French Language Blog

La Fête de la musique! Posted by on Jun 22, 2010 in Culture, Music, Vocabulary

As I write this, on fait la fête à Paris (they’re partying in Paris). Aujourd’hui, le 21 juin, c’est la Fête de la musique! (It’s the Festival of Music!)

En 1981, Maurice Fleuret, appointed Director of Music and Dance (Directeur de la Musique et de la Danse), had a dream : « la musique partout et le concert nulle part » (music everywhere and concerts nowhere). Son rêve (his dream) became a full day of concerts, from professional groups to regular guys in bands, spread across Paris and, eventually, across the world. Des Fêtes de la musique are held in over 100 cities around the world, on the solstice d’été, the longest day of the year.

À Paris, il est impossible d’assister à tous les évènements culturels (it’s impossible to attend all the cultural events), mais il est également impossible de rater la Fête de la musique (but it is equally impossible to miss the Fête de la musique). La musique est partout ! Everywhere !

« Faites de la musique, Fête de la Musique »is the guiding principle. « Faites de la musique » : make music ! With all these musiciens, Paris (and other participating cities) is flooded with music. If you’re not performing, chances are you’re running around the city (in 2008, over 100,000 people used the city bike system, Vélib, during the one-day festival) listening and carousing.

The schedule is so full of music, it’s divided by arrondissement (quarter, neighborhood) so you can plan your day. Pour se déplacer (to get around), « les réseaux de métro, bus, RER et train fonctionnent toute la nuit » (voir Transports en commun : the subway, bus, RER (commuter train) and train networks function all night). Here is le programme, to give you an idea of the possibilities!

When I was in Paris for la Fête, it was during the soccer Euro Cup, in 2008. Les Bleus était nuls (Les Bleus were worthless; ça me rappelle quelque chose…) but the matches made the day even more impossibly packed. In the bars, people screamed; dehors (outside), they sang opera, played rock, danced, drank, checked the soccer score, screamed… It was a wild, sunburned, pagan-festival day, befitting le solstice d’été. If you haven’t celebrated cette fête païenne yet, pensez-en! Bonne fête et bon début de l’été! Happy summer !


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