The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

Music, music everywhere

This week's fun is la Fête de la Musique.  On June 21st when many cultures around the world are celebrating summer (or winter) solstice, France makes music.  To enjoy the longest day of the year musicians of every style and ability gather to perform in public for free.  In towns and villages across the country you'll find such diversity as large rock concerts, school bands, church choirs, brass bands, recorder duets, folk groups, acapella singers, jazz bands, string quartets & solo guitarists just to name a few, taking to the streets.   You'll find them performing in squares and parks, on street corners, in churches and village halls.  Everywhere! 
fête de la musique roquefort les pins france

La Fête de la Musique was created in 1982 by the then Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, from an original idea by Joel Cohen, an American musician living in Paris working at Radio France.  He wanted to celebrate the music of the summer and winter solstices by encouraging amateur musicians to play in the streets for free.  The following year, in 1983, La Fête de la Musique became official and the slogan "Faites de la musique, Fête de la musique" was born (a clever usage of similar sounding words meaning make music, music fete).  It has now spread to 110 countries across the globe, often known as World Music Day.  Anyone can perform; there is only one rule, it must be for free. 

1024px Fete de la Musique 7484355436

photo credit

I remember one of my first and favourite fêtes years ago in Paris wandering around the Place des Vosges.  There were different groups every few meters in the covered arcades around the square, just spread out far enough not to interfere with each others' sound but close enough that you were never without music as you ambled around. The acoustics were perfect.

music collage

You can check out the official programme here but there's so much more on offer than that, particularly in smaller places.  Since moving to the south most years I spend my time going between two great local events.  Roquefort les Pins closes its main street to traffic, setting up food stalls and a night market with several groups of local school children playing in different parts of the town followed by a bigger band later.  Valbonne often hosts evenings along a theme such as a night of Big Band Soul.  Take a look at one of the local lycée's bands playing soul and jazz here Bobby Johnson and the Soul Team

fete de la musique 2012

local band

kids at fete de la musique

Is World Music Day celebrated where you are?  I'd love to hear from you.  Bonne fête!

 

Here's a PIN for later!

Fete de la musique world music day France

 

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Comments

  • Guest
    globalmouse Friday, 24 June 2016

    I love this, what a brilliant initiative and so good that it's free for everyone.

  • Guest
    michelle twin mum Thursday, 23 June 2016

    Wow, it looks like so much fun was had. I love a good outdoor music festival/ event. Mich x

  • Guest
    Cass Thursday, 23 June 2016

    What a brilliant way to celebrate - it looks like so much fun x

  • Guest
    Kara Wednesday, 22 June 2016

    I do love any festival with music, makes me want to get up and dance (I will leave the singing to the professionals though

  • Guest
    Jen Wednesday, 22 June 2016

    What a fab way to celebrate the solstice and I love that the arts are so imporatant and recognised in France

  • Guest
    sarie Tuesday, 21 June 2016

    Ah this reminds me so much of the life we have here (in catalunya) and I love the outside celebrations with music, laughter and families so so much!

  • Guest
    The Mummy Diary Tuesday, 21 June 2016

    We've been to a few musical events in France when we've been there and they are always such wonderful social things. I love this time of year with its long warm evenings, we haven't decided whether we are coming back to France this year, if we don't it will be sorely missed.

  • Guest
    Louise Tuesday, 21 June 2016

    I haven't seen much about World Music day near us but this sounds like a fun event to be a part of x

  • Guest
    Becky Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    What a fun time for all ages!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    Yes it's very family friendly!

  • Guest
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault Sunday, 22 June 2014

    I didn't get to go to anything this year because of previous engagements - however driving through Condé, our local town on the way to collecting Ben from rugby, there was a band playing outside the brocante by the traffic lights. For once I was quite happy to be stuck on red for a while!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    Lol Rosie!

  • Guest
    Shell Louise Sunday, 22 June 2014

    What a lovely idea. I wish we had something like that where we live here in Lincoln UK!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    UK has some fun festivals too but doesn't seem to participate in the world music day so much.

  • Guest
    Twinsplustwo Saturday, 21 June 2014

    Sounds like a lovely festival, the continentals are SO much better at this sort of thing than the English!!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    It is a fun day that's for sure!

  • Guest
    Hannah - Budding Smiles Saturday, 21 June 2014

    What a wonderful weekend! Love French culture xx

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    It's true the French do these sorts of festivals very well.

  • Guest
    Delia @ Blog Formatting Wednesday, 26 June 2013

    Sounds like an awesome festival, Phoebe - we usually get to see music festivals when we go on vacation to Quebec ;)

  • Guest
    Phoebe Wednesday, 26 June 2013

    Hi Delia, I wonder why you see festivals in Quebec, is it because of the French influence, or just that you have the time to go to such things?

  • Phoebe
    Phoebe Sunday, 23 June 2013

    Thanks for this wonderful story, Phoebe. A fine example of our universal enthusiasm for music. For celebrating, of course, and for everything else, too. I'm able to make a living as a musician, because music magically helps people enjoy whatever they're doing.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 25 June 2013

    And thank you Robbie for your lovely encouraging words. Music is so important, many memories are formed around music and I agree with you that it does help us enjoy this world. I'm happy that you make you living as a musician. What do you play and where are you based?

  • Guest
    Kim Hawkins Sunday, 23 June 2013

    Sounds like a wonderful way to start off the summer! I hope you enjoyed it!:)

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 23 June 2013

    Thanks Kim, it was great fun. Thanks for commenting, I hope to see you on my blog again one day.

  • Guest
    Linda Ursin Friday, 21 June 2013

    Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate :) The Swedish celebration is also very musical, although it's not dedicated to music.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 23 June 2013

    The Swedes do mid Somar so well, with long white nights. I've been to Sweden in June but not actually for 21st. I'd love to celebrate there. Thanks for stopping by Linda.

  • Guest
    Linda Ursin Sunday, 23 June 2013

    I was born and raised in Sweden :) So thank you

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 25 June 2013

    :) pleasure

  • Guest
    Chris Herlicq Wednesday, 20 June 2012

    Interesting to know the history of it all - thanks Phoebe.

  • Guest
    Jane Colston Monday, 18 June 2012

    Sounds wonderful! My husband sings in a choir which visits the Anghiari Festival in Tuscany each July. It's so special to wander round a corner to find a group singing or playing. Some concerts are 'Progressivos' where the performers and audience move round the town with their chairs (and wine!) and pause to play. Enjoy yours in Roquefort!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 19 June 2012

    Sounds like a lovely festival. I love the idea of the Progressivos; that's what I'll be doing this year but without the performers!!

  • Guest
    Drahcir Samoht Monday, 18 June 2012

    Sounds good

  • Guest
    corinna klaentschi Monday, 18 June 2012

    have a fabulous time!

  • Guest
    Maria Richardson Monday, 18 June 2012

    Hi Phoebe

    Thanks for the reminder - I am lucky enough to be in Brittany this week so must find out what is on locally and take full advantage of this great event - enjoy!

    Maria

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thomas Tuesday, 19 June 2012

    What great timing Maria, this is such a fun time of year in France. I bet there are some good events in your area. :D

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