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
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?
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.
(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)