Last Updated: 12 January 2023

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The Fête de la Musique (or World Music Day) is a famous and free music festival in France each year on the day of the 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

World Music Day - square Jean-XXIII in Paris © French Moments
Musicians playing in the bandstand of square Jean-XXIII © French Moments

The music festival dates back to 1982 at the initiative of Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture.

Maurice Fleuret concretised the idea of organising a free music festival. The Director of Music and Dance observed that one child out of two in France played a musical instrument.


An international phenomenon!

Since its creation, the music festival has become an international phenomenon.

No less than 340 cities in 110 countries celebrate World Music Day on the 21st of June. This includes Australia, Chile, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the United States, and Vietnam.

World Music Day reveals new musical trends from traditional music to rap and techno and from world music to a musical carnival.


What happens during World Music Day in France?

World Music Day - Fête de la Musique © French Moments
World Music Day – Fête de la Musique in Paris © French Moments

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

Both amateur and professional musicians celebrate the music festival in a cheerful and festive atmosphere. You’ll see them performing in the streets, squares, gardens or courtyards for free, offering all types of music genres to the public.

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

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

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

World Music Day - Accordionist in Colmar, Alsace © French Moments
Accordionist in Colmar, Alsace © French Moments
World Music Day - Bergheim © French Moments
Musical Notes, Bergheim, Alsace © French Moments
World Music Day - Music at the Louvre © French Moments
Music at the Louvre © French Moments


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)


Find out more: the website by the French Government on World Music Day.

Holidays and Celebrations in France

Learn more about the seasons, celebrations and public holidays in France:

About the 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. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, 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. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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  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” (http://salsaalparque.gov.co/moca-music), 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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