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Every year on June 21 there is a huge party across all of France. C’est la fête de la musique ! Une fête (a celebration/festival) with all kinds of music all day long! I’m a big fan of la musique francophone, whether it’s Edith Piaf, Jaques Brel, Luise Attaque, Bernard Adamus, or Daft Punk, so it’s a great day to profiter de la musique (enjoy the music).
L’histoire de la fête is rather interesting! La fête started when an American musician, Joel Cohen, wanted to create une fête de la musique during les solstices. That first fête happend in 1976, and la musique started up again in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1983 that la fête became official.
June 21st was chosen because it often coincides with le jour le plus long de l’année (the longest day of the year). All that daylight means people can party late into the night listening to all the great music!
During la fête amateurs and professionals play music or perform concerts in the streets or in public squares. In order to be an official part of la fête de la musique, concerts must be free! Everyone is encouraged to participate under the slogan Faites de la musique (make music), a pun of Fête de la musique.
The first time I was in France for la fête de la musique, I was very surprised by les foules (the crowds) and la musique. I didn’t know what la fête de la musique was, but enjoyed the waves of music all throughout the city.
A bit less enjoyable was trying to going home to my second floor studio and trying to sleep with music playing well into the early morning!