebrated in your country? Do not hesitate to comment on how it is celebrated and what type of events are held, meanwhile I will go enjoy the féte de la musique, which this year will take place in different conditions, as I write this in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, but it will be enjoyed just the same.