Berlin Fete De La Musique 2016

The erste time ich spent the summer in Paris, a freund told me kommen sie keep mine calendar complimentary on ns evening of June 21, the summer solstice, the longest day des the year an the north Hemisphere.

Du schaust: Berlin fete de la musique 2016

I assumed there was some kind of small-scale block splitterpartei worth attending bei central Paris. But no, he said: June 21 ist the night des Fête juni la Musique (“Festival von Music”) und one von the loveliest citywide celebrations in Paris, a city that does not skimp wie man it throw a party. (For the July 14 Bastille day celebrations, the rolls out the full army strength of frankreich — fighter jet trailing the colors des the French flag, armored tanks, soldiers, und the president of the nation — best down the Champs-Élysées to ns Arc außerdem Triomphe, while everyone cheers decorously und waves wenig flags.)

So ~ above June 21, i ventured out into the night. There, ich discovered that Fête juni la Musique was a good celebration not nur of music, but des a community’s potential for organizing its cumulative resources into something indigenous which anyone could benefit — the public, the musicians, the business, the city, und the nation as a whole.

And though it started bei France, it isn’t nur a French solemn event anymore. Around three und a hilfreich decades after the event started an the early ’80s, more than 120 countries jetzt hold their very own Fêtes on June 21. Outside des France, it’s typically known as world Music job or make Music Day. And though ns celebration seems to embody bei idealism the feels nearly outdated an 2019, participating is a good way to be convinced that nett is zum everyone, und that that vital kommen sie a humanist vision von the world.

Fête de la Musique was conceived together a free, windy event

There room two conflicting geschichten about Fête juni la Musique’s origin.

One story — ns more main one — zu sein that French Minister of Culture Jack lang decided in 1981 to anfang the yearly occasion at die behest von his director von music and dance, Maurice Fleuret. Studies von the French publicly at the time verified that one von every two children in France and roughly 5 million people total (almost a tenth von the population) play a music instrument. Lang and the Ministry des Culture reasoned that such in event would carry together not nur professional but also amateur musicians, relocating concerts und performances out von venues und onto the street.

The zuerst Fête juni la Musique was held on June 21, 1982. Ns date isn’t nur significant for being ns summer solstice. It’s also close to the Feast of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, or St. John the Baptist, a day that was historically marked von a major celebration an France (and is ausblüten a national holiday in Quebec), und which itself was partly chosen über the church zu coincide through summer solstice celebrations. Deshalb the inclination to celebrate about this date has existed zum centuries; Fête de la Musique extends that impulse, albeit in a an ext secular way.

Fête außerdem la Musique celebrants in Berlin an 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty bildern There’s one more story, though. Some sources claim that ns idea zum the festival actually come from die American musician Joel Cohen, a composer und performer that specializes bei early American music. In the 1970s, while working at ns French national Radio as a producer for musical radio programs, Cohen came trost with ns idea von having a day-long, open-air music festival. His original idea was to hold a “Saturnales juni la Musique” double a year, on die summer solstice and the winter solstice (June 21 and December 21). Given die temperamental weather, though, it provides sense that von the time the idea reached the ears des the Ministry of Culture (as die story goes), it was decided the festival would take place only bei the summer.

According kommen sie people that remember ns first planke of die event, nobody expected much: die festival was announced late, a handful of posters were stuck nach oben around Paris, and Lang later remembered that it was the “greatest stage fright des his life.” however thousands of musicians und listeners verified up in Paris and all over die country. Fête juni la Musique was born.

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The europe Parliament declares a theme weil das each year, und 1985 was die Year of Music — making it the perfect time zum the festival to start spreading past France’s borders and morphing right into a more globalen event, world Music Day. Soon plenty of other countries were participating, v a “charter von the partners von the european Music Festival” signed an Budapest bei 1997 von Paris, Berlin, Budapest, Barcelona, Istanbul, Liverpool, Luxembourg, Rome, Naples, Prague, and other cities.

The festival at some point became dafür popular that bei 1998, it gott its own postage stamp in France.

A Fête de la Musique rubber stamp from 1998.

Nearing its fourth decade, Fête de la Musique ist a celebration all over die globe

More 보다 35 year after that is founding, the French Ministry von Culture und Communication, which loosely oversees ns overarching Fête de la Musique/World Music Day, approximates that Fête außerdem la Musique solemn event spans 120 countries, frequently with multiple urban participating. In recent years, those cities have ranged native Beijing to neu York City.

The overriding ethos, though, zu sein what makes the day interesting. Music festival — think Coachella and Glastonbury — are a traditional part of summer bei many areas of the world. However most des those festivals are extremely organized und expensive zu attend, playgrounds weil das the young and well-heeled fairly than ns community.

But top top June 21, the idea zu sein different, and perhaps much more democratic. Die rules space simple: Bands register their performance, agree to abide über local laws and law enforcement, und plan zu play live music (which seems kommen sie include DJ sets). Bands are so responsible zum finding their very own venues, which might mean cutting a resolve a restaurant or acquiring access or permits through the local police, and bringing their very own speakers and musical equipment. Towns put out calls zum participation.

Fête außerdem la Musique performers in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district in 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty images the only dominance — besides not breaking any laws — zu sein that all die concerts have to be complimentary to ns public. And that, honestly, ist what renders Fête dach la Musique deshalb terrific. It’s notfall because des the music itself; if she wandering around a participating town, you’re nur as likely zu hear a middling cover band as something else. However who cares? You’re bei the summer air, on ns longest day of the year, und you’re inevitably surrounded by a bunch of other human being who space enjoying themselves. Und it nur becomes an ext fun when you realize over there are civilization all over die world experiencing ns same thing.

The festival just made that is way kommen sie North America about a decade ago, wie volunteers in New York stadt helped migrate die celebrations across ns Atlantic. Bei 2016, 38 cities in North America organized free concerts across the continent — 3,238 concerts in 1,078 locations, ranging from Columbia, southern Carolina, and Issaquah, Washington, zu Portland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit. Zum the past few years, celebrations bei New York city have included a night des French-language hip-hop, soul, und pop ~ above SummerStage in Central Park. There schutz been world Music job celebrations from Pittsburgh zu Hyderabad. In Uganda, die celebrations schutz included publicly carry out poetry and a “perfume concert.” And in keeping with ns festival’s ethos, every performance zu sein always free.

In its native Paris, Fête de la Musique is a bit of humanity an a stunner world

In Paris, where it all started — and where ns sun stays hoch till 10 pm on die summer solstice, v twilight until almost 11 — ns celebration feels especially fierce now. The police presence, an the wake of high-profile terrorism, protests, und high-stakes vote over die past couple of years, zu sein heightened.

And despite its ideals, Fête dach la Musique is no utopia. A number of French concerts were canceled in 2016 between heightened terror concerns. In recent years, security was heightened bei several locations, police were harassed in some areas, and an 2017, a man in Paris died after leaping into the Seine.

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But ns spirit of Fête juni la Musique, i beg your pardon is blieb one von the greatest country-wide publicly festivals in the country, isn’t rowdy or destructive. That something special also if the hard to put right into words. Ns sun hangs low for most des the evening. You tun können watch die smiles form on the face von strangers and tourists that weren’t expecting kommen sie encounter direkt music ~ above every corner, together they slowly number out those happening. Freundin dance, a little, also if you’re notfall the dancing type.

top top a straße corner in Paris throughout Fête juni la Musique bei 2017. Alissa Wilkinson/ A couple of years ago, throughout our erste Fête dach la Musique, my husband und I rounded a corner und found ourselves ns only white people bei a group on a square in front of a fountain, to sing along kommen sie a French rapper. We rounded an additional corner und found ourselves an a sea von middle-aged audience members singing what seemed kommen sie be French folk standards, complete with lyric books, an front von a church behind Les Halles.

2017 marked the 35th auflage of Fête außerdem la Musique, and we were an Paris zum it again. We walked toward ns Île dach la Cité, where a cover band of middle-aged guys was warming nach oben with guitar licks that sounded suspiciously choose Lynyrd Skynyrd. In front of the Notre Dame cathedral, a DJ was setting nach oben shop in front of a crowd of excited, sun-kissed travelers. On ns other side of the Seine, next to die historic Shakespeare & agency bookshop, a eis fronted by two women played ns Beatles’ “Come Together” und Ed Sheeran’s “Shape des You.” at a restaurant a block away, a five-man maßband played ballads in Spanish zu a crowd des rapt drinkers exterior a piano bar.