Don’t Ask “When is Fête de la Musique?” It’s Tomorrow!
You don’t need to ask “When is Fête de la Musique?” It’s ALWAYS the 21st of June, the Summer Solstice, regardless of what day of the week on which that falls.
The sun will set the latest it will ever set all year long — at 9:58 p.m. (The sun sets later here because of the position of the city by longitude and latitude, as well as elevation. We have 1.5 hours more sunlight than New Yorkers, where the sun will set on June 21st at 8:31 p.m.)
This is the 35th edition, under the theme of «la musique est plus forte que…», meaning “Music is louder (or stronger) than…” everything that might divide us. It’s one of those French ‘read between the lines’ kind of themes that takes a PhD to understand. It’s a good thing the intellectual French grasp the nuances, because I sure don’t. Nonetheless, “leaving no tone unSterned,”* on the horizon for the festival tomorrow will be all types of music — jazz, rock, rap, classical, traditional, pop, acoustic, etc., etc., etc.
I made plans to head down to Nice Wednesday morning (to get a little sun of which Paris is sadly missing), but not until AFTER the Fête. The festival site says there are 10 reasons not to miss it (whith a few corrections for the site’s bad English translation!) to which I concur:
*1: BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO LISTEN TO SOME GOOD MUSIC
Great standards in confidential titles — there is always some good music to be heard at Fête de la Musique. Which brings us to point number 2…
2 BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE TOGETHER
The Fête de la Musique, since its creation, is a great moment of sharing and friendship surrounding music, which knows no borders…and it has done so for 34 years!
*3: BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD
The music party (holiday) provide a good place for young talent, which still have no opportunity to be on stage the rest of the year. It is also a good first testing ground for budding artists.
*4: BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER NEW HORIZONS
Of rock and rap, electronic music, folk songs, the classics, the music of the world and even dance, the Fête de la Musique is the event not to be missed to widen your musical horizon, and thus to renew your playlists.
*5: BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO REGAIN CONTROL OF PUBLIC PLACES
In other words, cities and villages belong to you, and for once, you can take time to stroll and just to hang out in streets, on squares and even in certain open places, specially for the Fête de la Musique.
*6: BECAUSE IT IS ALSO THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER YOUR CITY
By being allowed the possibility of discovering places up to now have been unknowns, even to rediscover certain districts under another viewpoint.
*7: BECAUSE IT IS THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR
Also it is also the shortest night. Because the event takes place mainly in the open-air, it is always a good idea to take advantage of it.
*8: BECAUSE IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTY
Call it a party — since its first edition in 1982, the event is the ideal opportunity to have fun in the streets and to be carefree…or almost.
*9: BECAUSE IT IS ALSO THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW YOUR FOLLOWERS THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO PARTY
In 1982, there would have been 10 venues in this list. In 2016, the Fête de la Musique is also the opportunity to show to your friends that a) you know how to have a good time, b) you have a better time than them, c) you know all the good places, d) and because you can be the evening star.
*10: AND BECAUSE IT IS FREE
The Fête de la Musique rests on a principle-key: it’s free. All the performances and all the concerts are thus free, that it is can be about an unknown musician with his guitar on an end of the sidewalk, or on the top of the bill, or on a raised stage on a big square.
Don’t try to use the official Web site to discover the program — it’s rather worthless! Le Parisien has a decent listing. Scroll down to the bottom to see the listings by district.
Sadly, the concert planned to take place at Place Denfert Rochereau was canceled due to lack of security forces. According to Time Out, the best concerts tomorrow night in Paris will be:
Electrosound: du Lab au Dancefloor
June 21 – 22, 11 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Line-up: Acid Washed, Gez Varley (LFO, G-Man), Andrew Claristidge, Christine Webster, Christian Zanési, Jean-Yves Leloup…
Free until 1 a.m., then €8 on the door
Hotel Radio Paris
June 21, 5 p.m. – 12 midnight
22 rue Muller (18th arrondissement)
Electro, Electro – pop
Line-up: Olivier Zeitoun, Maxim Maillet, France 80, GLXY.P, Djanything2mp3, Casual Gabberz…
Festival 36h Saint Eustache
June 20, 4.30 p.m. – 4 a.m.; June 21, 10.15 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Eglise Saint – Eustache (1st arrondissement)
Indie folk, Rock, Electro, Organ music
Line-up: Murcof X Wagner, Mermonte, Melissa Laveaux, Ricky Hollwod Francois Ier, Messe, K a.m. a Vida, Refuge…
Fête de la Musique by La Flèche d’Or
June 21, 7 p.m. – 12 midnight
La Flèche d’Or
Line-up: Les Gordon, Francois Ier, Hijacked, Un Orage…
Jeanne Added + Youssoupha + Imparfait
June 18 – 19, 8 p.m. – 12 midnight
Parc Raspail à Cachan
Rap, Rock, Electro – pop
Line-up: Jeanne Added, Youssoupha, Imparfait…
Djeli Moussa at the Musée National de L’Immigration
June 21, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Musée National de L’Immigration (12th arrondissement)
Line-up: Djeli Moussa
Julie Erikssen & Laurent Courthaliac Quartet
June 21, 8 p.m.
Line-up: Julie Erikssen & Laurent Courthaliac Quartet
If you just want to wander the streets and find what strikes your fancy, you will discover various performances, both official and not-so-official at the museums and monuments, concert halls, gardens and parks, train stations, “mairies” (city halls), churches, hospitals and of course, just along the streets, on the corners and in the squares…just about anywhere and everywhere! Le Marais is one of the best spots in town, particularly around Place des Vosges where the acoustics are particularly special and conducive to singers and classical music.
While you’re out and about, grab a grilled “merguez” (spicy mutton or beef-based North African sausage) from a make-shift stand or find a spot for an early dinner, then head out to take it all in. The forecast for tomorrow is cloudy, cool and rainy, so dress for the occasion and don’t leave your umbrella at home.
For more information, visit the official Web site.
*Special Note having nothing to do with music (!): “Leaving no tone unSterned” is a “Spoonerism” of “leaving “no stone unturned,” but referring to Isaac Stern, the concert violinist. A Spoonerism, named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College, Oxford, who was notoriously prone for making these kinds of mistakes, in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two words in a phrase, such as: “The Lord is a shoving leopard” instead of “The Lord is a loving shepherd.” I once knew a woman who could speak in Spoonerisms quite easily and it was infectious. Instead of “see you later,” her friends would inevitable say to her “lee you sater.” There is also the phrase “A drama critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned” by George Bernard Shaw, but that’s something quite different!
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. You will never have a better time in Nice, when you stay at Le Matisse! Now is the time to book your summer vacation at Le Matisse! Visit Adrian Leeds Group apartments, Nice for more information and to book your stay.
P.P.S. Starting this summer, in addition to her week-long Writing from the Heart workshops, Janet Hulstrand will be offering Saturday mini-workshops. See the details on her Web site