World Music Day in France – La Fête de la Musique


The Fête de la Musique (or World Music Day) is a popular and free music festival taking place each year in France on the day of summer solstice, the shortest night of the year. The slogan of the festival “Faites de la musique” (Make music) is a play on the French words for “Fête de la Musique”. Throughout the country and even abroad, jazz, soul, funk, rock, electro, reggae, classical music and many other musical styles are celebrated with vigorous enthusiasm.

The Origins of World Music Day

square Jean-XXIII Paris

Musicians playing in the bandstand of square Jean-XXIII © French Moments

The music festival was created in 1982 at the initiative of Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture. The idea of organising a free music festival was concretised by Maurice Fleuret, Director of Music and Dance who observed that one child out of two in France played a musical instrument.

Since its creation, the music festival has become an international phenomenon and is celebrated on the 21st June in no less than 340 cities in the world in 110 countries including Australia, Chile, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the United States, and Vietnam. The World Music Day reveals new musical trends from traditional music to rap and techno, and from world music to musical carnival.

What happens during World Music Day in France?

Fête de la Musique © French Moments

Fête de la Musique in Paris © French Moments

Many reasons explain why the Fête de la Musique has become one of the country’s greatest cultural events.

The music festival is celebrated in a cheerful and festive atmosphere by both amateur and professional musicians who perform in the streets, squares, gardens or courtyards for free, offering to the public all types of music genres.

Free concerts with professional musicians are also organised in major towns and the event gives the opportunity for the large musical institutions to come out from within their walls.

The nature of the cultural event participates to the democratisation of access to the arts and culture.

Although most musicians perform on the evening and throughout the night, noise restrictions still apply and the local authorities can forbid them to set up any audio hardware in the streets.

English-French Vocabulary

(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs

  • art = art (m)
  • concert = concert (m)
  • cultural event = événement culturel (m)
  • culture = culture (f)
  • festival = festival (m), fête (f)
  • Minister of Culture = Ministre de la Culture (m)
  • music = musique (f)
  • musician = musicien (m), musicienne (f)
  • slogan = slogan (m)
  • solstice = solstice (m)
  • summer = été (m)



About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

1 Comment

  1. Madame Monsieur bonjour!

    Installe et vivant en Colombie depuis de nombreuses annees, j ai pu suivre et sentir l actualite musicale et
    artistique dans ce pays aux milles merveilles depuis plus de 7 ans!

    Ayant aujourdhui la representation (benevole) du Groupe “MOCA Music”, derniere revelation du festival
    “Salsa al Parque 2015” (, festival de reference en Colombie et en
    Amerique Latine, je me permets de vous ecrire pour vous demander de plus amples informations quant :
    > au possible soutien que vous pouvez apporter a ce type de Groupe et Representant de la culture musicales Colombienne en France et en Europe?
    > aux possibles demarches et sollicitations a realiser pour une telle promotion et mise en avant de MOCA Music?
    et evidemment dans quelle mesure je peux vous epauler dans ces memes demarches?
    > En effet, peut etre organisez-vous des evenements musicaux ou culturels pour la promotion de la Salsa et/ou de la Colombie?
    > ou peut etre encore recevez-vous de la part d entreprises ou de Festivals culturels, des
    demandes d informations et/ou recommandations pour des groupes de musique de ce genre?

    Des lors, si vous pouviez nous partager des informations utiles pour vous aider et vous epauler dans la preparation de la promotion de la Colombie et de sa culture musicale en France et/ou en Europe, moi-meme et tout le Groupe MOCA Music ne saurions
    comment vous remercier de votre soutien!

    Evidemment, pour tout complement d information ou pour toute question ou precision, nous saurons immediatemment nous rendre disponible pour organiser une reunion (par skype par exemple) et ainsi completer toutes les informations dont vous pourriez avoir besoin, qui pourraient vous interesser, ou encore pour evoquer toutes les solutions possibles pour la promotion de la Salsa ou de la Colombie avec l’aide de “MOCA Music”!!!

    Links d interet:

    Dans cette attente, nous vous remercions d avance mille fois pour votre interet et votre engagement a nos cotes!

    Mille merci!

    Mejores Saludos! Yoann & MOCA Music!

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