Fête de la Musique

Every year on 21st of June, "Fête de la Musique" is celebrated throughout the country. So don't be surprised if you see a band playing on the corner of the street or a cordoned off square where performances take place throughout the day, on the 21st of June. If you are staying at one of our holiday parks during that time, make a note of this date in your diary and make sure you go to a pretty village or beautiful city near your holiday home. The Fête de la Musique is hugely popular and attracts millions of visitors who party until late into the evening. It is considered the most important event of the year for musicians and music lovers. Nowadays it is no longer just a French celebration: over the years, the 21st of June has become a musical festive day in many countries.

Origins of Fête de la Musique

The history of Fête de la Musique dates back to 1976. That's when the idea arose to make music all day and during part of the night on the evening of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. It was the American Joel Cohen who came up with this idea. At the time, he was working for France Musique. In 1982, the Fête de la Musique was officially established by the French Minister of Culture to increase the popularity of the music. This party has been around for more than 40 years now. Right from the start, the party was already a huge success and exceeded all expectations. Thousands of initiatives start to take place across France. Musicians take to the streets, squares, kiosks, courtyards, gardens, stations, squares, etc., and thousands of people enjoy the lively atmosphere until late at night. Cafes are given permission to stay open until late and entire streets are closed so that audiences can walk from one performance to the next. Everyone has free access to the performances and concerts provided by amateurs and professionals. On that one day, all types and genres of music will be played, and special broadcasts will be provided by France 2 and 3 and TV5 Monde.

Different styles of music

  • Classic
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Rap
  • Reggae
  • Soul
  • Funk
  • RNB
  • French Variety
  • Electro
  • Zouk
  • Techno
  • Urban

Types of events

  • Concerts – In public or private venues featuring local musicians or well-known groups.
  • Musical Parade – A festive parade through the streets of the village with music of all styles and forms.
  • Karaoke night – The opportunity for local talents to perform and show their musical skills to the public.
  • Music Festival – A varied program with various music genres.
  • Music competition – An opportunity for young and inexperienced talent to have their musical qualities assessed by professionals in a fun atmosphere.
  • Music Workshop – Introduce children to different musical instruments.

An international event

Fête de la Musique is originally a French festival, but due to its great success, this party soon became popular abroad. In Belgium, it was celebrated for the first time in 1984. 1985 was the year of music throughout Europe. Athens was the first European Capital of Culture and on the 21st of June music was played in full force in the Greek capital and in many other places in Europe such as Barcelona, Hamburg, Luxembourg, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Amsterdam and even outside Europe in Hong Kong, Peru, Colombia and Singapore.

Germany, England and Spain

In Germany this day is called "Fest der Musik", in England "Make Music Day" and in Spain "Dia International de la Musica". In 1997, a document was signed in Budapest by all the cities that wanted to participate in this concept. This laid down the rules and principles for the cities and countries that want to implement the concept. The International Association of the European Music Festival was also founded. The festival is now celebrated in more than 130 countries and there are thousands of activities all over the world.

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Fête de la Musique in figures

  • In France, more than 5 million people participate in the Fête de la Musique every year
  • On the Fête de la Musique there are about 18,000 free concerts
  • Music festivals are organised in more than 130 countries
  • About 80% of the concerts take place outdoors
  • Every year, Fête de la Musique generates millions of extra income for bars, cafes, restaurants and other institutions
  • Fête de la Musique is one of the most popular cultural events in France.

Enjoy music during your holiday

The special thing about Fête de la Musique is that it celebrates both "Faites de la Musique" (making music) and "Fêtes de la Musique" (party: enjoying music). Both young and old participate and each village has its own version of this party. The performances are held in the most special places. Not only on a square, on the corner of the street, in a church, on a bridge or in a café, but also in post offices, universities, hospitals, in prisons or on a boat which sails through the Seine. The celebration of Fête de la Musique has led to many other musical initiatives during the summer months such as the Jeudis de Perpignan or the Nuits de Fouvrière in Lyon.

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