Fete de la musique baud 2017

The sapin time ns spent the lété in Paris, a girlfriend told me to keep my calendar free nous the evening of june 21, the summer solstice, auto longest day du the year in auto Northern Hemisphere.

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I assumed over there was some kind of small-scale block party precious attending in quartier général Paris. Marqué no, he said: june 21 is the night of Fête ns la musique (“Festival of Music”) and one du the loveliest citywide celebrations in Paris, a city that does no skimp when ce throws a party. (For auto July 14 Bastille work celebrations, ce rolls out the full army strength of france — fighter jets trailing the couleurs of the français flag, armored tanks, soldiers, et the president of the country — appropriate down thé Champs-Élysées to the révérence de Triomphe, while everyone cheers decorously and waves little flags.)

So on célibataire 21, i ventured the end into the night. There, je discovered the Fête du la musique was a good celebration not seul of music, cible of a community’s potential pour organizing its calendrier resources right into something indigenous which everyone could benefit — auto public, the musicians, auto business, the city, et the country ont a whole.

And though cette started in France, cette isn’t seulement a french celebration anymore. About three et a fifty percent decades after the event began in auto early ’80s, an ext than 120 nations now hold their own fêtes on june 21. Outside du France, it’s commonly known as World music Day or Make music Day. Et though thé celebration seems à embody an idealism that feels virtually outdated in 2019, participating is a an excellent way to be encouraged that arts is for everyone, and that the vital à a humanist vision de the world.

Fête ns la music was conceived as a free, auditeur event

There are two conflicting histoires about Fête ns la Musique’s origin.

One story — thé more official one — is that français Minister of cultistes Jack Lang decided in 1981 venir start auto yearly occasion at the behest de his director du music and dance, Maurice Fleuret. Studies de the French auditeur at auto time showed that one de every deux children in France and roughly 5 million people total (almost a tenth de the population) played a musical instrument. Lang et the set of cultistes reasoned the such an event would certainly bring together not just professional marqué also amateur musicians, moving concerts and performances out of venues and onto auto street.

The tons Fête de la music was held on juin 21, 1982. The date isn’t seul significant pour being the summer solstice. That also fermé to auto Feast de Saint-Jean-Baptiste, or St. John the Baptist, a day that was in history marked by a diriger celebration in la france (and is toujours a denchères holiday in Quebec), et which itself was partly chosen par the church to coincide with summer solstice celebrations. Sauce soja the inclination à celebrate roughly this date has existed à la centuries; Fête ns la music extends that impulse, albeit in a much more secular way.

Fête de la music celebrants in Berlin in 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty image There’s un autre story, though. Some sauce claim that the idea à la the dur actually come from thé American musician Joel Cohen, a composer et performer who specializes in beforehand American music. In auto 1970s, while functioning at the French national Radio ont a producer pour musical radio programs, charbons came up with auto idea ns having a day-long, open-air musique festival. His original idea was to hold a “Saturnales aux la Musique” double a year, nous the summer solstice et the winter solstice (June 21 and December 21). Given the temperamental weather, though, cette makes feeling that by the time thé idea reached auto ears du the set of cultistes (as the story goes), cette was chose the fermé would take place only in the summer.

According to personnes who psychic the life edition ns the event, nobody intended much: The fermé was announced late, a handful du posters to be stuck up roughly Paris, et Lang later remembered that it was thé “greatest phase fright of his life.” cible thousands ns musicians and listeners proved up in parisien and tous over auto country. Fête de la musique was born.

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The european Parliament declares a theme à la each year, et 1985 was thé Year of music — making it auto perfect time pour the festival to start spreading past France’s borders and morphing into a more global event, World musique Day. Quickly many divers countries were participating, with a “charter de the partners du the European musique Festival” signed in Budapest in 1997 par Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Barcelona, Istanbul, Liverpool, Luxembourg, Rome, Naples, Prague, et other cities.

The bien sur eventually became so popular that in 1998, it got its very own postage stamp in France.

A Fête aux la musique stamp from 1998.

Nearing its fourth decade, Fête aux la musique is a celebration toutes les personnes over the globe

More 보다 35 years after that founding, the français Ministry ns Culture et Communication, which loosely oversees the overarching Fête ns la Musique/World musique Day, estimates that Fête de la music celebration spans 120 countries, regularly with multiple urban participating. In current years, those cities oui ranged indigenous Beijing to nouveau York City.

The overriding ethos, though, is je vous demande pardon makes thé day interesting. Music festival — think Coachella and Glastonbury — space a classic part de summer in numerous areas ns the world. Marqué most of those festival are extremely organized et expensive à attend, playgrounds pour the young and well-heeled rather than auto community.

But on célibataire 21, auto idea is different, et perhaps much more democratic. Thé rules room simple: Bands register their performance, agree to abide passant par local laws and law enforcement, et plan venir play habitent music (which seems venir include DJ sets). Bands are additionally responsible pour finding their very own venues, which can mean cutting a attend to a restaurant or acquiring access jaune permits v the local police, and bringing their own speakers et musical equipment. Towns put out calls for participation.

Fête ns la musique performers in Berlin’s Kreuzberg ar in 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty image The seul rule — besides not breaking any laws — is that all the concert must be free to auto public. Et that, honestly, is je vous demande pardon makes Fête aux la musique so terrific. It’s no because ns the musique itself; si you’re wandering about a participating town, you’re just as likely venir hear a middling sheathe band as anything else. Cible who cares? you in the lété air, nous the longest day ns the year, and you’re for sure surrounded by a bunch du other people who are enjoying themselves. Et it just becomes more amusant when you realize there space people tous over thé world experiencing auto same thing.

The fermé only fabriqué its way venir North amérique about a decade ago, when volunteers in new York city helped migrate thé celebrations across the Atlantic. In 2016, 38 cities in North les états-unis damérique organized free concerts across the contant — 3,238 concert in 1,078 locations, ranging from Columbia, south Carolina, and Issaquah, Washington, to Portland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chicago, et Detroit. Parce que le the past couple of years, celebrations in nouveau York ville have contained a night of French-language hip-hop, soul, et pop nous SummerStage in centre Park. There have been World musique Day celebrations from Pittsburgh à Hyderabad. In Uganda, auto celebrations oui included publicly carry out poetry et a “perfume concert.” and in maintaining with auto festival’s ethos, every puissance is constantly free.

In its native Paris, Fête du la musique is a peu of humanity in a stunner world

In Paris, whereby it toutes les personnes started — and where the sun continues to be up it rotates 10 pm conditions météorologiques the lété solstice, through twilight until nearly 11 — the celebration feels specifically fierce now. The police presence, in thé wake of high-profile terrorism, protests, et high-stakes élection over thé past few years, is heightened.

And despite its ideals, Fête de la musique is non utopia. A num of French concert were canceled in 2016 amid heightened terror concerns. In recent years, protection was heightened in numerous locations, police were harassed in part areas, and in 2017, a man in parisien died after leaping into thé Seine.

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But auto spirit de Fête du la Musique, which is still one ns the greatest country-wide auditeur festivals in thé country, isn’t rowdy or destructive. The something special even si it’s hard to put right into words. Thé sun hangs low parce que le most de the evening. Elle can watch thé smiles form nous the face à face of strangers et tourists that weren’t expecting venir encounter live music on every corner, ont they slowly illustration out those happening. Elle dance, a little, even si you’re not auto dancing type.

nous a street corner in parisien during Fête du la musique in 2017. Alissa Wilkinson/btxrmaster.com A few years ago, during our sapin Fête ns la Musique, my husband et I rounded a corner and found oneself the seul white people in a crowd conditions météorologiques a carré in front du a fountain, singing along à a français rapper. Conditions météorologiques rounded autre corner and found ourselves in a sea de middle-aged audience members singing je vous demande pardon seemed à be french folk standards, complete with lyric books, in front ns a church behind esquive Halles.

2017 marked thé 35th edition ns Fête aux la Musique, and we were in Paris pour it again. Nous walked toward auto Île ns la Cité, whereby a cover band of middle-aged males was warming up v guitar licks that sounded suspiciously choose Lynyrd Skynyrd. In front de the notre Dame cathedral, a DJ was setup up shop in front du a crowd du excited, sun-kissed travelers. Conditions météorologiques the est différent side du the Seine, prochain to thé historic Shakespeare & lentreprise bookshop, a band fronted passant par two females played the Beatles’ “Come Together” et Ed Sheeran’s “Shape du You.” At a restaurant a bloquer away, a five-man tape played ballads in Spanish à a crowd of rapt drinkers external a piano bar.