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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

Fête de la Musique in Paris and Beyond…

Just when you thought Paris and France could not get any more culturally important, they decided to up their "cool factor" by creating the Fête de la Musique - an annual musical festival, held on June 21st, showcasing the supreme talents of musicians both professional and amateur (with highlights on the latter).

Let's take a P'Niche peek to learn more of this fun annual phenomenon...

Now 42 years strong, the Fête de la Musique is the brain child of both Jack Lang (the Minister of Culture of France in 1981) and Maurice Fleuret (the Director of Music and Dance within that time's Ministry of Culture).

The latter fostered a study in 1982 of the cultural habits and passions of a French populous (a study size of 5 million people).

His findings helped him to understand that nearly half of French youth either sang or played a musical instrument (or both).

Maybe that is why there are so many talented musicians peppering the Parisian métro?

Actually, that process is decidedly more complex, and we will share more on that soon. We hope you will subscribe to join us back here in the Parisian Niche to have a jam session...

Moving rather quickly, Fleuret pushed to host an event where music was open to all, and played by all, describing the event as "the music everywhere and a concert nowhere," and the debut was June 21, 1982.

The moniker "Fête de la Musique" also is a jeu de mots (word game - a homophone in this case) as it sounds like faites de la musique (that's "make music" to you and me.) Too clever, les français...

That said, while the event is an absolute highlight of the French calendar, there are still legal noise restrictions and curfews to abide by, and les flics (the cops) can still restrict musicians and groups - particularly if your act involves setting up any audio and/or electrical equipment in the streets.

If P'Niche was a betting girl, she'd bet they let most things slide that day, with a sassy cha-cha and a wink to the crowds.

These days, the guitar is still the most played physical instrument (after vocals and singing), with a the piano a close second (and much harder to set up, P'Niche imagines!)

Nowadays as well, popular DJs also play great sets of music and remixes from all decades and languages.

Why, last June 21, P'Niche even danced in the magical moonlight and mysterious shadows of le Louvre museum to the thumping techno beat - quelle soirée!

On June 21, 2024, it is expected that over 18,000 free concerts and performances, presented by at least 5,000 amateur musicians, vocalists, and DJs will entertain over 10 million delighted fans.

You will definitely wish to mark your travel calendar to attend one (or as many as you can - for June 21st is the longest day of the year, after all!) What a perfect kick off to summer...

Not in Paris on June 21? Pas de problème! Concerts are held all over France, and now, all over the world!

In fact, as of 2019, over 120 countries (covering most continents and over 1,000 cities therein) participate annually in Fête de la Musique.

World Music, indeed - Allons-y (Let's Go)!

So, P'Nicher, all that's left to decide is where you will enjoy la Fête de la Musique this year on June 21st. P'Niche, herself, will be dancing in the streets of New York City (stop your giggling, I'm actually pretty good)! How about you? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!

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Debra Borchert
Debra Borchert
Jun 20

It's too late to book a flight, so we'll dance in the streets in Seattle. Thanks, Chrissy!

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