Fête de la Musique
France’s all-day street party, Fête de la Musique, is an effervescent display of live music. The sprawling event sees all genres and types of musicians play out across the streets of Paris.
Chosen for: Preserving Culture.
Having recently staged its 40th edition, the beginnings of this cultural celebration hark back to the former French Minister of Culture in 1982, Jack Lang. Lang’s inspiration came from American musician and radio producer Joel Cohen, who wanted to kick off the summer season with a public display of music. Inspired by this idea, Lang appointed French journalist and composer Maurice Fleuret as the Director of Music and Dance, and tasked him with bringing to life a celebration that would make music accessible to all, and unite the people of Paris on the longest day of the year. Fleuret’s creative motive was to have “music everywhere and concerts nowhere”, with all genres of music filling the boulevards of Paris. The all-day party was designed to be a “place of exchanges, of passions, of linking artists and people”.
Since, Fête de la Musique has become one of France’s key cultural highlights over the last few decades, with a number of European countries adopting the tradition. The festival is free of charge, with public transport offering discounted travel for the festivities. While most of the events are held outside, many concert halls, bars and theatres open their doors to the occasion, putting on an assortment of musical performances throughout the day. Stages are set up around the capital city, hosting a range of live musical talent – from musicians to drummers and guitarists, as well as sets from DJs. Some of the most renowned stages are implemented along the banks of the Seine, as well as in Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre, the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Petit Palais.
Fête de la Musique takes place in Paris, France, on 21 June 2023.