Fete de la Musique: The story behind the spectacle

It was actually my third time to attend the Fete de la Musique. My first was back when I still lived in France and my second was when I watched a French New Wave indie band named Naive New Beaters in 2013. I attended the Fete with my usual concert buddy, who invited me after our common friend dragged her to watch the performances at the Rock stage. It has been a while since we did not watch concerts, which was why we decided to give ourselves a chance.

There is an interesting story behind the Fete that I would like to share. The Fete de la Musique originated in France in the early 1980’s. The concept of an all day music celebration came from Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture and was later approved by Maurice Fleuret, the Director of Music and Dance, who discovered in a 1982 study that one child out of two played a musical instrument in a population of 5 million people. The concept came to life as it was held the first time in Paris and was then called La Fete de la Musique (literally known as Music Day or Music Celebration). The purpose of the celebration is to promote music by encouraging both amateur and professional musicians to perform under the slogan “Faites de la musique” (a homophone of the event’s name meaning make music) and by organizing free concerts where these musicians can perform.

The Fete is now known as an international phenomenon celebrated in 120 countries including the Philippines. Organized by Alliance Francaise de Manille (famous French language school in Manila), the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines and B-side Collection, the Fete de la Musique 2017 covered 30 stages in Metro Manila.

My concert buddy and I enjoyed the event for concerts and musicals have always been part of our lives. However, we only watched the performances at the Rock stage. We did not get to watch any in Eclectic stage due to its delayed schedule of performances and to the fact that we needed to meet our friend at the Rock stage as early as we could. We did not stay out the entire night either since we both needed to be home early.

Looking forward to attend the festival next year and to discover more artists in different stages. Here are the bands that we rocked with.

The Riot Act
Flying Ipis

N.B. The official date of Fete de la Musique is on June 21, the same day as the start of summer in Northern Hemisphere countries. Yet in the Philippines, the celebration took place near that date.

Sources and Additional Readings


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