Every year on the summer solstice, the entire country of France is illuminated with music. Created in 1982, this celebration honors anyone and everyone with a love of music and a shred of musical talent. Everyone takes to the streets, the concert halls, the churches and museums, the cafés and bars...and any free corner to play, sing and dance just because they love it. One year, 300 saxaphones poured forth at the top of Montmartre. It was the most glorious sound you've ever heard... one of pure joy!
The Minister of Culture at the time, Jack Lang, proclaimed: "Let the music be everywhere, but the concert nowhere." This musical celebration has spread to more than 100 countries throughout Europe and all over the world...always on the 21st of June, the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
One summer I celebrated Fête de la Musique with my friends E & D on their barge in a little town called Montchanin in Burgundy. The entire town turned out for it, complete with bonfire, traditional dancing, and accordians! Pics and vignette are here. My first year in France, in a small town Chateau de Thierry in Champagne, we were treated to "Eye of the Tiger" by a local band playing in the Town Hall square :)
Another summer, I only had to walk a few feet out my front door et voila! Music poured from the streets all around and in Place Monge. You could almost see the musical notes floating and swirling up into the sky like a lost balloon.
This year Fête de la Musique wound its way 6,000 miles west to San Francisco and on June 18th at Mission Rock, Tété and Eric John Kaiser will continue this fabulous French tradition! Ne le manques pas! Hope to see you there!
Some links for more info:
France's Official Fête de la Musique Web Site
Follow it on Twitter
Become a fan on Facebook
Check out Tété
Dont miss Eric John Kaiser
At Place Monge