Fete de la Musique in Paris
The Fete de la Musique is a music event that is held on the same day every year throughout France and Europe, yet has also expanded to many other countries in the World, and is a free music event held in major cities.
A bit of history
The Fete de la Musique was first launched in Paris in 1982 on the initiative of the French Ministry for Culture, which was in order to promote different types of music from a wide variety of circles and introduce these to the public.
Another reason was to encourage amateur musicians as well as professionals and major music institutions to perform in areas outside of their normal locations, as the majority of the original Fete de la Musique concerts were all hosted in open air venues that can accommodate large crowds.
Held once a year, the date chosen was 21st June, which is actually the day right in the middle of when the summer solstice can occur in the northern hemisphere, and this is when the sun reaches its highest point between the 20th and 22nd of June.
Over the years the free music event expanded from the capital city of Paris to other major cities in France including Lille, Lyon and Marseille and then to many other destinations throughout Europe like Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.
The French Ministry of Culture then decided to hand over the task of organising this major musical event to an independent cultural association, in order that they could coordinate with both national and international embassies.
So since then you can experience the Fete de la Musique in numerous places throughout the world such as America, Australia, Egypt, Japan, Mauritius, Vietnam, etc, which has meant that it has now become known as the World Music Day as well.
About the Fete de la Musique Event
As we have previously mentioned the Fete de la Musique is held on the 21st June every year, and the city of Paris is one of the main places to enjoy this event, which is free for the public to attend, and the musicians themselves are also required to do their gig or performance for free.
Now in Paris, there are many places that now hold these different Fete de la Musique events, and although many are still held in the open air, there are others held specifically within museums such as the Musee des Archives Nationales, along with other venues such as bars and restaurants in Paris.
In fact, in 2014 there were parties and music events held in numerous different places and at tourist attractions in Paris such as within the Parc de Bercy, the Parc de la Villette, the Jardins des Tuileries and many others including smaller venues, museums and attractions that all participate in this now well known World Music Day.
Incredibly as well, there are certain bus and metro services within Paris that also run through to the early hours of the morning for this special musical event, although not all metro stations are open.
Even pianos are placed at different locations around the city where people can play these for the delight of onlookers, and in 2014 some of these could be found at attractions in Paris such as the Pont Alexandre III bridge and the Esplanade du Trocadero by the Palais de Chaillot.
So, if you are lucky enough to be in Paris while the Fete de la Musique or World Music Day is running, then you are sure to enjoy yourself with so many different types of music and free gigs that you could attend.
And with a wide range of music styles, from jazz to pop, and indie to rock, or Irish folk songs through to French chansons, and opera through to orchestras, etc, even massive BBQs are also laid on in certain locations, as well as bars and restaurants providing special meals specifically for this event.
Plus, there is such a massive line up of events organised for this one day of music in Paris, that the official Fete de la Musique website lists the full programme by Arrondissement, so no matter where you are, there is sure to be something you can attend.
Although, we would like to point out that some of the smaller venues that participate in this event are so popular, you actually have to book your place in advance and the entire city gets exceedingly crowded, with some areas and gardens being a problem to even find a large enough place to get a group of friends together, if you leave it too late in the day.