Next Tuesday, marks one of my favourite days every year here in France – Fête de la Musique!
Fête de la Musique is held on 21 June annually throughout France and is a huge success, and continues to grow in popularity.
Why I love Fête de la Musique
I love this day because it’s a fantastic chance to see a wide variety of musical styles, playing in public areas by both amateur and professional musicians. And all free!
Over the years I’ve experienced everything from swing bands, to jazz, to teen orchestras to DJ’s and rock bands. I’ve always found the general atmosphere to be convivial and good-natured.
How did Fête de la Musique come about
The concept originated with an American musician Joel Cohen who worked as a music programmer for France Musique (French National Radio). He wanted to initiate an all-day music event to celebrate the summer solstice.
In 1982, the (then) Director of Music and Dance at the French Ministry of Culture, Maurice Fleuret, recognised that one child out of every two in France played a musical instrument and he wanted a way to encourage people to take to the streets to make music and foster love of musical performance.
Fête de la Musique was born and made official by the French Minister of Culture with the first festival held in Paris in 1982.
Today, it is celebrated in various forms (Make Music Day, World Music Day etc) in over 120 countries including Italy, Australia and the USA.
Can anyone perform on the Fête de la Musique date?
The festival has always been at the forefront of promoting musical performance.
- Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in public areas – on the street, at parks, beach venues, at town squares. Musicians range from teenage garage bands to professional opera singers – it’s a huge mix of music and talent!
- All music genres are welcome.
- All concerts must be free, and all performers must donate their time for free.
While there are some noise restrictions in place (especially after hours), there is an unspoken tolerance for the performances in France on this day and I’ve never seen any concerts or performances shut down by the police or removal of audio equipment (and there have been some spectacularly loud ones!).
If you would like to perform on this date, contact your local Mairie (Town Hall) who can advise you what to do.
Fête de la Musique 2016 on the French Riviera
Each town releases it’s own schedule for concerts and music performances.
I don’t have an extensive list as many of the Tourist Offices don’t release times until the last minute, but here is a sample of some of the Fête de la Musique 2016 events happening this year along the French Riviera (all free concerts will be on Tuesday 21 June unless specified below):
- ANTIBES & JUAN LES PINS
From 6pm until late at various locations including place Nationale, Safranier and place de Gaulle (Antibes) and promenade du Soleil, the roundabout by King Kong toy store and Café de la Plage (Juan les Pins).
For the full Antibes and Juan les Pins concert times and locations, download here http://fr.calameo.com/read/002074504a6ddbd307526
- BEAULIEU SUR MER
From 6.30pm at Place Marinoni, pop, rock, funk, soul with You Know What and Hidden Bombo.
Note: Music will be on 18 June, not 21 June.
8.30pm – La Cantarella au Sanctuaire St Joseph (choir songs)
9.30pm The Blues Brothers tribute at place de la Liberation
From 6pm – Place des Arcades
From 6.30pm – Place de Gaulle
Espace des Arts et de la Culture (représentation des élèves)
From 6.45pm – Jardin Frédéric Mistral
- CAGNES SUR MER
See poster below:
Various locations, see the official programme at http://www.cannes.com/fr/evenements/grands-rendez-vous-mois-par-mois/fete-de-la-musique.html
- CHÁTEAUNEUF DE GRASSE
6pm onwards – At Place des Pins, jazz, funk, pop, rock and blues bands with a coordinated multi-band jam session at 10pm.
From 7pm at place de la Collette, singing, reggae and jazz
- GOLFE JUAN & VALLAURIS
From 6pm – midnight – Various bands will play at the Maison du Tourisme Vieux Port, Théâtre de Mer, square Nabonnand etc (pop rock , jazz, country, DJ) in Golfe Juan, and place Lisnard, rue Ramie and Espace Massier (jazz, gospel, pop rock)
Note: The coastal road between the carpark at Vieux Port and quai Napoleon will be closed between 6pm-2am for Fête de la Musique.
From 5pm at various locations, find the Grasse concert times and locations here : http://www.ville-grasse.fr/2016_06_fete_musique.pdf
From 6pm at various locations including Place de Gaulle and Espace Rose de Mai; programme available here: http://www.lacollesurloup.fr/fr/actualites/f%C3%AAte-de-la-musique
- LA TURBIE
- From 6.30pm at Place Théodare de Banville jazz and music from films with Smiley Friends, followed by blues, rock, folk and jazz with Lou Folk from 8pm
- LE BAR SUR LOUP
From 7pm at Square Seytre with Bob Fred etc
- MANDELIEU LA NAPOULE
From 8pm, Place Estérel Gallery with a ‘Vintage’ theme.
Allée de la 1ère Division Française
Terrace at Musée Jean Cocteau
5pm-5.45pm – Zumba party
5.30-8.30pm – Classes from the Conservatoire de Musique de Menton including instrumental and vocal choirs
Jardin Elysée Reclus
7pm-1am – Menton c’est Vous ! Les Obsolètes (pop/rock)
Place Loredan Larchey
8-11pm – Castadiva (international variety)
9-11pm – Arts Paillettes 2000 (French and international songs and dance)
Esplanade Francis Palmero
5-5.45pm – Samy (French songs)
6-8pm – Con2mine. Breaking Bad band. Ena (French & International songs)
8-10pm – Sourires et Mélodies (French and international songs)
10pm-midnight – New-Feel (French and international songs)
9-11pm Choir performance
Lots happening in Monaco including in La Condamine, Larvotto and a concert by Sinsémilia at the main port at 9pm
Full programme is found here: http://www.mairie.mc/poles/animations/musique/la-fete-de-la-musique
8pm-midnight – At Parc du Château and in town there will be bands of various genres – rock, pop rock, heavy metal, jazz, reggae, folk
For the programme for Mougins concerts see here (in French) : http://www.mougins-tourisme.fr/fr/content/f%C3%AAte-de-la-musique-%C3%A0-mougins
From 5pm, free music at Théâtre de la Verdure – Promenade des Anglais:
- ROQUEFORT LES PINS
- ST PAUL DE VENCE
7pm – L’Harmonie de St Paul : music from films, jazz, classics at place de la Mairie
From 7pm – At L’espace Verdet, Tchapakan, Pandore Orchestra and PsyKanopé combine various influences such as ska, rock, reggae
8pm onwards – At place Charles de Gaulle, jazz, funk and soul with Alter Ego Quintet and Good Times Foundation
From 8.30pm – At point du vue, you can hear JDF Combo Blues et Parnaiba play jazz and blues
9pm onwards – At cour Freinet, songs and guitar with Sand and Christian Passaro
Note: All public carparking is free from 7pm.
There are also dinners with concerts happening at Hostellerie Les Remparts, Restaurant de Mas de Pierre and Le Tilleul (contact each restaurant for more details).
- THÉOULE SUR MER
From 6pm at port de la Figueirette
Concert at 6pm , Salle des Fêtes
- TOURRETTE LEVENS
From 7.30pm at Parvis d’eglise, a ball with DJ
From 5pm – Place de la liberation (music until midnight – kids songs, acoustic band, hip hop, disco, DJs)
From 6pm- Salle polyvalente – La Bigarade – Pont-du-Loup (kids group)
- VALBONNE SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS
From midday until late for Haut-Sartoux, Garbejaire, Valbonne village you can listen to DJ’s, Big Band music, Latin and jazz.
For concert times and locations see here: http://www.ville-valbonne.fr/spip.php?page=article_evenement&id_article=2128
Various town locations with music from 6pm. Full programme is here: http://www.vence.fr/fete-de-la-musique-a-vence-le-21?lang=fr
- VILLEFRANCHE SUR MER
7pm – Parade through the streets
7-8.30pm – Place Felix Poullan (classical music)
9pm – Patio at the Citadelle (choral music)
- VILLENEUVE LOUBET
7pm – Allée de la Plage – Pulp Over (pop rock)
8.30pm – Street Jam (pop folk) at Villeneuve Loubet village
9.30pm – Ava Corsica (Corsican songs) at Marina Baie des Anges
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