Every summer throughout France la Fête de la Musique (literally: Music Party), takes over the country!  The holiday occurs on June 21st. Live concerts are established in town squares, street musicians are found everywhere, and Paris goes wild with fireworks (feu d’artifice).

The performances are amazing, the musicians are talented, and the atmosphere is energetic & joyous.

The idea of a worldwide day of music was first conceived by an American, Joel Cohen, in 1976. He introduced it on a French radio show with the desire of celebrating the summer solstice, which marks the longest period of daylight within a year. In 1982, the French minister of culture implemented his idea.

Nowadays, la Fête de la Musique is found in over 100 different countries around the world, often under a different name, World Music Day.


What makes this daylong celebration of music so special? Most of the events are free and able to be seen from the street. Amateurs and professionals express their love of music, so you may discover something new. Lastly, every variety of music is played from small folk bands, to dance performances, (children) choirs, bands & orchestras, techno musicians, African music, rock bands, house music, and rappers. Some problems would be that the constant music is loud for sensitive ears, and people consume some a decent amount of alcohol.

This countrywide music festival is worth taking part in during your travels to France. Individual cities often post a schedule on their websites with when & where you can find events throughout the area. Otherwise, check out http://fetedelamusique.culture.fr/ for more on la Fête de la Musique.

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